Cultural taboos as a factor in interpretation in the medical field.The case study of the meridian hospital
The study focused on how cultural taboos influence interpretation in the medical field. The Meridian Hospital was used as the case study. The hospital has four major departments which are frequently visited by patients which made it easier to collect data. The study also included the miscommunication in hospitals between both the trained and untrained interpreters and their patients and how the presence of medical interpreters is crucial. Moreover it examined some hardships faced in the medical field either due to lack of interpreters or lack of trained interpreters who are sensitive to culture. The study adopted the Skopos theory to show what needed to be done by interpreters in effectively communicating culturally bound taboo words between medical practitioners and patients. The study employed descriptive and correlation survey design. The study used a sample of 35 patients from the four main departments which were visited by most patients. Stratified random sampling used to select respondents to reflect overall response by the patients from each sampled department. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the selected four main departments. Doctors were also given the questionnaires. Analysis was done using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages and graphs. Simple random sampling was used to select patients who visited the main departments in Meridian hospital. Descriptive survey design was used to show the nature of the relationships between cultural taboos displayed by patients in the medical field. The data was analyzed using a chi-square and Pearson’s Coefficient of correlation. Results revealed that the presence of medical interpreters in the medical field has a positive impact in patient visits and helps them understand various culturally bound taboo words as they are interpreted by either paraphrasing or using euphemisms in order to avoid the stigma associated with some of the diseases. The findings and recommendations of the study are useful in the efforts towards ensuring that there are trained interpreters in the medical field who will enable the patients to better understand what they are told by doctors. The patients are also to appreciate or do away with some practices in the society that have hitherto caused stigmatization. They also adapt better practices that help in preventing some diseases. Medical practitioners are also better placed to understand why some patients appear hesitant to go to hospital and instead preferred herbal medication.