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Interpreter Services

Supporting All Patients Through Interpreter Services

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth provides medical interpreters for Portuguese and Spanish. The hospital also provides American Sign Language interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing. In the event a patient requires interpreting for another language, a telephone service is available that offers up to 140 languages.

Interpreter services at BID Plymouth are free and ensures that non-English speaking patients receive the same level of medical care as English speakers, and that deaf and hard of hearing patients also receive the same level of care as all other patients.

The office for interpreter services handles all requests from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Interpreter services can be reached at 508-830-2400 or 508-944-7041. Nursing supervisors respond to requests beyond regular hours.

Once the hospital staff identifies the patient’s primary language, the interpreter services coordinator or nursing supervisor is contacted. At this point, every attempt will be made to contact a "live" interpreter. While waiting for an interpreter, telephonic language services (operator assisted) are used to assure the patient that proper services are being provided.

If a patient is deaf or hard of hearing, the interpreter services department will contact an outside agency or the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for a qualified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. While waiting for a qualified ASL interpreter, video remote interpreting (VRI) or paper and pencil may be used to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing patients. Patients with some hearing capacity may be assisted by a hearing amplification device.

Deaf or hard of hearing patients, if admitted, are offered a closed captioned television. All hospital rooms have closed captioned availability. Deaf and hard of hearing patients are also offered the use of a TTY/TDD phone.

All foreign language interpreters receive training from a medical interpreter program, as well as ongoing in-service training.