Overcoming language communication barriers in the emergency room using erca-emergency room communications aid


This thesis focuses on language communication barriers in a medical emergency care environment, specifically a hospital Emergency Room. Language communication barriers can be the result of an uncommon language between those trying to communicate or medical problems harming the communication. The patient and the care provider may not speak the same language or may speak different dialects of the same language that have some different words with more than one meaning. Cultural difference may also hinder communication. Taboo gestures, words, and topics may also cause barriers. Any barriers between a patient and a care provider can hinder the care provided to the patient as well as affect the efficiency of the Emergency Room's operations and procedures. Many methods exist for overcoming communication barriers. Interpreters can be used, but accurate and effective interpretation in an emergency care environment requries many qualifications such as: being the same sex as the patient, being trained in interpretation, and having a medical background. There are computer based natural language translators in which a comptuer translates text from one language to another. There are other computerized methods such as the U.S. Customs Service Forms Translator Assistant (1992) developed at the University of Central Florida's Institute of Simulation and Training in Orlando, Florida. A computer program was developed to approach the problem of language communication barriers in the Emergency Room. The program is called ERCA - Emergency Room Communications Aid and the Proof-of-Concept demonstration of ERCA includes triage questions and statements geared toward Spanish male patients with vomiting complaints. Emergency-On-Line (EOL) is a recommendation to put ERCA on the Internet to be accessed by hospitals. EOL allows updates and amendments to be easily added and thus accessed in a timely manner. This and other recommendations allow ERCA to be more effective for the health care providers and patients. Another recommendation suggests to create a working map for ERCA so the users always know what sections of the program have been used and where they are in relation to the other sections. Other recommendations suggest including all aspects of the Emergency Room process and increasing the language base in ERCA as well as print the information gathered from ERCA in a report for the patient's medical records.


This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.

Thesis Completion





Sepulveda, Jose


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Engineering

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering;Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

This document is currently not available here.