After several trips to see my doctor I was sent to the hospital for further tests and scans. Being born Deaf, I don’t speak, and can only lip read if it’s someone I know well. I use British sign language to communicate and it gives me the freedom to express myself clearly and for me to understand what other people are saying to me.
I have lost count of the times I have forced to scribble notes on bits of paper, ask the doctors or nurse to face me when they are speaking or missed my appointment because staff still shout my name even when they know I am deaf. It’s exhausting and makes my health care a second priority when professional can’t even communicate with me.
I was very anxious about the appointment as I didn’t want to be left in a position where no interpreter had been booked, leaving me struggling to understand what was happening.
When I arrived, I was given a tablet by the lady at reception and I was delighted to see a BSL interpreter on the screen waving back at me!
They introduced themselves as Involve Video interpreter service and her name was Josie. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the relief that I felt knowing at least one person in the room could understand me was overwhelming.
After chatting briefly and asking how I was, the interpreter indicated the nurse wanted to check my personal information, check my vitals and explain the tests. The nurse was lovely and very friendly. It turns out we grew up in the same neighbourhood! She asked me to show her a few signs so we could communicate a little bit and let me know that we could use the video interpreter throughout the appointment.
Being able to connect and communicate with the hospital staff through Involve Interpreter service made my appointment the best I have ever had! Having quick access to sign language interpreter made the whole experience far less stressful for me and I would definitely recommend it.
Getting sign language interpreters can be a real struggle and using video interpreters makes so much sense. I don’t know why hospitals haven’t done this sooner. I hope all hospitals can do this to make access easier for Deaf people easier in the future.
Thank you Involve Interpreter!