Monday, November 8, 2010

Translating Medicine

Had a fun day today.

Taught a friend how to do an ABG, so that completes my "see one, do one, teach one" achievement for that (ding!).

I also had my first job as a consulting translator!

I say "job" yet I wasn"t paid.

In fact, it was a random intern/RMO/reg who happened to see me, asked if I spoke mandarin, and asked me to translate a few sentence for him. After a few words, he realised there was no way he was going to remember what I was saying, so he asked me to follow him.
In the waiting room of the AMU, there stood a young man of Chinese origin.
[Hello] he says to me (square brackets indicating mandarin).
[Hello] I reply.
I turn to the doctor who looks at me with a smile on his face. "This is a good start." He comments.
He begins to talk to the man. I manage enter some kind of trance in which I can somehow translate what is said.
The man appears satisfied and leaves with the nurse and the doctor.
In an amused daze, I return to retrieve my bag and books from the doctor's office.
The doctor returns and asks me to translate one more thing, he needs me to tell the man that he needs to hang around to get a CT scan of his lungs.
I agree. I then wonder how to say "scan" in mandarin. I then wonder how to say "lungs" in mandarin.
After pausing for a moment, I begin [The doctor wants you to wait here. They want to use a machine to look inside your upper body.]
The man looks at me like I'm an idiot, but somehow understands what I'm trying to tell him. He agrees and waits in the waiting room.

I feel so accomplished.

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