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  • What does the course cover?
    The course content includes a working knowledge of the various aspects of medical interpreting such as the standards of practice, the code of ethics, HIPAA regulations, cultural competency, and medical vocabulary (terminology) development. Students will also have the opportunity to perform role-plays with individual language coaches before doing a final role-play with their instructor. Specifics topics include: Overview of the profession and professional settings Sight translation Consecutive and simultaneous interpreting practice Role-playing Note-taking techniques Current readings in the field Exercises for building memory and concentration Discussion of practices, standards, and ethics Medical Terminology and Legal Terminology as it applies to the medical field Advice on how to find a job as an interpreter
  • Who should take the medical interpreting course?
    If you are bilingual, have good speaking and listening skills, and enjoy working with people, you may want to pursue a career as a medical interpreter. The course is open to all languages, but students must be fully bilingual with strong language skills in English and their second language or native language if it English is not their first language. Students must possess the ability to comprehend and communicate in both English and one other language with the same level of fluency.
  • What is the employment outlook for medical interpreters?
    Medical interpreters are in great demand nationwide, including here in Massachusetts where interpreters are legally required in acute care hospitals and behavioral health facilities. The Department of Labor Statistics reports that employment of interpreters and translators is expected to grow 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • Where are medical interpreters typically employed?
    Hospitals, community health centers/clinics, governmental health agencies, social services providers, insurance companies, school systems and translation and interpreter services agencies.
  • Where is the course offered?
    The course is offered in partnership with community colleges throughout Massachusetts. You should check with the community college nearest you or visit our website at
  • When is it offered?
    Depending on the community college, the course is offered on weekday evenings, mornings, and Saturdays. It is offered throughout the spring, and fall semesters and during the summer in some colleges.
  • What is the cost?
    The cost varies depending on the college, but typically the cost ranges from $1,045 to $1,077. The price includes all materials and language coach fees.
  • How long is the course?
    This is a 60 hour course and runs for 10 weeks.
  • When will I receive the certificate?
    Upon successful completion of the course, the community college will mail your certificate of completion to you.
  • Will this course make me a certified medical interpreter?
    Upon completing this course, you may call yourself a Trained Medical Interpreter. Only interpreters who have passed one of the two national certification exams can use the credentials of Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI) or Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI). For more information on certification please visit the web sites for the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI)
  • Who teaches the course?
    Instructors for the course are experienced medical interpreters who have been working in the field for many years and have experience training medical interpreters.
  • What about medical interpreting certification? Will this course help me to get certified?
    The course meets the certification criteria established by the National Board of Certification and prepares interpreters to take the National Certification Test. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a certificate of completion from the community college.
  • How do you register for the course?
    You can contact the community college where you want to take the course. Many colleges offer online registration. Because language skills must be assessed before being accepted into the course, students must register at least two weeks in advance.
  • Will this course make me a certified interpreter?
    For certification related information, please refer to the following websites...
  • When will I receive the certificate of completion?
    You will receive your certificate of completion within 15-30 days from the successful completion of the class. If you do not receive it, please contact Workforce Development at the college where you registered. Only they can issue the certificate.
  • Where do I buy the textbook?
    You can purchase "What You Need to Know to Become a Medical Interpreter" at:
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