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Healthcare Interpreting

Overview Degrees/Certificates Courses Faculty

Certificate of Achievement

Healthcare Interpreting Certificate

The Healthcare Interpreter certificate program is designed to prepare bilingual individuals for effective language interpretation and cultural brokering in the healthcare setting. It emphasizes roles and responsibilities of the healthcare interpreter; the development of cultural competence in the community and workplace; insight into language and cultural nuances for specific communities; standards and legal requirements for culturally and linguistically appropriate services; ethical decision-making, advocacy and power dynamics in healthcare settings; and career preparation to become an integral member of the health care team. Coursework covers modes and models of interpretation; development of the technical aspects of interpretation; techniques for facilitating and managing the flow of communication; medical terminology and related vocabulary development in language of service; and common medical conditions and associated treatments/procedures in both basic and specialized health care service areas. Language coaches are provided to facilitate skills acquisition, and precepted fieldwork experiences are required.

Catalog Date: August 1, 2023

Certificate Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
AH 311 Medical Language for Health-Care Providers 3
BIOL 102 Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology (4) 4 - 10
or [ BIOL 430 Anatomy and Physiology (5)
and BIOL 431 ] Anatomy and Physiology (5)
HCI 300 Introduction to Healthcare Interpreting 0.5
HCI 310 Healthcare Interpreting I 3
HCI 320 Healthcare Interpreting II 3
HCI 330 Healthcare Interpreting III 3
HCI 340 Healthcare Interpreting IV 3
HCI 350 Healthcare Interpreting Fieldwork 3
Total Units: 22.5 - 28.5

Enrollment Eligibility

To be eligible for enrollment in the program, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete required introductory course, HCI 300, with grade of C or better.
  • Demonstrate bilingual proficiency or competence in English and language of service (hearing/speaking and reading/writing) as certified by accepted state or proprietary bilingual exam, or as documented by a standardized interview/essay rubric with program staff, as designated in current application materials.

Enrollment Process

Eligible students are selected for the program according to the following steps:

  • Receive application materials through participation in HCI 300.
  • Submit completed application by deadline, including HCI 300 transcript or proof of completion and documentation of language competency as designated.
  • Applicant selection in any given semester is contingent upon a minimum number of students in the cohort for a given language, and community need for the given language, as well as individual applicant qualifications.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • manage all facets of the interpreter role including the flow of the session, cross-cultural communication, conflict management, and the technical aspects of interpretation while conducting patient-provider encounters and pre and post sessions.
  • incorporate and apply the profession’s codified ethical behaviors related to confidentiality and privacy, completeness and accuracy, professional integrity and professional distance, professional development and cultural competence, and the role of advocacy when patient wellbeing or dignity is at risk.
  • integrate culturally sensitive strategies and approaches in working with diverse cultures, subcultures, and special populations.
  • analyze career opportunities in health care interpreting, the interpreter’s role and scope of practice relative to other healthcare professionals, and the value of ongoing professional development

Career Information

Healthcare interpreting job opportunities are available through in-house hospital interpreter services, private vendors who contract with healthcare agencies, or small-business entrepreneurialism and self-employment, both full time or per diem. Venues may include face-to-face, video conferencing, or language phone services with local or at-a-distance connection and contracts.