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Become a Spanish/English Medical Interpreter

Medical interpreters work in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare environments where patients and healthcare professionals require interpretation between Spanish and English. This 100% online course will prepare you to interpret medical terminology between English and Spanish. Using simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation skills, you will be ready to serve in a variety of hospital and medical specialties.

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Job Outlook for Medical Interpreters

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects interpreters and translators to earn around $24.92 per hour or $51,830 per year on average. Specializing in medical terminology and earning certification as a medical interpreter greatly enhances career opportunities for interpreters who wish to serve in the healthcare field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates 19% job growth among interpreters and translators over the coming decade, which is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Medical Interpreter FAQs

WHAT DOES A MEDICAL INTERPRETER DO?
According to the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), the interpreter's most important role is to facilitate comfortable and clear communication between patients and healthcare professionals.

WHERE CAN MEDICAL INTERPRETERS WORK?
Generally, medical interpreters work in any healthcare setting where health-related interviews between a healthcare provider and a patient are held. Interpreters may also serve in other healthcare-related services, such as financial assistance.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR EXCELLENCE AS A MEDICAL INTERPRETER?
The NCIHC lists six key qualifications for effective medical interpreting:

    • Language fluency
    • Ethical conduct
    • Cross-cultural understanding
    • Health and medical terminology
    • Real-time interpreting skill
    • Correct interpretation of instructions


HOW DO MEDICAL INTERPRETERS GET CERTIFIED?
Certification is an assessment process by which a professional organization tests and approves a medical interpreter's qualifications. Certification includes the assessment of language, terminology, ethics, and the interpretation process.

IS CERTIFICATION IMPORTANT FOR MEDICAL INTERPRETERS?
Certification indicates that a professional has undergone a rigorous and well-organized program of study and passed a recognized examination. It provides a clear understanding of an interpreter's capabilities and a commitment to excellence.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTERPRETER AND A TRANSLATOR?
Interpreting involves spoken communication, while translation is dedicated to written documents. Medical interpreters help patients and healthcare professionals to communicate through spoken conversations and interviews.

Course Objectives

    • Develop best-practice interpreting techniques using simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation methods
    • Learn medical terminology in Spanish and English, and transfer terms into the opposite language
    • Understand social and personal protocols for interpreting on behalf of Spanish-speaking patients
    • Master the medical interpreter's code of ethics
    • Prepare to sit for a Spanish Medical Interpreter examination

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Prerequisites and Requirements

There is no formal education requirement for either language, but bilingual Spanish and English fluency is required.

Curriculum

Introduction to Medical Interpretation

  • Medical Vocabulary - The Human Body
  • Pre-Anesthesia Record Form
  • Medical Vocabulary - System and Senses
  • Refusal to Permit Blood Transfusion
  • Medical Vocabulary - Signs and Symptoms
  • Medical Condition Form
  • Intravenous Contrast Injection Consent
  • Medical Vocabulary - Facilities and Staff
  • Discharge Instructions
  • Colloquialism
  • Medical Vocabulary - Treatment Procedures, Instruments, Supplies, and Medications
  • Industrial Accidents - Workers' Compensation
  • Medical Vocabulary - Pregnancy and Delivery
  • Simultaneous Techniques
  • Consecutive Techniques
  • Interpreting Laboratory Practices

Introduction to Medical Interpretation

  • Medical Vocabulary - Pediatric/Neonatal Care
  • Medical Vocabulary - Family Planning
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - Parents' Rights and Responsibilities 
  • Medical Vocabulary - Communicable Diseases
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - Taking Care of Mom
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - The "Baby Blues"
  • Medical Vocabulary - Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - Consent for Cath Lab Procedure
  • Medical Vocabulary - Dental Health
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - Environmental History Form for Pediatric Asthma Patient
  • Medical Vocabulary - Substance Abuse
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - OSHA-Required
  • Idiomatic Expressions - English Into Spanish
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - Adult History Form
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Imaging Information
  • Legal Terminology Used in Medical Matters
  • Interpreting for Hospitals - Advance Directive
  • Interpreting Laboratory Practices

Sight Translation for Medical Interpreters

  •  Principles of Localization
  • Re-Structuring Techniques
  • Principles of Reversibility and Non-Reversibility of Medical Terms
  • Interferences - Filtering Syntactical and Grammatical Interferences
  • Style in the Delivery
  • Exam-Taking Techniques - Objective Versus Subjective Grading
  • Transferring of Low, Regular, and High Register Documents Into the Opposite Language
  • Stability in the Transfer
  • Interpreting Laboratory Practices


Instructor

Nestor Wagner is a Certified Medical Interpreter as well as a Certified Court Interpreter. He has been teaching interpreters since 1990. He contributes to the certification process for immigration interpreters and analytical linguists. He is active in the professional and scholarly community for advancing interpreting skills. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Washington.

Registration and Enrollment

This course is 100% online with our curriculum partner ed2go. Start anytime.

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