What is a medical interpreter?
A medical interpreter is an interpreter who works in any of the various settings of the medical field. Typically, to interpret in this field one must have the proper credentials, such as state or national certification as well as the appropriate training to become a certified medical interpreter, which can be gained from college classes, workshops, or mentoring.
In what kind of setting do medical interpreters interpret?
Sign language interpreters can be used to interpret for the various situations patients find themselves while in a hospital. They can be used during the admissions process or when scheduling a procedure. Typically, to make an appointment the deaf or hard of hearing person can use the Video Relay Service (VRS) to schedule the visit over the phone. However, many times an hospital may have to make a last minute request to an interpreting agency if the visit is to an emergency room. Medical interpreters (medical translator) are essential for deaf and hard of hearing people in the hospital as it is very important that the doctors and other medical support personnel be able to correctly diagnose the patient’s condition and avoid an improper diagnosis because of a misunderstanding.
Interpreters are able to interpret for doctor’s appointments no matter whether it is for a regular check-up or for a specialist appointment with a neurologist. They are essential for maintaining proper communication throughout the appointment whether it be for something as simple as checking a patient’s blood pressure or for administering a more complex medical test.
What kind of training or certification do medical interpreters have?
Many interpreters are graduates of Interpreter Training Programs (ITP), which are 2 or 4 year programs which training people in the essential aspects of medical interpreter jobs. Also, our interpreters are state or nationally certified, which, in addition to ensuring that the interpreter is skilled, also requires interpreters to participate in continuing education courses to be informed of the latest information in interpreting. Currently, there is no medical interpreter certification offered for sign language interpreters offered by RID.
If you would like to request a medical interpreter, please complete the request form below and we will respond promptly to your request.