Health Care Interpreter - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Health Care Interpreter




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Job Description


Health care interpreters help patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) communicate successfully with medical professionals and providers.

The services of a health care interpreter enables clinicians to provide excellent service to LEP patients, furnishing accurate translations of symptoms, medical history, and healthcare terminology.

This profession is urgently needed as the number of people with limited ability to speak English continues to rise strongly in the U.S.

A health care interpreter today is a high-valued member of the medical team in countless healthcare venues across America.

They provide verbal document translation into a patient's language, in person, over the telephone, or via video chat.

They also furnish two-way translation between patients and doctors or other medical professionals, provide cultural data that can be important to tailoring a treatment plan, and assist in communicating with patients' spouses, relatives, and friends who are also LEP individuals.

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Responsibilities

 

Health care interpreters greatly improve communication with doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, and other medical personnel.

These trained interpreters offer much more accurate translation than friends or relatives of the patient, reducing the hospital's liability and protecting the patient from the dangers of a critical misunderstanding. 

The primary responsibilities of a health care interpreter include:

  • Bridging the gap between healthcare providers and patients

  • Providing translations of medical documents, including records and prescriptions

  • Correctly explaining procedures and medications to patients, including potential side effects

  • Maintaining fluency in multiple languages

  • Supporting the health and well-being of patients by accurately facilitating communication

  • Upholding laws, regulations, and policies in accordance with health care interpreting practices

  • Ensuring confidentiality of patient information

  • Understanding their ethical obligation to the position

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perception

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

A health care interpreter's working conditions differ hugely depending on where they are employed. Depending on the size and organization of the hospital, the interpreter may work in just one section, or may provide interpretation services in multiple departments.

The job formerly involved mostly day shift work, but with increasing numbers of LEP patients, night shifts and on-call work on weekends or holidays is often necessary, especially in acute and urgent care.

In large cities or hospitals, workloads can be quite intense. Additional pressure comes from working in the emergency room, in substance abuse clinics, domestic violence centers, mental health institutions, forensic medicine, or other situations of a like nature.

While some locations give interpreters a break every two hours, many cannot or do not offer these respites and working continuously for much longer is possible.

Counterbalancing these stressful factors is the deep emotional satisfaction and the positive feelings many interpreters experience when they see how much their services save lives and improve treatment outcomes.

While urban settings have the highest demand for health care interpreters' services, more and more rural areas also need them. In addition to face to face translation, these professionals work over the telephone or through video.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
11.16.2017
One to two years of experience in a healthcare setting as a medical interpreter. Must pass the Signature Healthcare Interpreter Services department's interpreter testing process, both in its written and oral format. Satisfactory fluency in...
01.23.2018
National Certification in Medical Interpretation, Part I or Part II strongly preferred. 2 years interpreter/translation work experience in a healthcare setting preferred. Opportunities for per diem in the following languages, Haitian...
04.24.2018
National Certification in Medical Interpretation, Part I or Part II strongly preferred. 2 years interpreter/translation work experience in a healthcare setting preferred. Opportunities for per diem in the following languages, Haitian...
05.18.2018
Serves as a liaison between patients or families and medical or hospital staff to facilitate conflict resolution. Coordinates complaint management. Validates and documents that Patient Rights and Responsibilities are discussed with each patient....
06.20.2018
Under the supervision of the Interpreter Services Manager the Interpreter is responsible for assisting with the daily activities of the office, special projects, and serves as a medical interpreter. The medical interpreter works in compliance...
02.07.2018
Under general supervision, interprets the spoken language (Spanish and Portuguese) between two or more individuals from English to the target language (Spanish and Portuguese) and back into English again to insure accurate cross language...
06.18.2018
- SPANISH INTERPRETER (OTH01M7Y) Job Description SPANISH INTERPRETER-OTH01M7Y Description Position: Spanish Interpreter Location: UNC Medical Center, Chapel Hill Hours: 8:00am - 6:00pm; Mon-Sun Rotating Successful candidate will...
06.20.2018
The Medical ASL Interpreter serves as a cultural and communication resource to both patients and providers by facilitating the successful delivery of patient care service to the deaf and hard of hearing population. In this role the interpreter...
05.30.2018
Under general supervision, interprets the spoken language (Spanish) between two or more individuals from English to the target language (Spanish) and back into English again to ensure accurate cross language communication in a medical...
06.20.2018
The Medical Interpreter serves as a cultural and linguistic resource to both patients and providers by facilitating the successful delivery of patient care service to a linguistically diverse population. In this role the interpreter participates...
06.20.2018
Under the supervision of the Interpreter Services Manager the Interpreter is responsible for assisting with the daily activities of the office, special projects, and serves as a medical interpreter. The medical interpreter works in compliance...
05.15.2018
Baystate Healthis an integrated health care delivery system serving a population of nearly 1 million people in western Massachusetts. We are one of the largest health systems in New England with over 12,000 employees, five hospitals, and over 60...
04.04.2018
**Translator: Accurately translates correspondence, summary letters, medical reports, medical records, x-ray reports, prep cards, instruction and education materials to patients from target language into English and vice-versa. Maintains contact...
04.04.2018
Baystate Healthis an integrated health care delivery system serving a population of nearly 1 million people in western Massachusetts. We are one of the largest health systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals, and over 60...
06.22.2018
We are currently seeking a Per Diem Interpreter to assist in meeting the needs of our Russian speaking patients and residents by providing interpretation between healthcare providers and patients. Responsibilities The interpreter will be...
  1. Interpreter Brockton, MA Signature Healthcare
    One to two years of experience in a healthcare setting as a medical interpreter. Must pass the Signature Healthcare Interpreter Services department's interpreter testing process, both in its written and oral format. Satisfactory fluency in...
  2. Interpreter Milton, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Milton
    National Certification in Medical Interpretation, Part I or Part II strongly preferred. 2 years interpreter/translation work experience in a healthcare setting preferred. Opportunities for per diem in the following languages, Haitian...
  3. Interpreter Milton, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Milton
    National Certification in Medical Interpretation, Part I or Part II strongly preferred. 2 years interpreter/translation work experience in a healthcare setting preferred. Opportunities for per diem in the following languages, Haitian...
  4. INTERPRETER Lumberton, NC Southeastern Regional Medical Center
    Serves as a liaison between patients or families and medical or hospital staff to facilitate conflict resolution. Coordinates complaint management. Validates and documents that Patient Rights and Responsibilities are discussed with each patient....
  5. INTERPRETER - Portuguese Worcester, MA UMass Memorial Medical Center
    Under the supervision of the Interpreter Services Manager the Interpreter is responsible for assisting with the daily activities of the office, special projects, and serves as a medical interpreter. The medical interpreter works in compliance...
  6. Interpreter Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Under general supervision, interprets the spoken language (Spanish and Portuguese) between two or more individuals from English to the target language (Spanish and Portuguese) and back into English again to insure accurate cross language...
  7. SPANISH INTERPRETER Chapel Hill, NC UNC Health Care
    - SPANISH INTERPRETER (OTH01M7Y) Job Description SPANISH INTERPRETER-OTH01M7Y Description Position: Spanish Interpreter Location: UNC Medical Center, Chapel Hill Hours: 8:00am - 6:00pm; Mon-Sun Rotating Successful candidate will...
  8. ASL Medical Interpreter Urbana, IL Carle Foundation
    The Medical ASL Interpreter serves as a cultural and communication resource to both patients and providers by facilitating the successful delivery of patient care service to the deaf and hard of hearing population. In this role the interpreter...
  9. Interpreter Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Under general supervision, interprets the spoken language (Spanish) between two or more individuals from English to the target language (Spanish) and back into English again to ensure accurate cross language communication in a medical...
  10. Spanish Interpreter 1 - Medical Urbana, IL Carle Foundation
    The Medical Interpreter serves as a cultural and linguistic resource to both patients and providers by facilitating the successful delivery of patient care service to a linguistically diverse population. In this role the interpreter participates...
  11. INTERPRETER - Spanish - Per Diem Worcester, MA UMass Memorial Medical Center
    Under the supervision of the Interpreter Services Manager the Interpreter is responsible for assisting with the daily activities of the office, special projects, and serves as a medical interpreter. The medical interpreter works in compliance...
  12. Arabic Medical Interpreter Springfield, MA Baystate Medical Center
    Baystate Healthis an integrated health care delivery system serving a population of nearly 1 million people in western Massachusetts. We are one of the largest health systems in New England with over 12,000 employees, five hospitals, and over 60...
  13. Interpreter - Mandarin Jacksonville, FL Mayo Clinic's Campus in Florida
    **Translator: Accurately translates correspondence, summary letters, medical reports, medical records, x-ray reports, prep cards, instruction and education materials to patients from target language into English and vice-versa. Maintains contact...
  14. Medical Interpreter, American Sign Language Springfield, MA Baystate Medical Center
    Baystate Healthis an integrated health care delivery system serving a population of nearly 1 million people in western Massachusetts. We are one of the largest health systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals, and over 60...
  15. Interpreter, Russian-English Bilingual Roslindale, MA Hebrew SeniorLife
    We are currently seeking a Per Diem Interpreter to assist in meeting the needs of our Russian speaking patients and residents by providing interpretation between healthcare providers and patients. Responsibilities The interpreter will be...