Bridging the Gap: Medical Interpreter Training

The 40 hour course takes place from 9 AM to 5:30 PM over 5 days:

Upcoming courses:

June 2015:

  • June 5, 6, 12, 13, 19
  • Cost: $550
  • Registration deadline: Thursday, May 28, 2015


Testing and Registration Location:

Nationalities Service Center,

1216 Arch Street, 4th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19107

Training Location:

American Red Cross

2221 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103


Professional and high-quality foreign language interpreters are a crucial part of health care delivery as hospitals, clinics, schools, and doctors’ offices serve a growing and diverse population of immigrants and patients with limited or no English proficiency. Delivering accurate medical information to the patients and health care providers can save lives. This 40-hour training course trains bilingual health care professionals, interpreters, and translators in the theory, mechanics, ethics, and business of the medical interpretation field.

Bridging the Gap is a nationally recognized training that is accepted by the American Translators Association for continuing education credit and provides excellent preparation for national certification requirements. This course is considered the best introductory course to the medical interpreting field available in the US - this distinction is important to hospitals and earth care providers, which want to ensure that the interpreters they hire know and adhere to the standards of the field. Bridging the Gap will give students a strong foundation for the professional standards of medical interpretation. The course helps students understand how the US healthcare system works and their role within it, covers basic anatomy and medical terminology, examines cultural differences in healing practices, and delves into professional ethics, boundaries, advocacy, and conduct.

Students will need to demonstrate proficiency in English and their non-English language in order to be accepted for the training. Classes and written exams are conducted in English, but students will work in their own language combinations for in-class practice exercises and role-playing. Students who pass the final exam will receive a certificate of successful completion and will be eligible for more advanced training courses.


Basic Interpreting Skills

What is - and isn’t - your job as an interpreter? What are the professional standards for medical interpreters? Includes techniques and skill drills.

  • The Roles of the Medical Interpreter
  • Code of Ethics
  • Interpreting Techniques
  • Sight Translation
  • Intervening
  • Managing the Flow of an Interpreted Session

Introduction to Health Care

What should medical interpreters know about medicine? How does the US health care system work?

  • The Culture of Biomedicine
  • Anatomy
  • Medical Procedures
  • Medical Terminology

Culture in Interpreting

What happens when Western medicine meets other cultural ideas about healing? How can interpreters help clients - and health care providers - understand what is happening in a culturally appropriate way?

  • Self-Awareness
  • Basic Characteristics of Specific Cultures
  • Traditional Healing Practices
  • Culture Brokering

Communication Skills for Advocacy

When should an interpreter become an advocate? How can you fully understand your clients’ needs?

  • Listening Skills
  • Appropriate Advocacy

Course materials are included in the cost of the course. All students will receive:

  • A fully updated medical interpretation textbook
  • A bilingual medical glossary in the student’s language combination

For questions or to register, please contact:

Natalie Olshevski

Interpreter Training Project Manager

Department of Interpretation & Translation

(215) 609-1541