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Abstract

Anecdotally, video relay service (VRS) interpreters experience high levels of stress in their work; however, there have been few empirical studies published to date on this topic. This study shows that VRS interpreters experience high levels of stress that can lead to job burnout and high turnover in the VRS industry. This article begins by discussing the VRS industry and the topic of burnout in the workforce. Survey results from individuals within the VRS industry (n = 424) illuminate interpreters’ experiences with stress and burnout in VRS interpreting and provide ideas about solutions for this problem. Lastly, there is a discussion of the implications of burnout as well as suggestions for the four primary players in VRS interpreting work: the VRS interpreters, call center managers, VRS providers as a whole, and the Federal Communications Commission. The goal of this study is to provide evidence regarding the existence of stress and burnout in VRS interpreting in hopes that this information can be used to improve this subset of interpreting work.

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