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Abstract

Interpreters who work regularly with a deaf health professional are often referred to, in the U.S., as designated healthcare interpreters (DHIs). To date, there have not been any systematic studies that specifically investigate the work of DHIs, yet the number of deaf people pursuing careers in the health professions continues to grow (Zazove et al., 2016), and the number of qualified DHIs to work with these professionals is insufficient (Gallaudet University, 2011). Before educational programming can be effectively developed, we need to know more about the work of DHIs. Using a job analysis approach (Brannick, Levine, & Morgeson, 2007), we surveyed DHIs, asking them to rate the importance and frequency of their job tasks. The results indicated that the following task categories are relatively more important: fosters positive and professional reputation, impression management; demonstrates openness to unpredictability; and builds and maintains long-term relationships with others. Tasks rated as more frequently performed included: dresses appropriately; decides when and what information to share from the environment; uses healthcare-specific knowledge; and demonstrates interpersonal adaptability. We discuss the results of the importance and frequency of the tasks of DHIs and consider the implications for education and future research.

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