• Add nothing, omit nothing, change nothing : professional medical interpreters use of emotion regulation

      Schmidt, Erica L.
      Professional medical interpreters provide language translation in various health care settings. The interpreters are often trained to act solely as conduits of communication regardless of the circumstances surrounding the appointment such as: cultural differences, type of medical appointment (i.e. emergency, routine exams) or age and gender of the client. Prior research has indicated that interpreters are valuable in assisting providers with communicating health care information to their patient; however, there is not a definite answer on whether interpreters should be mandatory in healthcare settings when a spoken language barrier is present (Edwards, Temple & Alexander, 2005; Jiang, 2013; Mutchler, Bacigalupe, Coppin & Gottlieb, 2007). In addition, there is extensive quantitative and qualitative research on the emotional labor and emotion regulation experienced by healthcare providers, in which some of the research addresses healthcare providers experiencing frustrations due to cultural and language barriers (Mutchler, Bacigalupe, Coppin & Gottlieb, 2007; Sherrill & Mayo, 2014). However, there is little qualitative research that explores the emotional labor and emotion regulation experienced by medical interpreters. This thesis examines the emotion regulation strategies, such as surface and deep acting, utilized by medical interpreters throughout interpreting sessions. Qualitative methods of semi-structured interviews were conducted with medical interpreters and patients (whom utilized interpreters). The data revealed that medical interpreters experience emotional labor and attempt to utilize emotion regulation strategies in order to fulfill their role as a conduit of communication between their client and the provider; however, majority of interpreters considered themselves patient advocates or cultural brokers and felt it was not possible to solely act as a conduit based on the many circumstances surrounding the client's need, appointment type or background.