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Spanish Medical Interpreter Training Program Information

Spanish medical interpreter training is most often provided at colleges through certificate programs, which usually only require students to take a few courses.

Essential Information

In certificate programs for Spanish medical interpreters, students learn to facilitate effective communication between healthcare providers and patients who have limited English capabilities. They learn about healthcare institution operations, medical practices and effective communication. They can study common medical conditions and treatments, grammar and sentence structure differences between English and Spanish, colloquial phrases and medical vocabulary. Additionally, programs sometimes require students to volunteer or intern in healthcare facilities for successful completion.

Applicants to these programs must have a high school diploma or GED. They must also pass a fluency assessment exam in order to demonstrate their proficiency in both Spanish and English. Spanish medical interpreter programs take less than 1 year to complete.


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Spanish Medical Interpreter Certificate Program

Students in this program can acquire an enormous medical vocabulary, practice interpreting diverse medical situations and refine their sensitivity to language nuances. Activities like discussion, sight translation, fieldwork, role-playing and analysis of video recordings of themselves can help students perfect their interpreting skills. Courses generally include:

  • Medical concepts and terminology
  • Medical ethics and patient confidentiality
  • Consecutive and simultaneous interpretation
  • Cultural and linguistic sensitivity
  • Interpretation session management
  • Cultural medical beliefs

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Some individuals who enroll in certificate programs already work in healthcare settings and want to improve their relationships with patients. Many graduates seek jobs as salaried or freelance Spanish medical interpreters, and they work alongside healthcare providers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for interpreters and translators was $44,190 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that employment for those professions was predicted to increase by 29% from 2014 to 2024.

For bilingual individuals who want to become Spanish medical interpreters, a certificate program can provide relevant training. Students learn through courses such as, medical terminology and cultural medical beliefs as well as hands-on activities which include role-playing and discussions.


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