There is no doubt that fluency in medical terminology, as well as continuing education in medicine, are a must for healthcare interpreters. The challenges medical interpreters face aren’t always just dense medical jargons, or the name of a new advanced treatment, that will give interpreters not just a pause, but rather a complete idiomatic expression. With the constant new developments in medicine, it’s important for healthcare interpreters to be up to date with their training and knowledge. When taking on the role as a medical interpreter, an easy ride shouldn’t be expected. This job is challenging, this job is important, and this job can save the lives of many patients coming through any hospital doors.
So today, we’ll be sharing and comparing a few medical interpreter training programs that have caught our eye with hopes of guiding any future interpreters to the best one for them.
ALTA Language Services has been providing professional translation and training services for over 35 years, so it’s safe to say these professionals know what they are doing. ALTA is known for their famous 40-hour medical interpreter training that they offer. However, they offer other services such as online medical interpreter training, continued education for interpreters, national oral exam prep course, and an on-site interpreter training course that is held for five Saturdays in a row in Atlanta. In 2012, ALTA developed their Breaking Boundaries in Healthcare material. This program includes knowledge from nationally certified interpreters, trainers and a partnerships with both the Georgia Department of Public Health and The Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. Every year, the ALTA team has worked diligently to update their material and bring their trainees something that no other program offers – a truly interactive online education library. The ALTA 40 hour interpreter course is recommended for individuals who speak more than one language fluently, anyone who wants to work as a professional interpreter and individuals who can use mobile devices and internet with ease.
The Cross Cultural Health Care Program (CCHCP) was founded in 1992 and is a nonprofit training and consulting organization. Their mission is to serve as a bridge between communities and health care institutions to advance access to quality health care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate. They have three different programs: Bridging the Gap, Equity and Inclusion, and Connecting to Care. One in particular, Bridging the Gap, is a nationally recognized medical interpreter training program. The Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreting Program covers essential topics like interpreter roles and ethics, interpreting skills, medical terminology, the impact of culture, and an overview of the health care system and prepares individuals to become successful medical interpreters. There is a 40-hour training and a 64-hour training, both are on-site training programs located in Seattle, Washington.
Medical Interpreting Training School is an e-learning system with a compilation of different training programs that have been proven to help interpreters develop, sharpen, and maintain a high level of competency. MITS provides health care interpreters access to high quality training regardless of the geographical limitations. It also provides flexibility to those working professionals who can’t attend scheduled traditional classes. Each class of MITS is carefully designed to sharpen the interpreter’s abilities of the medical interpreting field. One unique feature MITS offers is the opportunity to choose the specific medical subject they are interested in such as Psychiatry, Cardiology, Oncology or Orthopedics, to give a few examples. This very specific program is recommended by many doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers around the country.
We at Boostlingo, hope this article has helped guide any future interpreters to the best training program for them. While each one is fairly similar, every interpreter trainee is different when it comes to their education. What we do know, is if you are beginning your medical interpretation career, training is crucial and these programs are some of the best out there.