Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Melissa Lundquist


Master of Social Work


As diverse populations continue to grow in the United States, the use of interpreters will become increasingly important in order to communicate effectively. The purpose of this project was to explore medical social workers’ perspectives on how the use of interpreters impacts their therapeutic bond with clients. Using a qualitative design, five social workers were interviewed using semi-structured techniques, answering questions related to the topic while also having the freedom to discuss aspects of using interpreters they felt necessary. The main themes found were: impacts on the therapeutic bond, the value of interpreters, and the barriers in using interpreters. The findings indicated this is a very subjective experience for social worker’s, as they each had different views on how using interpreters impacts their bond with clients. Although not explored by the researcher, two other themes emerged from these interviews; social worker’s views on the value of using interpreters, and social worker’s views on the problems with using interpreters. The hope for this study is medical social worker’s will become more aware of the topic of using interpreters and the findings will impact how they use interpreters in their practice.

Included in

Social Work Commons