Our interpreters are among the most qualified in the healthcare market, setting the highest standard for credentials, experience and training. This month we celebrate the skill and dedication of our diverse interpreter team and their commitment to ensuring all patients have access to safe, high quality care.
Lizette knows exactly what it feels like to live in a country and not speak the language. Throughout her life she has lived in Spain, Mexico, Sweden and the United States. She never imagined how difficult it would be to live in a country and not understand the language, culture, political or medical system and then have a medical emergency until she herself experienced it when she moved to Sweden with her husband after college.
Lizette was born in Mexico City, grew up bilingual and multicultural (Mexican, Spanish and American), and had college internships in France and Spain. As an immigrant in Sweden, she managed to learn the language, understand the culture and successfully integrate into the country. Not all immigrants have such an experience, but her difficult early challenges help her relate well to limited English proficient (LEP) patients in the United States.
Naturally, Lizette was drawn to interpreting as a career because she speaks four languages, is passionate about helping others, and as an ambassador of many cultures, she has an innate sensibility for understanding cultural differences and people's needs.
According to Lizette, it’s all about perceiving, interpreting and addressing patient needs. With this and a good understanding of medicine and medical terminology in the United States, she was able to seamlessly shift gears and pursue a career in interpreting.
Prior to seeking her national certification as a medical interpreter in 2012 (NBCMI) and becoming part of the first certified generation of professional medical interpreters in the United States, she joined the American Translators Association (ATA) and the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) in 2009 as a freelance professional. She later was asked to join Memorial Hermann Healthcare System as part of the only certified on-site staff interpreting team in the nation and at the Texas Medical Center, where she worked for almost five years prior to joining InDemand Interpreting as a video remote interpreter (VRI).
As a certified, on-site interpreter, Lizette learned how important it was to serve as a cultural, institutional and linguistic bridge between the medical teams and LEP patients. She understands the importance of following protocols and enjoys being able to articulately convey cultural nuances to help LEP patients, their families and their medical teams effectively communicate.
“Having the opportunity to interpret at a level-1 trauma hospital was unique, and sometimes very challenging,” said Lizette. “It allowed me to understand varying scenarios in the daily communication between the specialty physicians, medical team members, LEP patients and their families. Being able to get an intimate view of the healthcare setting—from acute care, emergency and surgical to primary care—across the care continuum was the best training I could have received.”
Following her position at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Lizette was drawn to the ability to provide compassionate, high quality care to LEP patients across the country as an interpreter for InDemand Interpreting.
“To be an effective interpreter you need to think on your feet and be able to understand the complexity of any medical situation,” she said. “I really believe that one of my greatest strengths, or as some might say my superpower, is empathy. My on-site interpreting experience really helped me to bring a level of humanity to the video screen and has provided perspective on how much we, as interpreters, can enrich the patient experience.”
Lizette is currently a member of the Texas Association of Healthcare Interpreters and Translators (TAHIT) and the Houston Interpreters and Translators Association (HITA). She has been invited to present at IMIA conferences and to partake in discussion panels on VRI technology.
It is obvious that Lizette loves what she does; she is one of our many dedicated professionals at InDemand Interpreting who positively impact the lives of LEP patients every single day.