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Overcoming Language Barriers To Provide Care

The ability to effectively communicate with patients is a critical component of providing the healthcare they need. For CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic’s Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth Ryan, the access to Language Line allows her to communicate with all patients and overcome language barriers.

The Language Line service offers a video chat with a real-time translator. “The interpreters are very well-trained, and of course the conversations are confidential,” Ryan said. “A majority of my patients who receive care at Point of Light are Hispanic with Spanish as their primary language. Even if they speak some English, many are more comfortable with their native language.”

As Ryan’s Spanish is limited, she utilizes the line multiple times a day. Ryan occasionally has patients that speak languages other than Spanish or English. Recently, she had a patient from Thailand who brought her husband to translate. “Her husband was not a native Thai speaker and was limited with medical or anatomical words and phrases,” Ryan said. So she dialed up the Language Line.

“They both expressed gratitude to the Language Line. She said she had never been offered that service before becoming a patient of Point of Light.” Through Language Line, CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic is meeting the needs of all patients.

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