Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Biology

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Modern Languages

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Patients with limited English skills often face additional struggles when accessing medical care. These patients, referred to as limited English proficient (LEP) patients, are unable to communicate directly with their physician. This lack of direct communication typically results in unique challenges for the patient and provider. Due to these challenges, LEP patients often have poorer health statuses and experience poorer health outcomes. However, when provided with access to qualified medical interpreters, many of these challenges facing LEP patients can be ameliorated. Therefore, using qualified interpreters is an important component in improving the access to healthcare for LEP patients. To determine the level of access to healthcare for LEP patients in Bowling Green, LEP patients were invited to participate in a survey about their past experiences using medical interpreters at a local health fair. The results from the surveys showed that 85% of patients had used a family member to interpret for them in a medical setting, and 38% reported being denied an interpreter when requested. These results show that the frequency of use of qualified interpreters needs to be improved.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Kara Haughtigan, DNP, APRN-ANP

Disciplines

Health Services Research | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health

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