Earning a certificate in interpreting is one of the fastest ways to gain access to entry-level positions in hospitals and other healthcare environments. If you’re bilingual, have good speaking and listening skills, and enjoy working with people, you may have a future as a medical interpreter.
Standout Student: Riana Andrade
Riana Andrade was working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in a hospital when the unexpected happened. A doctor on staff quickly approached her, asking for her help. A patient was in great pain but could not communicate what was wrong because she did not speak English. To that point, the patient and hospital staff had waited two hours for an interpreter to arrive. Riana promptly helped translate for the patient who then received the treatment needed. This situation resonated with Riana. She realized she possessed the ability to help hospital patients in a whole new way.
Three years prior, a co-worker told Riana about the Medical Interpreter Certificate program at Massasoit Community College. Medical interpreting was something she had given thought to, but until her experience helping translate for the patient in the hospital, it had always been something to consider in the future. Riana enrolled in the Medical Interpreter Certificate program in fall 2018 and excelled as a student. She gives much of the credit for her success to instructor, Max Grecchi, who always made sure she had the tools and knowledge to succeed.
Before Riana had received her certificate for completing the Medical Interpreter Certificate program, she had a job offer on the table. While she continues to work full-time as a CNA, Riana also works as a per diem medical interpreter for Baystate Interpreters. Her long-term goal is to become a midwife. Having recently moved out of state, Riana enrolled in the nursing program at Community College of Rhode Island. She begins classes in fall 2019. Regardless of where her career takes her, Riana is certain of one thing; she will always work as a medical interpreter – that work is too important for her to pass up.
Meet Jose Gutierrez: Discovering New Career Opportunities
After a workforce reduction in the automotive industry resulted in unemployment, Jose Gutierrez was seeking an industry that promised steady growth. He zeroed in on medical interpreting for a number of reasons: the United States Department of Labor Statistics predicted significant job growth in the industry through 2022; he was fluent in both English and Spanish; and he needed only minimal additional training to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills.
Jose located a course in Medical Interpreting offered by North Shore Community College in collaboration with TransFluenciEDU. “Taking the Medical Interpreting course taught by TransFluenciEDU was well worth it,” says Jose. “It was affordable, fast, and thorough. It’s fulfilling to help people by being the conduit between the patient and the provider, and it’s a great way to make a living.”
Six months after successfully completing the certificate course, Jose landed a position as a medical interpreter at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, MA. He also works on a freelance basis for several other healthcare and mental health facilities in his area. While Jose continues to polish his skills in medical interpreting, he is considering learning Portuguese since it’s very similar to Spanish, his native language. This will no doubt open up even more opportunities in medical interpreting for this motivated young professional.
Barbara J. Rodriguez, Owner and Founder TransFluenci and Medical Interpreter
Barbara J. Rodriguez founded TransFluenci LLC, a successful community business providing language interpreting and translation services to private, public and government sectors. The company is an approved state vendor with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Connecticut providing translation/interpreting services to state agencies. Ms. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from American International College and a Masters in Business Administration from Western New England College. In 2007, Ms. Rodriguez created the 60-Hr Medical Interpreting course and offers it in collaboration with Massachusetts and Connecticut community colleges.
Jonathan Fitzgerald, Student Services Coordinator and CMI (Certified Medical Interpreter)
Jonathan Fitzgerald graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts during which time he was also enrolled in graduate level Spanish. Prior to that he studied business management with a minor in Spanish at Salem State College. He has been studying Spanish for more than 25 years, beginning with his first trip to Mexico at the age of 6. He is a nationally certified medical interpreter through the IMIA. He successfully completed the community and medical interpreting certificate programs at Boston University in 2010. Additionally, Jonathan received a certificate in the Advanced Translation program through the Iberian studies Department at the University of Massachusetts. He currently works as a staff interpreter at Massachusetts General Hospital and was recently awarded the Preceptor of Distinction Award for his work in training junior colleagues making their way into the profession.
Michael Barrachi, Instructor, CoreCHI Certified Medical Interpreter
Michael P Baracchi Jr, Qualified Medical/Community Interpreter (QMI), holds a bachelor’s degree in Inter-University Spanish & Descriptive Linguistics from Central Connecticut State University. During this period, he also completed a study-abroad program at the University of Salamanca in Salamanca Spain where his field of study was Spanish language and Culture. Mr Barrachi has provided interpretation services for a variety of hospitals and clinics throughout the greater Springfield area and Connecticut. As Manager of Interpreter Services for the Springfield School Department, Mr. Barrachi coordinates interpreter and translation services for the entire district consisting of nearly 60 schools.
Maria Vazquez, Instructor, CHI, Certified Healthcare Interpreter
Ms. Vazquez is a native Spanish speaker from Mexico. She has been working as a language teacher for 30 years. She attained English teacher licensure at UNAM in 1990. Ms. Vazquez has made several presentations as a motivational and educational speaker since 1995 on the topics of interpreting skills, teaching methods, continuing education for interpreters, and navigating cultural differences. Organizations that have hosted her include, IMIA, NETA, MassHealth and MassAHEC, the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children (BAEYC), and UMASS Medical School. Ms. Vazquez founded ESPEN Services in 2007, a medical interpretation and training services agency, and, she has also volunteered with Centro Presente Association preparing residents for citizenship as an ESL teacher in her community and as a CCD instructor for her local church.
Constantina Teixeira, Instructor, QMI Qualified Medical Interpreter
Tina Teixeira was born and raised in the Cape Verde Islands where her passion for languages began. She studied Portuguese, French and English. She has been a medical interpreter for 15 years for the Steward Health System and is currently Supervisor for the Interpreter Services Department at SSTAR, a global leader in addiction treatment and mental health services. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese ( European and Brazilian ) Cape Verdean Creole and Conversational French.
Catherine Bermudez, Instructor – Certified Medical Interpreter and VRI (Video Remote Interpreter)
Catherine Bermudez Sanabria, Certified Medical Healthcare Interpreter, holds a Masters in Education/ESL from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and specializes in VRI (Video Remote Interpreting and OPI (Over the Phone Interpreting). She formerly worked at Baystate Medical Center as a staff interpreter. She is an experienced medical interpreting instructor and, has also interpreted for Due Process Hearings, Unemployment Hearings, IEP School Department Hearings, and Department of Social Services Hearings.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says:
“Employment of interpreters and translators is expected to grow 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth reflects an increasingly diverse U.S. population, which is expected to require more interpreters and translators”. -U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Click here to hear all about the Medical Interpreting Course and Frequently Asked Questions:
See What Being a Certified Medical Interpreter Can Do for You.