Watch Your Tone!

You've just walked in to the patient’s room with the lab technician. 

The patient is visibly agitated, and she’s reluctantly cooperating as the tech draws blood.  She starts telling you about the awful doctors that work here.  As she's talking, the doctor walks in.  It’s obvious he’s seen this patient before. It doesn’t take long for the patient to start shouting at the doctor.  The doctor quickly raises his voice and chaos ensues.  

You’re mortified for so many reasons.  What do you do?

Have you ever had a patient yell at a doctor or a nurse make a sarcastic comment in front of the patient?  You’ve heard children whine, and doctors place emphasis on specific words.  The meaning of the message depends on tone.  It portrays the emotions the speaker is feeling. 

Matching tone can be uncomfortable and awkward.  It can also be fun and up lifting!  You become the character of the speaker when you match their tone.  When this happens and your job is infinitely easier.  Getting there is the hard part. 

Take the words of your mother to heart and Watch Your Tone!  

Healthcare interpreters, join this session as we review the impact of tone on the interpreted message, develop strategies to select the appropriate tone when interpreting, and learn to navigate the pitfalls and trouble areas of tone-matching.


Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the impact of tone on the interpreted message
  • Explain how matching tone fosters trust in the interpreter's performance
  • Explain when it is best not to match tone
  • Demonstrate appropriate tone-matching

Course Details: 

  • 2-hour class
  • CE approved
    • IMIA/NBCMI: 0.2 CEUs
    • CCHI: 2 performance hours
    • ATA: 2 points
    • WA DSHS: 2 hours
  • Live, instructor-led online classroom
  • Instructor: Erin Rosales
  • Registration fee: $98.00
10% of conflicts is due to difference in opinion and 90% is due to wrong tone of voice.
— Vea Mariz