Reply To: Week 3 – Discussion Board 2

Welcome To Interpreters Associates, Inc. Forums Week 3 – Discussion Board 2 Reply To: Week 3 – Discussion Board 2

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Yasmin DeOliveira # Posted on February 11, 2023 at 12:20 pm

When becoming a medical interpreter it would be helpful to know and understand the suffixes and prefixes because they each determine the root and meaning of the word in which case may help with preventing mistakes or misunderstandings. Medical terminology has so many terms used that it is quite impossible to know them all, but if the interpreter has the knowledge to understand the suffix and prefix of a word they can easily understand what that terminology means and is then able to interpret the word to the target language. Misunderstanding and making mistakes with medical terminology could be life threatening to the patient, and that is why it is so important to understand each meaning. It is also important to remember that the prefix comes before at the beginning of the word and that the suffix comes at the end of the word. Knowing the placement is important because that could alter the entire meaning of the words. For example, an interpreter does not know the difference between micro and macro, they are asked to interpret that the patient has a macro sized mass and the interpreter tells the patient they have a micro sized mass. The patient decides then to refuse treatment because they believe the mass is so small. That issue now could turn out to be life threatening for this patient due to a misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of prefixes. Another example of suffixes that could be misinterpreted is otomy (cutting or making incision) vs ostomy (creating an opening in an organ to remove waste from body), although the two sound very similar they do not have the same meaning and could also lead to life threatening issues. In conclusion, that is why it is very important to know and understand suffixes and prefixes used in medical terminology.