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Abstract

This mixed methods study explored how call content emotionally affects video interpreters (VIs) who work in Video Relay Service (VRS) and how this influences perceptions of job satisfaction and general well-being. The participants included 889 self-reported VIs who completed a survey containing open and closed-ended questions regarding their work. Whereas VRS call content can be extremely emotional for the non-deaf and deaf callers, whether positive or negative, the study seeks to identify a spectrum of coping strategies to perceived stressors brought about by these emotionally charged incidents. The study examined the frequency of these types of calls processed by the VI as well as information regarding coping methods the VIs utilized pre, during and post VRS call utilizing a constant comparison technique. The researchers found that interpreters who work in this setting experience emotional extremes that may influence longevity in the field. VIs are resourceful in their coping strategies which include debriefing, breaks, exercise and positive self-talk and reflection. Efficacy of coping strategies requires further study in a VRS setting. Suggestions for future studies focusing on VRS are recommended.

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