When The Medical Communicator Was The Patient

When was the last time you saw the context of your work in a specific setting?



Two months ago, I went hiking and slipped while descending on a stony trail. I fell and landed on my left arm, which was outstretched, and heard a small crack. Hours later, I could barely move it. As the pain kept becoming worse, I went to a local urgent care clinic.


At the clinic, they had a radiologic technologist take some images of my affected arm. It turned out that I had a radial head fracture, which is a break in a specific area of the smaller bone in the forearm — the head of the radius — right by the elbow joint.


There are three types of radial head fractures. Mine was type 1, which is a nondisplaced fracture. That is, despite the fracture, the bone pieces stayed together. I did not need a cast, and I only had to wear a sling during the first week.


A type 2 radial head fracture results in bone pieces that have slightly moved, and it rarely requires surgery. However, type 3 involves surgery to remove those bone pieces that have moved a lot.


After five weeks of rest and painkillers, my arm had eventually healed!


It was interesting to see the context of my work as a medical translator when I went to the clinic.


As you may already know, I have translated countless imaging reports. I also completed a certificate program about medical imaging from the University of Queensland (Australia).


It was interesting to witness firsthand how the radiograph was prepared and how I had to place my arms in different positions, just like I had studied and translated before.


My goal as a medical communicator who specializes in patient communication is to serve as a bridge between health care providers and patients.


That time, as a patient, not only was I grateful to have a physician who explained everything to me accurately, but I was also fortunate to receive care instructions that were easy to understand.


That is why I want to thank my fellow medical writers who have contributed to creating documents like the one I received!

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