10 Common Medical Terms Everyone Should Know

To Get a Medical Interpreter Certification, You Have To Understand The Medical World

Medical interpreters aren’t just good conversationalists, they are also extremely knowledgeable about medical concepts and terminology. They have to be in order to perform their job correctly.

One of the necessary qualifications to gain a medical interpreter certification, is to be familiar with, and know how to explain, common medical terms. Medical interpreter training programs will introduce these to you; however, in order to fully learn, it’s best to review and study them often.

The more you encounter certain terminology in everyday practice or work experience, the more comfortable you will be using it as a medical interpreter. However, a basic knowledge of common medical vocabulary will be a good base when beginning a medical interpreter certification program.

Below, we’ve listed 10 common medical terms to help you prepare to become a medical interpreter.

The best part? These concepts are beneficial to know, even if you are not an interpreter, as they can potentially help you in future medical situations!


10 Medical Terms for Interpreters and Everyday Use

Bodily Systems: Common Medical Terms Everyone Should Know

  1. Integumentary System: an organ system to protect the body from outside harm that includes the skin, hair, nails, and glands.
  2. Lymphatic System: the body’s system that helps dispose of toxins. It includes the spleen, thymus, tonsils, lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, and lymph fluids.
  3. Endocrine System: the body’s system responsible for hormones regulating metabolism, growth, development, reproduction and much more. It includes the pituitary gland, hormones, the adrenal glands, thyroid, pancreas, and gonads.
  4. Cardiovascular System: the system responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, it includes the heart, blood, and blood vessels.
  5. Nervous System: the body’s system responsible for relaying messages from the brain to other parts of the body. It includes the brain, ganglia, nerves, spinal cord, and sensory organs.

Body & Medical Terms

  1. Cartilage: a strong and flexible tissue that can be found throughout the body, and that protects the ends of bones and joints. The most common type is known as Hyaline Cartilage, located in the nose, windpipe and many joints.
  2. Abrasion: when top layers of the skin are rubbed away due to trauma, everyday functioning, or therapy.
  3. Ischemia: refers to an obstruction of the blood vessels that causes a decrease, or general lacking, of blood supply to organs or parts of the body.
  4. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): a test used to create extremely detailed pictures of the inside of the body – it uses a magnetic field and radio waves, and is conducted with patients lying inside a large, white, tube-like machine.
  5. Electroencephalogram (EEG): a test used to detect electrical activity in the brain – it is performed with metal discs attached to the scalp.

Working Towards a Medical Interpreter Certification

Common Medical Terms Everyone Need to KnowOf course, learning medical terms is only part of the work that needs to be done in order to obtain a medical interpreter certification. Interpreters must develop a certain set of skills to help them perform a faithful interpretation when in a medical setting.

This includes the proper way to relay information, as well as the ability to remain unbiased and emotionally uninvolved, regardless of what patients and doctors are saying.

Medical interpreter training programs are a good way to practice these skills, and prepare for medical interpreter certification exams. Language Connections offers a 7 week, medical interpreter training program focused on:

  • Learning common medical industry vocabulary and concepts
  • Studying anatomy and the human body
  • Learning the ethics of medical interpreting
  • Practicing interpreting in scenarios based off of real life experiences

All of our courses are taught by professional medical interpreters, with proven experience in the field. Classes are divided based on language groups, and are small in size, increasing the overall attention from the professor for each individual student.

Get the necessary, in person training in order to become a competent professional interpreter. Register now for one of our interpreter training programs: Medical Interpreter Training, Legal Interpreter Training or Community & Business Interpreter Training.

See the course schedule here:  Schedule >>>

Contact us for more information:
Phone:(617) 277-1990

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Yana Fisher

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