One of the most challenging fields in the world today is, without a doubt, the healthcare industry. This is just as true for translators working in this field as it is for any other healthcare professional. Becoming a top notch medical translator takes time and experience. Here are just a few of the obstacles you’ll face along the road to obtaining that goal.
A translator not only needs to be fluent in both the original and target languages, he or she much also have an extensive and thorough knowledge of medical terminology. Making things even more complicated is the fact that healthcare terms are often abbreviated and may be even more specific depending on which medical specialty is involved. If you are a translator for a medical practice or doctor, the terminology used could differ significantly than that used by a pharmaceutical company or a medical equipment manufacturer, for example.
The medical industry is constantly evolving and advancing, and it’s important that a medical translator keeps up-to-date with the very latest in medical research and technology, both of which can affect the terminology used by healthcare professionals and medical manufacturers, among others in this field. It’s a good idea to routinely review medical trade publications and periodicals to stay current.
Understanding The Audience
Your target audience could vary drastically depending on what segment of the medical industry you’re working with. A doctor’s office or hospital may create brochures designed for their patients, for example. A medical equipment manufacturer may create instructions created to inform the lab technician how to use an instrument or a piece of equipment. On the other hand, a pharmaceutical company could be creating directions and package inserts for either the patient or the medical professional. It’s absolutely vital that you understand who your target audience is before you begin any translation project.
Knowing Regulatory Guidelines
The medical industry is, without a doubt, one of the most highly regulated fields in existence today and with good reason. If you are working in a segment of the healthcare industry that is directly impacted by regulatory standards – such as pharmaceuticals, for example – it’s important to understand the guidelines that govern that portion of the industry so that you are able to not only complete the job for your employer, but satisfy the regulatory requirements as well.
Becoming a professional medical translator definitely takes time and effort, but the rewards are many. Not only will you be fortunate enough to work in an exciting field with highly trained medical professionals, you’ll also be involved in an industry that holds great promise for the future. Virtually all aspects of the healthcare field continue to expand year after year, offering employees in that industry new and exciting career opportunities year after year.