Health Care Interpreting

Health care interpreters work in medical settings, but they don't wear lab coats or stethoscopes. And they don't use their hands to help heal patients, they use their words.

Health care interpreters are bilingual individuals who help patients and doctors speaking different languages understand one another. They work hard to make sure patients and their families get accurate information regarding medical procedures, diagnosis, treatment and care instructions.

HCI at Waubonsee
Waubonsee is a pioneer in this field; our health care interpreting associate degree is the first of its kind in the state of Illinois. This degree and one of our certificate programs focus on English/Spanish interpreting, but we also have a non-language specific certificate that is designed for working interpreters and offered entirely online. All of Waubonsee's health care interpreting classes earn students college credit.

Waubonsee's health care interpreting program grew out of the Fox Valley area's need for more and better-trained interpreters in hospitals and clinics. Waubonsee alumna Lulu Blacksmith was working at Provena Mercy Center in Aurora when she saw this need firsthand. Her response was to help found Compañeros en Salud (Partners in Health), which trained bilingual individuals to become interpreters. But once she realized being bilingual wasn't enough, she turned to Waubonsee to create a more comprehensive college credit training program.

Because of its innovation, the program has been honored with several awards, including the Exemplary Initiatives Award from The National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA).

Online Training for Working Interpreters
There are many people working in the health care interpreting field who have never received any sort of formal training. These interpreters and their employers soon realize, however, that being bilingual is not enough. All interpreters need to learn and follow the profession's code of ethics and standards of practice, and most interpreters want a community of professionals with whom they can share their stories and get support. Waubonsee has developed a basic 17-semester-hour online Health Care Interpreting - Practitioner certificate program that delivers the knowledge, skills and support working interpreters like you need to be successful.