Twenty Years of Training Language Access Professionals

Connecting to Care: Patient Guides TrainingTM

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you ensure that the interpreter’s impartiality would not be compromised with the patient guide’s position of an advisor of sorts?

The role of the patient guide has emerged from giving greater definition to the advocacy function of the medical interpreter.

Therefore, the principles outlined in the nationally accepted medical interpreter codes of ethics also apply to the patient guide. In fact, in our training we propose a Patient Guide Code of Ethics, which is based on the same principles.

Patient guides do not give medical advice to their patients in any way. What they do is to provide relevant information to their patients about services available within their facility, in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner, so that the patient has the capacity to make better informed health decision

2. What will be the role of patient guides as related to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act State Exchange Programs?

Because of their unique position within their communities and the health care system, patient guides can be very instrumental in the context of assisting patients in obtaining meaningful insurance coverage, as well as interacting effectively with providers and other agents within the system, once they have such coverage.

Section 3510 of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides continued funding for Patient Navigator Grants through 2015.

Language throughout the act establish the purpose of patient navigation as focusing on linguistic, ethnic, and economic minorities, fostering a patient-centered approach to health services, eliminating barriers to timely and meaningful access, and reducing fragmentation of care.

The law specifies that navigators most meet minimum “core competencies”, tailored to the needs of specific facilities.  Bridging The Gap: Patient Guides Training provides a set of core competencies that can be customized to the needs of specific providers. A major advantage of this program is that it builds on an existing workforce that is already primed to take on this role.

3. Is there a training of trainers available for this program? How do I sign up?

Although we are planning to offer a training of trainers in the future, this program is still in its initial stages. We are currently looking for partners to deliver pilot trainings that will enable us to fine-tune the program and develop the trainers’ curriculum.

If your institution is interested in this program, please contact us at 206.860.0329 or at

We will be happy to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

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