What is a Medical Interpreter?

A Medical Interpreter, also known as a healthcare interpreter, works to help a doctor and a patient with limited English proficiency (LEP) communicate effectively to assure the best treatment and to alleviate any mistakes resulting from misunderstanding one another.  When a patient’s English skills are challenged, it’s almost impossible to provide high-quality healthcare. In most cases, medical interpreting is done face to face with the patient and the provider.  There are times the interpreter may be asked to communicate with the family members or to translate a healthcare document over the phone. 

To become a Medical Interpreter, one must be fluent in at least two languages and equally fluent with medical vocabulary.  The highest demand in the United States are for those who speak both English and Spanish.  The requirements for interpreting in hospitals vary from one to another.  Some simply require a high school diploma while others require experience as a medical assistant.  In some cases, a certification is necessary, which can be obtained from universities and other schools.

The need for medical interpreters is growing according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics but the supply for qualified professionals seems to be limited.  With the potential to earn $40,000 to $60,000 a year, this may be a good time for unemployed bilinguals to consider a new career.

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Medical Interpreting

A Medical Interpreter, also known as a healthcare interpreter, works to help a doctor and a patient with limited English proficiency (LEP) communicate effectively to assure the best treatment and to alleviate any mistakes resulting from misunderstanding one another.  When a patient’s English skills are challenged, it’s almost impossible to provide high-quality healthcare. In most cases, medical interpreting is done face to face with the patient and the provider.  There are times the interpreter may be asked to communicate with the family members or to translate a healthcare document over the phone. 

To become a Medical Interpreter, one must be fluent in at least two languages and equally fluent with medical vocabulary.  The highest demand in the United States are for those who speak both English and Spanish.  The requirements for interpreting in hospitals vary from one to another.  Some simply require a high school diploma while others require experience as a medical assistant.  In some cases, a certification is necessary, which can be obtained from universities and other schools.

The need for medical interpreters is growing according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics but the supply for qualified professionals seems to be limited.  With the potential to earn $40,000 to $60,000 a year, this may be a good time for unemployed bilinguals to consider a new career.

For more information go to www.LGBinterpreting.com.

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History of Sign Language

It was 1755 when the first school for deaf people opened in Paris.

Abbe Charles Michel de L ‘ Epee, Founder of the first school, taught deaf people in France to communicate through a system of conventional gestures, hand signs and finger spelling.  These signs would represent an idea rather than an exact word and finger spelling would consist of gestures representing exact letters of the alphabet. 

Years later, America would combine those signs with some that was already being used here and develop what is now known as American Sign Language or ASL.  Americans would be introduced to their first school for the deaf in 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Today, we have the most expressive sign language systems in the world. It is estimated that anywhere from 500,000 to 2 million people use American sign language.

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