Certified medical interpreters play a critical role in the healthcare industry, ensuring patients who speak a variety of languages have the patient experiences they deserve. For those interested in the career path for medical interpreters, one of the most crucial parts of the equation is medical interpreter certification.
The reason certification is one of the most essential healthcare interpreter qualifications is that it shows the interpreter meets the competency requirements set forth by a credentialing organization. Functionally, the certification is a mark of quality, and many healthcare facilities only consider hiring interpreters with a suitable certification.
Fortunately, the path to becoming a certified medical interpreter is reasonably straightforward. Here’s a look at the qualifications and training required to pursue a career as a healthcare interpreter.
Qualifications for Medical Interpreters
Qualifying as a medical interpreter usually begins with two key steps. First, a person must achieve proficiency in a minimum of two languages. Typically, the first language is your native language. The second language is one of your choosing.
Second, healthcare interpreters need an appropriate level of understanding of medical terminology. In most cases, this is achieved by taking formal educational coursework. For some, that involves taking healthcare terminology courses that provide the necessary foundation. However, higher education related to the medical field can also prove a viable path.
For simplicity, many aspiring healthcare interpreters use medical interpreter training courses as a means of gaining the needed understanding of medical terminology. The benefit of this approach is that the coursework also includes instruction on interpretation techniques. Plus, it will usually cover legal and ethical requirements related to operating as a healthcare interpreter.
The latter approach is also a requirement for many medical interpreter certification-providing organizations. Primarily, that’s because the strategy doesn’t just include instruction on medical terminology but also interpretation techniques.
Training for Medical Interpreters
There are many places that advertise medical interpreter training courses, but they aren’t all created equal. Ultimately, it’s best for aspiring professionals to seek out accredited interpreter programs, as those generally meet rigorous requirements regarding quality.
One potential approach is to research medical interpreter training courses available through community colleges or universities in your area. Similarly, online educational options offered by community colleges or universities in other parts of the state or country can work well.
However, there are online-only options that are also accredited. If you’re considering an online-only organization, it’s critical to research its credentials to determine if its accredited before enrolling.
Medical Interpreter Certification
When it comes to healthcare interpreter credentials, medication interpreter certification is generally the most crucial for anyone looking to launch a career in the field. The exact certification requirements for medical interpreters can vary depending on which credentialing organization is used, though they’re typically highly similar. Generally, the following eligibility requirements apply:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma (or its equivalent)
- Complete a minimum of 40 hours of medical interpreter training through an approved educational organization is necessary
- Demonstrate oral proficiency in two or more languages (such as through higher education related to the languages, exam results, or high school completion in the country where the language is spoken)
National certification for interpreters in the United States is primarily available through two organizations: the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). Which languages are available for certification does depend on the credentialing organization.
It’s critical to note that other organizations do offer medical interpreter certifications. However, whether they’re recognized by healthcare facilities does vary. As a result, before considering certification through another resource, it’s critical to assess the validity of the credential offered to determine if it’s suitable for your career goals.
Does Your Healthcare Organization Need Top-Quality Certified Medical Interpreters?
Professional medical interpretation is critical for providing patients with the support they require when seeking services. Often, that means partnering with a language services provider that offers access to certified healthcare interpreters.
Acutrans is a leading solution for medical providers, telehealth organizations, and healthcare facilities seeking reliable, high-quality medical interpreters. Our experienced medical interpreters cover more than 200 languages, allowing us to offer multilingual solutions efficiently. We offer phone, video remote, and on-site interpretation options, ensuring our team effectively meets a variety of needs.
If your medical facility needs dependable, accurate medical translators, Acutrans’ translation team covers over 300 languages. Certified document translations are ready in 24 hours and have a program designed specifically for the healthcare industry.
By partnering with a leading language services provider, healthcare organizations and medical professionals can communicate effectively with a diverse population by eliminating language barrier, elevating the patient experience. If you need professional and affordable medical interpreter services or other language assistance, contact us for a free quote today.