3 Challenges to Expect During Medical Interpreter Training and How to Overcome Them

Medical interpreting is a high-stakes job, vital to the community. As immigration numbers and communities have grown in the past few years, so has the need for these services--particularly in this ongoing pandemic. However, even now, it’s not seen as important or professional as it is in some spheres. It takes not just bilingual ability, but a medical Spanish certification, to be able to assist Spanish speakers. The work requires expertise and professionalism that can only be achieved through in-person or online medical interpreter training. Though this training covers a lot, here are some things to prepare you for it, as well as beyond.

Importance of Ethics in Medical Interpreter Training and Beyond

Ethical boundaries are an extremely important part of being a medical interpreter. Objectivity is key, and one must always keep in mind that medical interpreter training is preparing you to provide service to someone else. Personal assessment or feelings on a client’s condition or choices of treatment must not interfere with that. As a medical interpreter, you are expected to maintain “invisibility”, functioning as an integral part of communication, and not a participant. In-person or medical interpreter classes online may put you in such situations that contradict your own opinions, so it’s important to remember your role and the code of ethics, putting confidentiality and communication at the forefront of what you do.

Medical Interpreter Training Calls for A LOT of Knowledge and Understanding

Work as a medical interpreter is extremely varied. Professionally, one goes where they're needed. That could mean the office of a GP one day, while the next could have them in the delivery room--after an in-between at a small clinic, or an emergency room. The work is very fluid, requiring the adaptability and resourcefulness you’ll be equipped in medical interpreter training. More than other fields, medicine is constantly evolving and adapting, and so is the language used to describe it. Be prepared for the large amount of specific vocabulary and understanding, but also know that you’re not expected to rival medical experts--only communicate with them. Even in the field, you can’t possibly be expected to know everything, and there’s no shortcoming in that. Don’t shy away from using other interpreters, or even asking clients, as a learning opportunity.

Stay Up to Date for Medical Interpreter Training

To put emphasis on the second point, since the world of medicine is constantly advancing, it’s important to stay up to date. Think of all the new jargon that has come about since COVID19--and that’s just day-to-day language. Medical interpreter training prepares you for this needed competency. Furthermore, as is true with all types of interpreting, cultural competency is also vital; possibly even more so in the medical field, where mistakes can directly and possibly immediately affect lives. It’s vital that you stay on top of your game, both medically and culturally.

Here at Interpreter Training Programs, we offer specialized 40 hour medical interpreter training online or in-person, as well as online legal interpreter training, court interpreter courses online, and many other language interpreter training programs.

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

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Robert Sanborn

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