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Best Medical Interpreter Jobs & How To Find Them In Your Area

Posted by Dr. Nelva Lee on Jul 22, 2020 11:49:00 AM
Dr. Nelva Lee

medical interpreter jobs

When you decide to earn your certification to work as a medical interpreter, and start researching employment, you’ll soon realize that there are jobs available in many different medical settings. While most medical interpreting jobs have similar basic education requirements, specialized training programs help you build the knowledge you need to get certified - and get hired.

Some employers require only a high school diploma or GED plus interpreter certification from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) , while others expect applicants to have a bachelor’s degree as well. Most require related experience in a healthcare setting.

Types of Medical Interpreter Jobs

medical interpretering career

MEDICAL INTERPRETING

Medical interpreters work as a go-between for patients and their health providers who do not speak the same language. Medical language interpreters are required to speak and write fluent English plus one or more target languages such as Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, or French. They are responsible for accurately translating information between the medical staff and patients.

Responsibilities:

  • Adhere to ethical and legal HIPAA laws and maintain patient confidentiality
  • Translate health care staff information, instructions, prognosis, diagnosis, and other information to patients and their families in their own language
  • Ask the patient questions and translate answers from the target foreign language to English for the health care staff
  • Explain cultural issues and beliefs that may impede procedures to medical facility staff
  • Listen and behave with empathy for nervous patients; excellent communication skills are required
  • Understand medical terminology in both languages
  • Follow all protocols and standards of practice for healthcare interpreters

Where you might work:

Medical interpreters typically work full-time in medical settings such as hospitals, doctors offices, nursing homes, health care clinics, and other medical facilities. You may also work for a third party service provider who sends medical interpreters where needed for short-term work.

You may also work remotely, either as an independent contractor, and employee, or serving more than one medical facility through telehealth video conferencing or phone calls. Take one of our Medical Interpreter Training Courses to prepare you for national certification.

MEDICAL TRANSLATING

While medical translating may be used interchangeably and share some of the same responsibilities, medical translators primarily work with translating written materials. Medial translators are responsible for ensuring the translations convey the precise meaning of the original documents, and translate effectively and efficiently through written communication from source to target language. They must have a strong knowledge and understanding of grammar, semantics, and terminology in both English and target languages. You will learn the correct medical terminology in our medical interpreter training program.

Responsibilities:

  • Precisely translate documents in both languages, including written forms from patients and written instructions from doctors to patients
  • Provide detailed medical translations, including legal and medical terminology
  • Maintain strict patient confidentiality in compliance with HIPAA laws

Where you might work:

Medical translators typically work in medical settings such as hospitals, doctors offices, nursing homes, health care clinics, and other medical facilities. They may also work in a medical research facility or lab that publishes studies or teaching materials in different languages.

 

COURT INTERPRETING

Court interpreters are called in when participants in court cases lack good english skills. Their responsibilities include translating information and questions from the judge to the defendant or witness, and answers from the defendant or witness to the court. As a court interpreter, good listening skills and precise translations are critical. Both written and verbal skills are necessary. This position requires a Certified Court Interpreter Certificate.

Responsibilities:

  • Translate between witnesses, defendants, and lawyers, judges, clerks, and the jury.
  • Translate written documents, including police reports, instructions, agreements, and other court papers.
  • Understand and interpret legal policies and procedures
  • Fast, accurate data entry
  • Knowledge and application of interpreter ethics, standards, and techniques

Where you might work:
As a court interpreter, you would courtrooms during trials, in the offices of public defenders and prosecutors, and you might be called to remote locations to translate depositions or aid with research.

MENTAL HEALTH INTERPRETING

A mental health interpreter performs much the same responsibilities as a medical interpreter, with some important differences. It’s difficult to talk about mental issues under normal circumstances, and even more difficult if your therapist, psychiatrist, or counselor does not speak your language.

Since patients might be suffering from trauma, abuse, depression, panic attacks or other issues, mental health interpreters must be able to work in a non-judgmental, non-discriminatory manner sensitive to the patient and their family while preserving each patient’s autonomy, dignity and rights.

If you’re interested in becoming a mental health interpreter, or would like to enhance your career, check out our Mental Health Interpreting course.

Responsibilities:

  • Adhere to ethical and legal HIPAA laws and maintain patient confidentiality
  • Communicate with patients in a sensitive and empathetic way
  • Translate between health care staff, patients, and their families
  • Understand and explain cultural issues and beliefs that may impact care to medical facility staff
  • Understand medical terminology, especially as it relates to mental health in both languages

Where you might work:
Mental health interpreters might work in a hospital, mental health care facility, drug rehabilitation center, or social work office.

HOSPITAL TRANSLATOR

A hospital translator works in a hospital administration office setting. Your responsibilities will include translating medical paperwork, understanding medical coding, and making sure chart notes, patient histories, and doctor instructions are consistent in both languages.

Our 40-Hour Hospital Translator course can increase your chances of being hired as a hospital translator.

Responsibilities:

  • Precisely translate documents in both languages, including written forms from patients and written instructions from doctors to patients
  • Provide detailed medical translations, including legal and medical terminology
  • Maintain strict patient confidentiality in compliance with HIPAA laws

Where you might work:

Hospital translators typically work in the administrative offices of hospitals.

IMMIGRATIONCOURT INTERPRETING

 

IMMIGRATION/COURT INTERPRETING

An immigration court interpreter would help hopeful immigrants who want to remain in the United States by translating court proceedings, judge’s instructions and questions, and information from attorneys and advocates. You would also interpret information from the immigrant to all parties. In addition, you would also be responsible for translating related documents and instructions.

Responsibilities:

  • Translate between witnesses, defendants, and lawyers, judges, clerks, and the jury.
  • Translate written documents, including police reports, instructions, agreements, and other court papers.
  • Understand and interpret legal policies and procedures
  • Fast, accurate data entry
  • Knowledge and application of interpreter ethics, standards, and techniques

Where you might work:

As an immigration court interpreter, you would work onsite in courtrooms during trials, in the offices of public defenders and prosecutors, and you might be called to remote locations to translate depositions or aid with research.

REMOTE INTERPRETING COURSE

Remote language interpretation specialists often work in rural areas where the need is not as consistent, and it is more efficient for the interpreter to provide language services from a home office via internet video conference or phone calls. In this position, you might be an independent contractor or work for a telehealth service that provides services to many clients.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Adhere to HIPAA laws and code of ethics; maintain patient confidentiality where applicable
  • Translate information and instructions from professionals to non-English speaking clients.
  • Ask questions and translate answers to professionals
  • Explain cultural issues and beliefs that may prevent compliance

Where you might work:

Remote work is becoming ever more popular, especially telehealth. It allows people in all kinds of professions to efficiently administer care to people in diverse locations. As a remote video interpreter, you would typically work from home or from a fixed office location, and your clients would be elsewhere. The people you translate for may be in a school, a medical center, a courtroom or lawyer’s office, or even a prison.

Where to Find Medical Interpreting Jobs

Medical interpreters are in great demand, and finding a job should not be difficult for well-qualified applicants. Here are a few places to start looking.

1. Job boards have plenty of job postings in each category. Popular job boards include:

2. What’s your dream job? Check the hiring page for hospitals or facilities where you most want to work. They may have lots of listings. Most businesses and organizations will have a jobs page, like this one at the Mayo Clinic.

3. Sign up for a remote interpreter service provider like MiTio! Once you’ve earned your qualifications, just download the MiTio app and start working as an interpreter or medical translator.

Topics: Medical Interpreter, Medical Interpreting