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Career Profile: Interpreter

Career Profile: Interpreter

Buket Okumus, 25 Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH Medical Interpreter

In Demand: Careers in Health Care, Career Voyages, U.S. Dept. of Labor

What do you do every day?

We are responsible for everything [the patients] need from the moment they arrive in Cleveland. We go to appointments with them and interpret for them. Even if they know the language, we escort them to their appointments. If tests are ordered we make sure they are scheduled. And we tell patients if there’s any preparation for the tests. And once the appointments are done, we print their medical records and give copies to them. We carry a pager, and whoever is on call can assist them. If they need a prescription, we help them with the pharmacy.

What training did you do for your job?

Turkish is my native language, and I took English as a Second Language when I moved to the United States. At the Cleveland Clinic, I got training from other employees who had more experience than me. Then, after a year, we had interpreter training for two days and did role-playing, and then we took a test and we got a certificate.

What do you like best about your job?

The best part of my job is helping people. When everything is done, just the look of appreciation on their face is priceless. I get to meet people and listen to their life stories. It’s emotionally satisfying.


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