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Lorie V. Thibodeaux – Translating Trust to Patient Care

Lorie V. Thibodeaux

Quality Improvement Manager
Dallas, Tx

Translating Trust to Patient Care

While being a manager of a Breast Care Center, a patient was scheduled to get a diagnostic mammogram. She had been called back. They had found something. She arrived to our clinic with claw grips on her husband and a fearful expression. She was beyond nervous. Both her and her husband could not speak English and culturally their religion was Muslim. Due to the center being busy at the time, I was asked if I could assist with the translation. We had a portable translator (I-Pad on wheels). I brought the patient and her husband into a private room and tried to offer them comfort. A medical assistant brought over some waters. Upon getting acquainted with the room and each other, I utilized the one word I knew, “Enshallah!” In the Arabic Language it means, “God’s will.” I had learned this word in graduate school from a friend from Egypt. The couple began to relax. When calling the translation service line, I was immediately connected with a male and I explained I would need a female translator. My request was successful. Throughout the patient’s appointment, I knew they received the best care and attention possible. Most importantly, by taking the extra measures to consider their culture and their needs, we were building trust. Trust creates fruitful patient-employee relationships. This experience is a firm reminder that understanding diversity in patient care creates success.