What does a healthcare interpreter do?
Interpreters are skilled at converting meaning from one spoken language to another.
Healthcare (or medical) interpreters and translators have an important role in facilitating
communication for non-English-speaking patients and family members because they allow
doctors, nurses and other medical staff to communicate effectively and accurately
with their patients. Healthcare interpreters must be sensitive to patients’ personal
circumstances and maintain high levels of confidentiality and ethical standards.
Healthcare Interpreters are often found in a variety of healthcare-related settings
such as hospitals, clinics, private practice, specialty care clinics, pharmacies,
occupational therapy sites and community resource departments, and they may be employed
in roles such as front office, in-room assistants, technicians and other medical staff.
Interpreters may work in departments such as diabetes education, urgent or acute care,
doctor’s visits, health fairs, physical therapy, women’s or pediatric services.
Are there any prerequisites?
Each student must take an online language proficiency assessment.
CSUSM has contracted with LTI The ACTFL Language Testing Office to administer the
online language proficiency exam. Exam fee is $105. Please contact Cathy Scavone at
760-750-8706 or email@example.com for exam registration. The following languages are currently available: Arabic, Chinese
Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese,
Portuguese-Brazilian,Russian, Spanish and Tagalog. If additional languages are requested,
please contact Cathy. Students must pass their exams with a score of Advanced Mid-Level
Will I be certified if I pass the class?
After you successfully attend all course sessions, pass the two-hour written assessment
and provide documentation of passing the individual language proficiency exam, you
will be qualified as a healthcare interpreter and you will receive a Professional Certificate in Healthcare
Interpreting from California State University San Marcos. You may use proof of successfully
passing the classroom training and language proficiency exam if you choose to apply
for the national certification exam for medical interpreters through the National Board for Certified Medical Interpreters or Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters.
National Certification Websites:
What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?
Please contact Eric Sandoval, our veteran services coordinator at 760-750-8705 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help.