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Interpreter Services

Our patients, visitors and even our caregivers bring with them to the hospital experience various cultures, backgrounds and languages. It is our top priority to meet your needs and communicate the way you prefer. That's why Columbia Memorial Hospital partners with in-person and remote interpretation services. This partnership provides free qualified interpretation in more than 100 languages.

Interpretation services are available 24/7 and allow caregivers to communicate in your preferred language with real-time audio, video and in-person qualified interpreters. This is because we believe in partnership — a core tenet of our Planetree philosophy.

You can request communication in your preferred language and preferred way any time and there is never a cost to use this service. We will do our best to make sure your preferences are met.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How can I request interpretation services?

A: Caregivers throughout the hospital are available to help you. We will offer interpretation services anytime it seems appropriate, but you may also ask.

Q: Does it cost anything for patients to use interpretation?

A: No, the service is offered to you at no cost.

Q: Can patients use family members to interpret instead of free, qualified interpreter services at CMH?

A: Please note that our interpreters are trained, qualified medical interpreters and that this service is free to you. These professionals are knowledgeable in medical terminology and able to thoroughly explain things to help you as well as the doctor thoroughly understand what is being said. Family members may act as an interpreter in life or death situations, when a live interpreter is not immediately available, or when the patient understands the services we have available and would still prefer a family or friend do the interpretation.

Q: Will staff members assist in interpreting?

A: Staff must be qualified as certified interpreters to assist with interpretation. To be qualified, they must pass a spoken language test. This is a federally regulated requirement.