Some multilingual case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) staff have encountered unique challenges when using standard scripts for CICT, particularly when encountering situations with cases or contacts not covered by the script. These situations pose not only communication barriers but may be particularly difficult or stressful for CICT staff.
Establishing a Peer Support Group
A peer support group for multilingual CICT staff allows for confidential debriefing and can improve CICT staff communication. Organized by health departments (and community-based organizations, if involved in CICT), the topics covered during the peer support groups can inform future training for other staff.
A health department serving many Spanish-speaking communities on the west coast holds regular, remote “Spanish coffee hours” to cover questions and discuss scenarios that have come up during CICT with multilingual staff. Coffee hour participants address questions specific to their communities as well as the diverse use of Spanish terms. Example topics may include:
- Navigating questions around race and ethnicity for a diverse, Spanish-speaking population
- Discussing important CICT concepts such as quarantine and isolation with communities who rely on daily work outside of their homes
- Translating technical CICT terms into Spanish