Aug. 18-24, 2000
Back Issues

Habla Espanol? Hospital needs you
Boxwoods replaced

Secrets of the cell discovered
In Memoriam
Hot Links - U.Va. Child Development Center

Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff

Jefferson Award nominations sought
Find out more about long-term care insurance
Sign up by Aug. 31 to work for United Way's Day of Caring
Lung screening offered

Habla Espanol? Hospital needs you

Communication problems in the health care setting due to language differences can have serious consequences for the patient, the care-giver and the hospital. The U.Va. Medical Center is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of its patients who do not speak English, or who have limited English proficiency, and is seeking volunteers for its Language Bank, which matches interpreters with patients who need them.

Language Bank members should be native or fluent speakers of languages other than English, and must also be fluent speakers of English. Interpreters, who can be staff, students or community residents, facilitate communication between the patient and health care provider in clinics, at the bedside and in the Emergency Department.

Speakers of all languages are needed, but especially those who speak Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Mandarin, Arabic and Vietnamese. Volunteers are called on an as-needed basis, usually only a few times each semester, and may accept or decline any request. Once registered with the Language Bank, volunteers receive an information packet about guidelines for medical interpretation, ethics for interpreters, cross-cultural issues and liability coverage.

Interested individuals can register by filling out a one-page form at the Department of Volunteer Services, located in the lobby of University Hospital next to the Gift Shop, or by calling Kristin L. Wenger, at 924-5251, or via e-mail at


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