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View Diary: The Tom Coburn school of medicine: Tell your mommy she has a yeast infection (28 comments)

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    I do asthma education for a lot of Spanish speaking families in a pediatric hospital.  Our institution employs certified medical interpreters, and if at all possible I utilize them for all my education sessions, rather than phone interpretation, our other option.  The other day I saw the family of a child less than a year of age with a positive family predisposition to asthma, and with a history of severe attacks already. This is the sort of child who, if not controlled, would be subject to repeated, and possibly life-threatening episodes.  There is simply no way to do a 20-minute education involving 3 different medications, cover the effective administration techniques, address the subtle early signs of an impending crisis, cover the basic airway pathology that ties the whole package together, and answer the inevitable questions without effective interpretation.  I had to wait for an interpreter to break free. The wait cut into a big meeting scheduled across town. To have not waited, however......ugh.  I felt like I knew what was needed for the best outcome, and this was the last chance before discharge.  Professional obligations aside, it was a matter of cross-cultural respect.  But then again, who am I to argue with Senator Dr. Coburn and our other leaders about the best medical care delivery system in the world....

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