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Medical Interpretation

The medical interpretation field is currently quite small, but is growing rapidly, with interpreters in high demand.  While bilingual fluency is a necessity, it is not the only requirement for this field.  It is necessary for the interpreter to be able to communicate with ease between the doctor and patient, thus the fluency in both languages is absolutely required.  In addition, it is also necessary that the interpreter become nationally certified.  This can be accomplished by enrolling in a national certification program offered by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.

Through the certification process, the interpreters becomes proficient in medical terminology, creating a more professional and accurate interpretation for the patient.  The interpreter also learns the regulations surrounding medical interpretation, the laws of the U.S. health care system, as well as becoming well-versed in the ethics of the field.  At the conclusion of the course, interpreters are tested through written and oral exams.

When interpreters come into a situation, they first meet with the doctor or health care professional to get a clear explanation of the patient’s circumstances and condition.  The interpreter also explains to the professional how to behave in the meeting with the patient.  Many health care professionals are not aware of the etiquette involved using an interpreter.  They will often speak solely to the interpreter, instead of speaking to the patient directly and allowing the interpreter to act as an afterthought.  Both the patient and the doctor should speak to each other as if the other spoke their native language and were the only person in the room.

In this ever-growing field, medical interpreters are in high demand.  If this field interests you, you can find more information about becoming nationally certified at the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreter’s website.  Also contact us here at EPIC and we can work together in the future!

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