The job of a medical interpreter requires a good memory, but it is still difficult to remember all the important details, especially when the speech for interpretation is long. The good news is that there are useful tips for effective note-taking, which can help a medical interpreter to catch all the details.
- 1. Use keywords and abbreviations.
It is better to focus on the KEYwords and phrases, instead of writing full sentences. You will save time and demonstrate a good speed of your interpreting. If you need to remember a complete sentence, use the abbreviations where possible. But you need to learn them and keep your glossary updated. Find one of the examples here.
- 2. Write down the keywords and terms in a particular order.
Try to write important terms and words in the order of a timeline. This method will help you to keep track of the conversation and circle back to smaller details, those mentioned earlier in the conversation..
- 3. Use pictures and symbols.
If you can draw sketches and read them for interpreting, definitely use this method! Doodling improves memory, so it is an additional benefit for you.
Moreover, with the help of symbols and highlights you can indicate the main points of the conversation.
Our Arabic-English interpreter invented his own style of sketches. Ahmed AbouZekry from Egypt makes the illustrations from his notes for medical interpretation. Have you seen such notes before?
- 4. Group main ideas.
It is a good way to write down the main idea of the conversation or a part of it, and then to add supporting ones. This way you can create word clouds that will help you see all the information you need at the same time.
- 5. Use the “Subject, Verb, Object” method.
The Subject, Verb, Object (or SVO) variant is part of a note-taking method first introduced by Jean-Francois Rozan in his 7 principles. It is performed exactly as its name describes..
On a piece of paper, write down the subject, verb, and object of each sentence you are listening to in descending order, diagonally to the right. Each new sentence or topic is separated by a horizontal line on a page.
Writing the main parts of the sentence, and in a way that shows their hierarchical relationship to each other, will help you better remember what was said.
Note-taking is one of the best tools that you can use during consecutive medical interpretation. Now you have tips on how to help yourself during the interpreting of medical calls. Try to practice them! You need some time to make it a habit and to use it in your daily work routine, so keep your head up and try to do this every day!
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