Learn how to become a certified professional interpreter in the medical setting


Accelerated Course.


40 hours (10 weeks).


Three times a year (February, June, and October).


English (although this is a non-language-specific course).


Self-motivated and curious speakers with any level of language proficiency in at least two languages aspiring to become healthcare or medical interpreters, and, particularly, participants interested in taking the written and oral examinations to become a healthcare interpreter. This course covers the 40-hour healthcare-interpreter-training requirement towards the Healthcare Interpreter Certification.

Register six weeks before the beginning of the course and receive a 5% discount. Bring a friend to join you and each of you will receive an additional 5% discount.


The course will be offered synchronously for twenty hours, comprising of ten sessions of two hours each. It will begin on the first Thursday of Feb, June, and September. 7:00 to 9:00 pm EST. The remaining twenty hours will be taught asynchronously. The total course time load will consist of forty hours of teaching/learning, research, writing, and group activities.


Registration will be open on a rolling basis and will close the week prior to the start of the course by 11:59 pm (EST).


Ten participants. Maximum, thirty.


One and a half credits.


This course introduces interpreters or aspiring interpreters to becoming "linguistic advocates" in the medical setting. It covers the 40-hour-course required by most certifying medical organizations as an initial requirement to begin the certification process. Employing a critical approach, it exposes interpreters to the professional standards and requirements, history of the profession, ethical dilemmas, and working challenges and opportunities often present in medical encounters. Considering the above, students will learn to analyze and determine their course of action and intervention in day-to-day scenarios. Participants also will become familiar with the terminology and phrases typical of healthcare settings and learn strategies to render the unknown. While participants will be introduced to simultaneous interpreting, this course affords them an opportunity to master and practice the two modalities mostly employed in medical interpreting: sight translation and consecutive. Applying critical analysis and creative approaches to role-plays, participants will practice dialogues characteristic of this "situated practice"—in face-to-face and video remote interpreting contexts. Next steps towards students' professionalization and research will be covered as well.


The course has been designed to prepare bilingual participants as healthcare interpreter professionals and to comply with the 40-hour-requirement course to begin the certification process. By successfully completing the course, participants will

  1. Learn the responsibilities of the medical interpreting profession.
  2. Learn the role of the medical interpreter in the medical encounter in contrast to the other health professionals.
  3. Understand and explain the basic tenets of the ethical codes and professional standards for the medical-interpreting profession and how to apply them.
  4. Learn the basic elements of the two most utilized modalities of medical interpreting, consecutive and sight translation, and learn when to use each of them.
  5. Become familiar with the medical terminology of the most common encounters faced by the interpreter and generate glossaries containing these terms.
  6. Become familiar with the medical certification process.
  7. Be empowered to act on their behalf as well to advocate for the “patient.”
  8. Practice and generate interpreting-studying skills.


Week 1

  1. Overview. Expectations of the medical interpreting profession. How to get the best of this course.
  2. Research and group activities. History and legal basis for the profession.

Week 2

  1. A critical look at the code of ethics and professional standards: differences and similarities. Where do you stand?
  2. Research and group activities. Is ours the only code of ethics in medical encounters? What to do when interpreting other violations of their code of professional standards.

Week 3

  1. Protocols and skills of interpreters in healthcare settings.
  2. Research and group activities. Medical vs legal interpreting. When do they overlap and what to do about it?

Week 4

  1. Cultural mediation in the healthcare setting. What do we interpret, language or culture
  2. Research and group activities. When and how to intervene when a cultural barrier has been identified?

Week 5

  1. The three interpreting modalities in the healthcare setting: sight translation, consecutive, and, yes, even simultaneous.
  2. Research and group activities. Welcome to the gym: memory and studying skills!

Week 6

  1. Terminology, language, and idiomatic expressions in medical (intercultural) encounters.
  2. Research and group activities. Between Greek and Latin—prefixes, roots, and suffixes in the medical setting.

Week 7

  1. The actual medical encounter: the healthcare interpreting profession in practice.
  2. Research and group activities. Sample dialogues, challenges, and opportunities.

Week 8

  1. The importance of ready-made scripts and developing strategies for stress reduction and best professional delivery.
  2. Research and group activities. Self-care and self-monitoring towards the medical interpreting profession.

Week 9

  1. Social responsibility, autonomy, and advocacy in medical interpreting.
  2. Research and group activities. Is objectivity or neutrality possible? Deciding why, when, and how to intervene.

Week 10

  1. Next steps: a sense of belonging to professional organizations and test-taking tips and studying for the test.
  2. Research and group activities. Developing your professional identity and studying the discipline.


Via Woolf’s Hieronymus College registration link.


(a) Depending on the number of course participants, a second and a third sections might be created.

(b) In the event the course does not meet the minimum application required, Hieronymus College reserves the right to cancel it. Registered participants will have a one-time option of

  • (i) getting a refund on all paid fees after the first day of class, or
  • (ii) transferring their registration to a future offering of the same course.


The course will be delivered fully online. Approximately, half of the lessons will be taught synchronously (2 hours each week). The other half will require research, written and/or group activities to be done. Timely submission is required for full credit. Only one absence will be permitted. Participants are expected to join the live meetings each Thursday of the proposed ten weeks from 7:00 to 9:00 pm EST.


Participants are expected to purchase one main textbook not only for the course but to continue preparation towards certification.


  • Lessons will be delivered via PowerPoint-like and oral presentations in addition to active group participation. Participants will also be expected to prepare class presentations. Presentations will include text readings, audio files, and visuals to aid in comprehension of the new vocabulary, listening, and written activities. Research activities are to be covered individually by participants in an asynchronous manner (approximately twenty hours of work, depending on individual pace).
  • Participants will submit all weekly assignments by Thursday at 11:59 pm (EST). The tutor will check completion and progress and will provide feedback.


Participants' evaluation will be formative. They will receive a Certificate of Completion upon finishing the course, provided they submit all required assignments by their due date and take an active part in all scheduled synchronous class meetings.


Being bilingual (at any level), self-motivated, curious, good studying, disciplined, and interested in exploring the medical interpreting profession.

    Application requirements

    Student applicants should do the following:

    • Fill out and verify your profile
    • Optionally, you may wish to note any disabilities which you think relevant to your application.
  • Total workload: 40 hours
  • Requires extra purchases (outside texts, etc.): No, all materials included
  • ID verification: Required
  • Admission requirements: Application required
  • Minimum education requirement for students: None
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