Medical interpreters employ the most common mode of interpreting, called consecutive interpreting. This is where the interpreter listens to a few sentences at a time and makes notes, then delivers a verbal translation after each short unit of speech.
As with all interpreting assignments, it is advisable to provide medical interpreters with as much information as possible prior to appointments, allowing them time to prepare accordingly.
Medical interpreters must adhere to strict codes of conduct before, during and after appointments. For example, it is important for interpreters to remain impartial and they should therefore avoid private conversations with patients outside of assignments.