Advanced Medical Interpreter

Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the U.S., sparking the need for professional interpreters. If you're bilingual in both English and Spanish, you can use your fluency to help others communicate. As a professional interpreter, you can assist those in vulnerable situations, such as refugees and immigrants, acting as their communication bridge. This comprehensive bundle of courses will prepare you for a rewarding career as a professional English-Spanish interpreter. Not only will you master interpretation, you will also learn to interpret in a medical setting and be prepared to sit for your state's medical interpreter certification exam.

12 Months / 240 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

George Mason University

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Course code: GES1007

What you will learn

  • Learn how to transfer information in multicultural situations
  • Develop interpreting-specific skills such as short-term memory retention, shadowing, note-taking, sight-translation, consecutive interpreting, and more
  • Develop best practice interpreting techniques – simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation
  • Understand protocol when interpreting for a Spanish-speaking patient
  • Master the code of ethics of the medical interpreter
  • Understand all material tested in a Spanish Medical Interpreter exam

How you will benefit

  • Have your professional profile listed in an employer-searchable directory
  • Use your skill set to help a growing number of people in need of interpretation services
  • Be prepared to start a career as a public services interpreter or medical interpreter
  • Become ready to successfully take the medical interpreter certification exam
  • Use your understanding of medical terminology in both Spanish and English to improve your marketability

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 12 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 240 course hours
  1. Professional Interpreter
    1. Introduction
    2. Learning Styles Assessment Exercise
    3. Basic Concepts of Language Interpreting
      1. Basic Concepts: What is language interpreting? What is language translation?
      2. Contrasting the interpretation and translation tasks
      3. Translation and adaptation: Localization and transcreation
      4. What does it take to become a professional interpreter?
      5. Certificate vs. Certification vs. Professional Licensure
      6. Where do interpreters work?
      7. Message delivery: The techniques
      8. Consecutive interpreting video demonstration
      9. Sight translation video demonstration
      10. Review Questions
      11. On-Site interpreting
      12. Remote and Telephonic Interpretation
      13. Telephonic interpreting, continued
      14. Video remote interpreting and video relay interpreting
      15. Sight translation
      16. Vocabulary Game
      17. Review Questions
      18. The Evolution of Interpreting in the Community
      19. The Evolution of Interpreting in the Community: Steps Toward Professional Recognition
      20. The Evolution of Interpreting in the Community: Professional Associations
      21. Public Services Interpreting Drivers
      22. Standards Guiding the Interpreting Profession
      23. Associations: Why are they important?
      24. Module 1 Self-assessment
      25. Resources
      26. Module Feedback
    4. Interpreting Skills and Techniques
      1. Preparing yourself for this module
      2. Active listening
      3. Active listening: Suspending yourself
      4. Emotions and Culture
      5. Level of Interest and Objectivity
      6. Capacity to Concentrate
      7. Who you are influences greatly the way you listen and communicate
      8. Listening Exercises: Introduction
      9. Shadowing: Introduction
      10. Short-Term Memory Retention: Visual
      11. Short-Term Memory Retention: Auditory
      12. Note-Taking
      13. Sight Translation: Introduction
      14. Putting It All Together: Interpreting
      15. Module Vocabulary Game
      16. Module 2 Self-Assessment
      17. Resources
      18. Module Feedback
    5. Ethics and standards: Expected professional behavior
      1. What are Professional Standards?
      2. The Interpreter's Professional Profile
      3. Accuracy
      4. Acting Ethically and Honestly
      5. Confidentiality
      6. Competence
      7. Neutrality
      8. Reliability
      9. Respect for the Profession
      10. Role Preservation
      11. Scenarios and Exercises
      12. Resources
      13. Module 3 Self-Assessment
      14. Module Feedback
    6. The Business of Interpreting
      1. Basic public services interpreting market concepts
      2. The Supply
      3. The Demand
      4. Working as a freelance interpreter
      5. Interview video
      6. Working as a Full-time Interpreter
      7. Interview video
      8. Building a Resume
      9. Formatting a resume
      10. Resume Sample
      11. Writing a Cover Letter
      12. Joining professional associations
      13. Joining online professional directories
      14. Continued Education
      15. Resources
      16. Module Feedback
  2. Medical Interpreter
    1. Introduction to Medical Interpretation I
      1. Medical Vocabulary – The Human Body
      2. Pre-anesthesia record form
      3. Medical Vocabulary – System and Senses
      4. Refusal to permit blood transfusion
      5. Medical Vocabulary – Signs and Symptoms
      6. Medical Condition form
      7. Intravenous Contrast Injection Consent
      8. Medical Vocabulary - Facilities and Staff
      9. Discharge Instructions
      10. Colloquialism
      11. Medical Vocabulary - Treatment Procedures, Instruments, Supplies and Medications
      12. Industrial Accidents - Workers' Compensation
      13. Medical Vocabulary - Pregnancy and Delivery
      14. Simultaneous Techniques
      15. Consecutive Techniques
      16. Interpreting Laboratory Practices
    2. Introduction to Medical Interpretation II
      1. Medical Vocabulary - Pediatric/Neonatal Care
      2. Medical Vocabulary - Family Planning
      3. Interpreting for Hospitals – Parents' Rights & Responsibilities
      4. Medical Vocabulary - Communicable Diseases
      5. Interpreting for Hospitals - Taking Care of Mom
      6. Interpreting for Hospitals - The "Baby Blues"
      7. Medical Vocabulary - Sexually Transmitted Diseases
      8. Interpreting for Hospitals - Consent for Cath Lab Procedure
      9. Medical Vocabulary - Dental Health
      10. Interpreting for Hospitals - Environmental History Form for Pediatric Asthma Patient
      11. Medical Vocabulary - Substance Abuse
      12. Interpreting for Hospitals - OSHA Required
      13. Idiomatic Expressions - English into Spanish
      14. Interpreting for Hospitals - Adult History Form
      15. Interpreting for Hospitals - Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Imaging Information
      16. Legal Terminology used in Medical Matters
      17. Interpreting for Hospitals - Advance Directive
      18. Interpreting Laboratory Practices
    3. Sight Translation for Medical Interpreters
      1. Principles of localization
      2. Re-structuring techniques
      3. Principles of reversibility and non-reversibility of Medical terms
      4. Interferences – Filtering syntactical and grammatical interferences
      5. Style in the delivery
      6. Exam taking techniques - Objective versus subjective grading
      7. Transferring of low, regular and high register documents into the opposite language
      8. Stability in the transfer
      9. Interpreting Laboratory Practices

Rocío Txabarriaga

Rocío Txabarriaga, MA is vice president of Content Development and co-founder of the Virginia Institute of Interpreting. She is responsible for course planning, development, validation, and maintenance. Ms. Txabarriaga has over 20 years of experience in language services and international business management ranging from independent consulting to senior executive positions, and business ownership. Her extensive experience spans operations, ISO-quality processes, interpreter recruiting and training, qualitative and quantitative research and analysis, as well as in-depth involvement with several language technology platforms. Ms. Txabarriaga has several degrees, including a master's degree from Monterey Institute of International Studies, has earned many certificates, and speaks five languages fluently. Ms. Txabarriaga is also a NASBITE-Certified Global Business Professional and an accomplished writer and public speaker.

Nestor Wagner

Nestor Wagner is a certified Court and Medical Interpreter who has been teaching interpreting courses since 1990. He has the highest pass rate of certified court interpreters in the nation. He has published several books in the interpreting community. Mr. Wagner is involved in the examination process for Immigration Interpreters and Analytical Linguists. He participates as speakers in national and international conferences on Criminal, Civil and Immigration Court terminology, advanced interpreting skills, and localization in the transfer of legal and non-legal terminology. Mr. Wagner holds a Master degree from the University of Washington.

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.


You must be fluent in both English and Spanish prior to enrolling in this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
  • Headphones or speakers.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

Yes, this course prepares you for any state-issued Medical Interpreter certification exam.

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course whenever you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

After you register, you will receive 12 months to complete the course. The time allotted for completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours.

If you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee will be charged. If you are funded through a third-party organization, approval may also be required.

The course instructor will be available by email to answer any questions and provide feedback on your performance. Occasionally, your course may be supported by a team of industry experts. You will also receive support from the student advising team.

Upon successfully passing the final exam, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from the school or organization that you registered through.

ed2go courses will help you gain the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. However, you should always research the job market in your area before enrolling.

ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA, and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards may provide funding to take our courses. Additionally, you may qualify for financial assistance if you meet certain requirements. Learn more about financial assistance.

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us."