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Certifiable Success: CultureSmart’s Pre-Certification Intensive Study Group for Medical Interpreters

Ready, Set, Certification! A Guided Precertification Study Group for Medical Interpreters

What made CultureSmart’s first-ever pre-certification study group a certifiable success? A curriculum designed to prepare medical interpreters for certification exams. Sixty-five medical interpreters speaking Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Russian, and Vietnamese. Eight moderators with training and interpreting backgrounds. Hours of collegial interaction in small groups on four Saturdays. Plus epic studying.

The unique program targeted working interpreters, many of whom received training earlier in their careers. Lots of experienced interpreters, though, don’t work with a full range of medical fields and terminology in their day-to-day work. Carla Fogaren, RN, system director of diversity initiatives and interpreter services at Steward Health Care System, who initiated the study group program with CultureSmart to help her team study for exams, said her interpreters were “very, very pleased with the program.”

CultureSmart Precertification Training Team

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Stroke PatientAs the third leading cause of death in the United States, stroke affects all our lives and is an important topic for medical interpreters to understand. Stroke is also extremely complex, with numerous risk factors, warning signals, and types.

On Saturday, March 5, 2011, CultureSmart will host a medical interpreter training workshop with Judith Welch Clark, RN, BSN, the stroke service nurse at Boston Medical Center. Judith will discuss critical aspects of stroke – from risk factors to ongoing therapies after release – and look at the interpreter’s roles in caring for stroke patients.

The interview below introduces you to Judith and her tremendous clinical knowledge of stroke. We’ve bolded key terminology, linking some words to further information. To join us on Saturday, March 5, please visit this link to register. Read the rest of this entry »

CCHI Certification for Healthcare Interpreters Now Available

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters

Certified Stamp of ApprovalThe Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters offers two examinations for healthcare interpreters. Applications are now being accepted for testing dates in 2011.

Associate Healthcare Interpreter (AHI)
The CCHI Associate Healthcare Interpreter™ credential is the first credential, the foundation credential for all healthcare interpreters. Once a healthcare interpreter receives his/her CCHI Associate Healthcare Interpreter™ credential, s/he is eligible to apply for a language specific credential in one or more languages in which s/he interprets. Read the rest of this entry »

Q&A on Healthcare Interpreter Certification

Certification Commission for Healthcare InterpretersNational Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters

At CultureSmart, we’ve been thinking about – and preparing for – medical interpreter certification for years. The Q&A in this blog entry offers background on healthcare interpreter certification plus our thoughts on how certification will benefit interpreters, patients, and the health care industry.

What is the status of medical interpreter certification in the U.S.?
National certification is a long way off, but there’s a nation wide wave of interest in certification, thanks to a movement that started several years ago. Currently, the largest impediment to the adoption of certification is that most stakeholders – hospitals, providers, patients, even interpreters – either don’t fully grasp what medical interpreter certification would mean or don’t see justification for it.

In addition, the powers-that-be in health care – decision makers, funders and even, to some extent, regulatory and accreditation agencies – were not or are not completely “on board” with certification. Read the rest of this entry »

Ready, Set, Certification! Final Training Day

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New Pushes on Standards and Certification for Interpreters

National standards and certification for healthcare interpreters are drawing closer to reality. The National Coalition on Healthcare Interpreter Certification (NCC), a group of 18 organizations, is collaboratively studying best practices and developing a single, national process for assessing, training, testing, and certifying medical interpreters.

As we’ve reported previously in The Interpreter, CultureSmart takes part in efforts of The National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), a Coalition member, to develop national standards for medical interpreter training. A grant that NCIHC received from The California Endowment is funding the Coalition’s work. Coalition committees are examining topics including certification for languages of lesser diffusion and continuing education for interpreters. Another effort toward national certification is also progressing: The International Medical Interpreters Association is working with Language Line University and PSI Services on a program that would use prerequisites, a written exam, and skills assessment for certification.

National Coalition charts path for Healthcare Interpreter Certification

June 13, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Don Schinske
NCHCIC Coordinating Committee
(916) 444-1506
dschinske@chiaonline.org


National Coalition charts path for Healthcare Interpreter Certification

CHICAGO – Members of a nationwide coalition of non-profit associations, language-service companies, hospitals, consumer groups and educators last week committed to developing a single national certification in medical interpreting. Read the rest of this entry »