Tag Archives: Medical Interpreter

Becoming a Medical Interpreter

A Medical Interpreter plays key role in mediating between patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) and the doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers. The need for Medical Interpreters or Healthcare Interpreters is growing fast, as a huge number of patients from non-English speaking countries are coming to the United States in quest of better treatment over the past few years. When a patient is not good in speaking English, it is even too difficult and sometimes becomes impossible for the doctors and technicians to provide top-notch healthcare facilities to him. In such cases, Medical Interpreters step in to fill up the gap.

Education Requirements:

  1. High School Education: The aspiring Medical Interpreters can get the entry-level training at high school level. They can opt for English, any foreign language and biology classes. They can also study cultural affairs and history to learn more about other countries.
  2. Certification: After completing high school, they can go for a one-year medical interpreter certification program at any community college. During the program, they should study medical terminology, medical ethics, interpreting techniques and communication programs. The certification can be availed from the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.
  3. Bachelor’s Degree: The Medical Interpreters may choose a foreign language course during a four-year Bachelor’s Degree program. They can also go for a program that covers more than one foreign language. Apart from that, they will need training and experience in business administration, computer application, inter-personal skills, marketing etc.

Key Job Responsibilities:

  • Use proper medical terminology to translate the patient’s response back to Doctors
  • Get details of the patient’s medical history, family background and requirements
  • Reduce the cultural gap between the patients and doctors
  • Be flexible and comfortable to discuss sensitive or personal issues
  • Talk to the patient’s family members when required in the presence of senior professionals.

Salary & Job Outlook: The job outlook for Medical Interpreters remains bright. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected to grow at 46% during the period of 2012-2022. The annual average salary for Medical Interpreters was $42,420 as of May 2013.