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Mater Language Services staff interpreter Wenlin Zhu is now Queensland’s highest-qualified medical interpreter in Mandarin after passing the fourth, and highest, level of interpreter qualification.
“It is such a rewarding aspect of my daily job to utilise my skills and knowledge to help Mandarin-speaking patients and relieve their uncertainty and fear when they’re in an unfamiliar medical environment,” Wenlin said.
Certified Specialist Health Interpreters are highly competent language users with extensive knowledge across the health domain, including specialised medical terminology.
Only three Mandarin interpreters in Australia have achieved this level of excellence, which involves proving their language ability, and their extensive knowledge of both countries’ systems and cultural backgrounds.
Their work can be incredibly reassuring and comforting, giving patients a much greater understanding of the conversations with clinicians, assuring accuracy of information and providing opportunities to ask questions.
“Some patients may feel overwhelmed by the situation when they have to make difficult or serious decisions about their health, especially when they do not fully understand the language or the customs,” she said.
Mater has a strong focus on patient safety, insisting on working with qualified interpreters to improve patient and clinician experience as part of the patient’s journey.
Wenlin will soon become a patient herself as she prepares for her first baby in four months’ time with husband Alexander, which she believes will further enrich her practice as a Certified Specialist Medical Interpreter!
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