Becoming a Health Care Interpreter

Health Care Interpreters are high in demand in the United States, as they handle communication between patients with limited English communication skills and their physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers. The growing number of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients in the U.S., has led to a heavy demand of Health Care Interpreters.

The Health Care Interpreters provide to one-on-one interpreting between patients and health care providers. They also deal with the family members, friends or any other individuals linked to the patients. The effective communication between them , more often plays a key role in treatment and healthcare support. Health Care Interpreters even orally translate the basic healthcare documents into the patients’ language and provide support over the phone or through video.

Education Requirements:

The aspiring Health Care Interpreters usually train in high school first where they are encouraged to take English, General Science and Foreign Language classes. They also attend cultural programs study to learn about other communities in a better way. Their focus remains on history, tradition, culture and languages of other countries.

After completing high school, they can choose for a one-year health care interpreter certification program at a community college. The coursework may include Medical Terminology, Medical Ethics, Communication Skills, Language Proficiency etc.

The aspiring Health Care Interpreters may also opt a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a college or university. They can choose foreign language studies that cover most of the things required for medical interpretation.

Working Environment: The Health Care Interpreters work at various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, private offices, rehab centers and nursing homes. Their job remains very challenging, as the need may become very complex at times.

Salary & Job Outlook: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for Health Care Interpreters remains excellent and expected to grow at 46% during the 2012-22 period. The average annual salary for Health Care Interpreters was $42,420 in 2013.