What Every Medical Interpreter Needs to Know to Get Certified


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51 minutes

Learning Objectives

  • To understand a distinction between a bilingual person and a professional, qualified and certified medical interpreter
  • To understand the requirements and process of the U.S. National Certification for Medical Interpreters
  • To find out how to create a roadmap for Certification for Medical Interpreters in your own country


Do you want to distinguish yourself from your colleagues, raise the standards of the medical interpreting profession and contribute to reducing the risks of working with non-qualified interpreters? The Solution is here! Find out what you need to become a Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI) in the U.S. Learn how to start professional Job/Task Analysis of medical interpreters in your own country to bring the Certification home
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Medical errors affect limited-English-proficient (LEP) patients more often and more adversely. In a study by the Joint Commission “Language proficiency and adverse events in U.S. hospitals: a pilot study” adverse events involving “some physical harm” affected almost half (49.1%) of LEP patients vs. almost a third (29.5%) of patients who speak English.
Bilingual persons are not born with interpreting skills; these skills need to be developed, practiced and tested.
Over the course of the last few years, there have been a lot of developments related to the advancement of medical interpreting profession in pursuit of the LEP patient safety.

The 60-minute session will address:

(1) a set of New Standards for Patient-Centered Communication issued by the Joint Commission, www.jointcommission.org (hospitals will be evaluated with regard to their medical interpreters that work full time, part time, through an agency, or through a remote telephone or video interpreter service provider in the area of language proficiency assessment, educational background and training),

(2) the National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that mandate providing competent language assistant services in patient preferred language,

(3) the National Certification of Medical Interpreters launched by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org) in October 2009 to ensure patient safety through the use of CMIs (CMI, an interpreter who meets the certification prerequisites, completes - in most cases - the required 40-hour training program and successfully passes written and oral exams) and

(4) the evolution of Roles of Medical Interpreters, Codes of Ethics, and Standards of Practice in order to advance patient safety. The Qualified and Certified Medical Interpreters are increasingly becoming the interpreters of choice for the growing majority of health care institutions. The session will give a detailed description of the National Certification process and provide information on the nature of written and oral exams along with the training program recommendations.

Upload Date

June 18, 2011

Trainer Bio

Eric Candle - Eric Candle holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Computer Translation, and an advanced certificate in business management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. His college graduation work was executed and presented in English and Russian languages. Eric is a qualified medical interpreter with 15 years of professional experience at the largest NY State hospitals, a credentialed translator, and a licensed Community Interpreter trainer. He is an adjunct professor of medical interpreting at the State University of New York. He has studied, worked and taught in Germany, Austria, Russia, and Ukraine. Eric is currently a Member of the Board of the International Medical Interpreters Association and the IMIA NY State and Regional Representative. He is a passionate advocate of the meaningful minority language patient’s access to healthcare services. Eric has delivered numerous presentations on the National Certification for Medical Interpreters and the professionalization of medical interpreting. Eric Candle is the President of ECdata, Inc., a NY-based language training and information management company.

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