3 Healthcare Interpreting Trends Across The United States
As immigrant populations continue to climb in the United States, our obligation to expand language accessibility in healthcare increases as well. The Migration Policy Institute found that 22% of the United States population or 65,900,000 people do not speak English. Whether it is due to language barriers or a number of other different reasons, non-citizens are less likely to seek medical attention and therefore more likely to die from potentially treatable injuries, diseases and ailments. What is more, ever since the Coronavirus pandemic started in 2020, patients are no longer allowed to bring family members or non-essential people to their appointments. This means interpreters are allowed, but your cousin bilingual cousin who isn't a certified medical interpreter cannot go to your ultrasound appointment with you. It is now only the doctor, the patient and a medical interpreter who are permitted in the examination room. In this growing industry for bilingual individuals, it is important to evaluate current industry trends before beginning a new career. Here are 3 top healthcare interpreting trends in the United States:
1- Shortage of Certified Medical Interpreters
A major trend we are seeing emerge these days is utilizing Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Over the the Phone Interpreting (OPI) to make healthcare more language accessible, to more people, through internet connection and sophisticated technology. Due to the high costs and limited number of medical interpreters, nowadays, hospitals are treating patients who speak upwards of 40 languages. While bilingual individuals can obtain certification in Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Haitian Creole or Vietnamese languages, patients seek medical attention in the United States can speak any of the 7,000 languages spoken around the world. And while being bilingual is definitely a requirement, not everyone can become a certified medical interpreter.
2- Requirements To Become A Medical Interpreter In The United States
Currently, federal law mandates that every patient must have the same right to language accessibility; but each state has its own regulations when it comes to certification, which allows hospitals to rely on non-certified interpreters. So what are the qualifications that are trending across the U.S?
- Be Bilingual
All prospective students must demonstrate fluency✅ in English and their target language by passing an oral language assessment pre-test
- Get Your Education
Students must be at least 18 years old and at minimum, have a high school or equivalent degree. In addition, all medical interpreters must successfully pass our medical interpreter training online course whether they seek official national certification or not. Conducted 100% via LIVE video conference✅, our unique approach to online learning includes 60-hours of online medical interpreting class time, which exceeds requirements✅ to register for nationally recognized medical interpreter certification exams if that is in your plan. If it isn't, you still have career opportunities with healthcare interpreting training under your belt.
- Get Experience
As with any job, the more experience you have the better your chances are of getting hired. 1-2 years of interpreting experience working in a medical setting is preferred.
3- Training Bilingual Staff to Become Medical Interpreters
Another trend in the United States medical interpreting industry we are seeing, is hospitals giving medical interpreting training to their administrative staff. Because bilingual individuals are highly sought out for employment, training hospital employees in medical interpreting is a quicker, more convenient and cost effective alternative than outsourcing an interpreting agency for every Limited English Proficient patient.
In addition to online training, we provide on-site interpreter training for small groups that can be customized to address your employees individual needs. If you or someone you know is interested in our online Medical Interpreter Training Programs with live instructors, classes are offered in Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Haitian Creole or Vietnamese languages.
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,Online Immigration Interpreter Training, Business & Community Interpreter Training