My name is Nadia, I am a paediatric nurse practitioner at a busy hospital and absolutely love my job. I have had to deal with many families who are non-native and use a variety of different languages to communicate. I have worked with spoken language interpreters before as we are seeing more and more need. However, they are notoriously difficult to source and families often have some English and can manage basic communication until the interpreter arrives.

This year was the first time I had dealt with a Deaf family with quite a poorly child.

A 6-year old boy had been admitted from A & E after suffering with multiple seizures and was accompanied by a very distressed mum and dad. Upon arrival I was briefed by the porters and handed notes from the A & E team.

As is normal practice, I introduced myself and began to explain to the parents about their child’s condition and reassure them he was getting the best care we could offer. I noticed the puzzled looks on their faces which then became quite angry. “We’re Deaf, we’re Deaf” said the father tapping on his ear and showing his hearing aid.

Thankfully a quick-thinking colleague saw what was happening and intervened. She made sure she was facing the parents and just gently let them know she was going to get an interpreter and could they wait here a few minutes.

She explained that the hospital was now using Involve Video Interpreter service and we had short notice access to British Sign Language Interpreters through video.

She quickly logged into the Involve Interpreter Portal, completed a simple request using the secure portal and waited for confirmation of the booking. It couldn’t have been simpler! We received confirmation within 5 minutes and would have a qualified BSL interpreter available within 15 minutes! There was even an online guide so I could follow the process again if needed.

It was extremely reassuring to be able to speak to the interpreter before the parents arrived. They explained how to use the service.

The consultation went smoothly and they asked me questions about their son’s condition and care. I easily forgot my hesitations and slipped back into Nurse Practitioner Mode. I was finally able to do my job, comfort and inform 2 very worried parents and help them, to help us, look after their son.

Having this sort of flexibility and easy access to a sign language interpreter made a huge difference to me being able to carry out my job.

I know it also made what was a very distressing situation for a Deaf family, into something they felt part of, had some control and could make informed decisions about the care of their child.

I would highly recommend Involve Interpreter to my colleagues in similar situations and find themselves in need of an interpreter.

Thank you Involve Interpreter!