Note: This program is not being offered in the Summer 2017 semester.
The United States has entered a new multilingual world order: nearly one in two Americans in the 2014 Census report identified themselves as speakers of languages other than English, many of whom have limited English proficiency (LEP). Meanwhile, extensive studies have established that the use of professional medical interpreters makes a critical impact on LEP patients and the health industry as a whole. Patients receive quicker, more accurate, and higher-quality healthcare services; providers deliver more efficiently and effectively; and greater satisfaction is achieved overall when medical interpretation is employed in the healthcare setting.
The Professional Diploma in Medical Interpreting (Spanish/English) will provide a comprehensive training program to prepare you for work as interpreter in the day-to-day of critical point-of-care delivery—from ambulance and emergency bedside attendance, to ICU staff support, hospice care, and patient-family mediation. In this one-semester, blended (mix of online and in-person) diploma, students will receive a thorough grounding in medical terminology, the healthcare interpreter’s code of ethics, and rights and responsibilities pertaining to patient-provider relations. They will explore cross-cultural perspectives on health services in Spanish and will undergo practical training both online and onsite in the mechanics of consecutive interpreting, verbatim, summary and modular interpreting, as well as sight translation. As part of the course work, students will build a personal portfolio composed of a glossary of medical terms, a medical interpreter’s journal and their own audio work sample. Upon the culmination of the program, students will present a patient case study and take a final exam, which will serve as preparation for further CMI or CHI certification. (See the International Medical Interpreters Association for details on CMI and CHI.)
Note: A language proficiency test is required for admission to this diploma.
Work product for this diploma will be delivered through Course Modules 1, 2, and 3 in three parts: a glossary of medical terms, a medical interpreter’s journal, and a patient case study-work sample. Together, the three requirements will constitute the student’s professional portfolio and will be accessible to prospective employers on an e-portfolio platform. Based upon, and in step with, concepts and terminology covered in Module 1, students will compile a starter glossary in print and digital format, which may be uploaded onto a shared platform for instructor evaluation. It’s understood that as a professional resource, this glossary is to be updated and expanded upon throughout the interpreter’s career. Midway through Module 1 and continuing into Module 2, the student will develop a medical interpreter’s journal documenting linguistic, ethical, and other issues encountered in practice interpreting. It is understood that this journal will itself be a learning exercise in self-assessment of practice interpreting. Midway through Module 2 and continuing into 3, students will conduct a patient case study-work sample comprising—Part I, a field interview report detailing the patient’s medical profile, prognosis, and diagnostic/care history; and Part II, based upon this case, a role-played improvised interpreting performance, five minutes of which will be recorded and delivered as the required work sample. The glossary and journal will serve as life-long professional tools for the practicing interpreter; the patient case study-work sample will demonstrate a student’s learned skills in medical interpreting, as well as the ability to sustain thoughtful and critical engagement with authentic human subjects in healthcare. Together the three requirements described here will form an integral work product for the Diploma, in print and digital format presentable to prospective employers. See the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Guide for Language Interpreter Testing for required terminology in training of medical interpreters.
- Consecutive interpreting skills as in rapid recall, precise match, and paraphrase strategies in interpreting medical terminology and complex instructions from English into Spanish, and conversely, deciphering and rendering high-context (culturally embedded) messaging from Spanish into English
- The ability to read and understand documents in English in order to sight translate orally into Spanish
- The knowledge to discern cultural and status dynamic between LEP patients and healthcare providers and implement appropriate communicative solutions to promote trust and understanding
- Medical/Clinical Interpreter
- Bilingual Physician Assistant
- Bilingual RN Assistant
- Patient Advocate
- Community Health Center Coordinator
You'll Walk Away With
- The ability to interpret accurately between English and Spanish in critical point-of-care encounters between patients and healthcare providers at all levels
- The ability to interpret appropriately and sensitively based upon an informed perspective on cultural assumptions, verbal and nonverbal cues, and other tacit differences in speech habits
- Effective dramaturgical tools and strategies (staging, cuing, verbal shadowing, note-taking, breaking down and cutting in) in managing and delivering verbal interpretation
- Knowledge of healthcare terminology and the basic research skills to keep this knowledge current in the course of interpreting myriad medical encounters
- Best practices in interpreting, based upon the healthcare interpreter's code of ethics and knowledge of patient-provider rights and responsibilities