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Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation: ASL/English

UAMS and UALR Collaborate Interprofessional Education Simulation

By Ray James and Michae Orfanos

Training through simulation has proven to be effective in many professions to enhance and hone the skills necessary for practice. UAMS Centers for Simulation Education provides training for health care professionals in a safe, effective, and compassionate environment to better develop clinical skills.

The UALR Interpreter Education Program provides education to prepare professional interpreters in all settings to function
as linguistic and cultural mediators between individuals who are hearing and individuals who are deaf, deaf-­‐blind, or hard of hearing.

The UALR Interpreter Education Program and UAMS Centers for Simulation Education have joined together to provide an interprofessional simulated experience for both health care professionals, and interpreters who are being trained to bridge the communication barrier between English and American Sign Language.

The Simulated Patient training process is done by training deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing individuals to participate as simulated patients with a specific illness. The “patient” is coached to portray certain
symptoms and to display particular emotional characteristics. They are also trained to give corrective and supportive feedback to the medical students regarding their communication skills with patients. Interpreting students are educated in the use of medical terminology, cultural mores to consider when negotiating linguistic equivalency and logistics of an interpreter being present. UAMS medical students
obtain a medical history of the patient and determine a diagnosis while learning appropriate techniques of communicating with a patient using a different language and having a “third” party involved in the process.

The interprofessional simulation is done on-site at the UAMS Centers for Simulation Education with the UALR Interpreter Education students joining the UAMS medical students. Both learning teams are evaluated during the simulation. UAMS medical students are given feedback regarding their technique in the appropriate use of a sign
language interpreter, their interaction with the patient who is deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing, and their effectiveness in obtaining a “barrier-free” medical history. UALR interpreting students are evaluated and provided feedback on their interaction with the
health care professional, the patient who is deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing, their linguistic equivalency and the manner that they handle the logistics of the situation.

This joint venture has proven to be very successful for both programs and provides a much-needed exposure to both professionals in training. Although there are benefits to a theoretical approach, nothing can substitute a living, hands-on experience that is being provided by UALR and UAMS joint efforts.

Updated 10.3.2013