OHSNI employs six Inuktitut/ English interpreters to provide professional communication services for patients, their escorts and hospital personnel.
OHSNI’s interpreters are aware of the Personal Health Information Protections Act (PHIPA) and they keep what they hear very private.
OHSNI’s interpreters know how to interpret complex medical terms, they know many doctors and nurses, and they know about the types of tests that are done at the hospitals. As it is easy to get lost in the big buildings they also help patients find their way in the big city hospitals. They can also help unilingual patients get their medication at the drug store. The interpreters can call OHSNI’s nurses if there is a concern or problem.
OHSNI interpreters’ main role is to provide interpretation for patients and hospital staff during clinic visits. Whenever they have time between appointments, they visit with patients in the hospitals. However, these bed side visits can be very short as most of their day is booked with out-patient appointments. If an inpatient needs help with interpretation in order to talk to their caregivers, the ward clerk contacts OHSNI.
There is always an interpreter available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To ask for an interpreter, call a nurse at 613-788-1432. The nurse case managers will assess the situation and call the interpreter if needed. On weekdays, after regular office hours, and on weekends, the interpreters are reserved for emergency situations only.
Baffin-Ottawa Program’s office produces a daily worksheet for the interpreters. Usually every patient has an interpreter assigned to help them. On days when there are too many patients, the interpreters go with unilingual people first. If a patient or an escort does not have an interpreter and feels that they do not understand what is being said to them, please, ask the doctor for an interpreter. The hospital will call Baffin-Ottawa Program at 613-523-7822 and we will send one as soon as possible. Never leave your doctor’s visit without knowing what was said to you.