Accelerate Medical Interpreter Professional Development with Shared Learning

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Individual professional development is an essential component of any professional’s journey. Professional development can come in many forms: taking classes, reading books, meeting with a mentor, participating in online discussions, and the list goes on. These professional development activities nurture the individual and enhance their professional skills. This is fantastic for the individual, but it shouldn’t stop there. 

In today’s day and age, we have the opportunity to share the learning in a way that benefits the broader interpreter community, including colleagues in our own department, local area, or online network. 

Quite frankly, this is something we need to do for the good of the profession. Consider this: At some point, you and I are no longer going to be blazing the language access trails. When we’re gone, we shouldn’t leave others struggling to fill the gaps or start from square one.

Likewise, we should be committed to accelerating the professional development for our colleagues who are new to the field. 

Having said that, more and more individuals are entering the medical interpreting field with formal training and field experience prior to their first real world job. This is an awesome accomplishment and trend that will continue. As such, interpreters with less on-the-job experience are also well positioned to contribute to the collective body of knowledge and skills right out of the gate. 

Our team at Connecting Cultures is using an enterprise social network (ESN) as the means to share the learning and grow collectively. Through our ESN, our team has the opportunity to share experiences, ask questions, give feedback and grow in ways that foster collective, whole-team growth. Through the ESN, our team can drop in at times convenient to their schedule and post new content, review the comments of their colleagues, give feedback to questions posted, or spotlight new resources or tools they’ve discovered. 

One neat thing about the ESN is that it’s for everyone on the team, whether they have fewer than 10 days or more than 10 years on the job and regardless of their job title. The only thing required for particpation is that individuals log in and engage. How's that for equal access to professional development!

As we focus on professional development for individuals within the medical interpreter community, we should include ways to grow the collective wisdom and skills of the entire community. 

How are you helping to grow the collective wisdom and skills of the interpreter community in your department, your local area, and beyond?