Becoming a Certified Medical Interpreter

April 9, 2024

Are you passionate about language and eager to make a meaningful impact in healthcare? A career as a certified medical interpreter could be the perfect fit for you. At the Academy of Interpretation (AOI), we understand the importance of skilled interpreters in healthcare settings and offer industry-specific training to help you become a certified medical interpreter (CMI). Here's everything you need to know to kickstart your journey in medical interpretation.

Why Medical Interpreters are in Demand:

In today's diverse healthcare landscape, effective communication is essential for providing quality care to patients of varying backgrounds. Hospitals and medical facilities increasingly rely on trained medical interpreters to bridge language barriers and ensure that patients receive accurate and culturally sensitive care.

Requirements for Medical Interpreter Certification:

To become a certified medical interpreter, you must meet certain requirements set forth by certification bodies like The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) or The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). These requirements typically include being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma or GED, completing a minimum of 40 hours of medical interpreting training from an accredited program, and demonstrating proficiency in both English and the target language.

The Path to Certification:

At AOI, we offer a comprehensive Medical Interpreter Training Course designed to meet the 40 hours of medical interpreting training requirements of NBCMI and CCHI. Led by award-winning trainers, our course covers essential topics such as medical terminology, interpreting modalities, and cultural competence. Upon completion of the course, you'll be well-prepared to take the certification exam and embark on a rewarding career as a medical interpreter.

Renewal and Continuing Education:

Once certified, medical interpreters are required to renew their certification periodically and complete continuing education hours (CEUs). CCHI requires at least 40 hours of medical interpretation during the 4 year period plus 32 CEUs related to the field. The AOI provides ongoing support and resources to help interpreters stay updated with industry trends and maintain their certification status. The Interpretation Station, The AOI’s exclusive newsletter, pushes opportunities directly related to professional development to interpreters, translators, and language service providers (LSPs) in our industry. 

Modes of Medical Interpreting:

Medical interpreters employ various interpreting modalities depending on the context of the communication. Simultaneous interpreting involves interpreting while listening to the speaker, while consecutive interpreting occurs after the speaker pauses. Both modalities are essential in medical settings and require precision and skill to ensure accurate communication.

Becoming a medical interpreter is a rewarding journey that allows you to serve as a vital link between healthcare providers and patients. With the right training and certification, you'll play a crucial role in improving access to healthcare and promoting patient safety and satisfaction. At The AOI, we're committed to providing you with the tools and support you need to succeed in this dynamic and fulfilling career. Join us on this exciting path towards becoming a certified medical interpreter and making a positive impact in healthcare. Your journey starts here at the Academy of Interpretation.