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Health Care Interpreting Certificate

Health care interpreting (HCI) is designed to give bilingual (English and Spanish) students the awareness, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as entry-level interpreters and translators in health care settings, including hospitals, clinics, medical offices and similar environments. Program completers should be eligible for employment as salaried or on-call staff interpreters, or as self-employed freelance interpreters. Employment opportunities may also be available with professional interpreting and translating service companies. Although the emphasis of the program is medical interpreting, the skills gained could be applied to other interpreting and translating settings in the community, such as conference and escort interpreting and translation of written documents.

Each year we accept up to 12 new full-time students who are fluent in English and Spanish into the HCI program. This is primarily an evening program that students begin during the fall semester. We encourage you to contact Christina Wolff de Casquino if you have any questions about the selective process. Final selection for new HCI students is made in July.

The health care interpreting program is a 20-credit hour vocational program leading to a certificate of completion. It is designed to be completed in three semesters, although there is enough flexibility in the curriculum to extend the time period for several additional semesters, if the student prefers a slower pace. The program is organized in a progression of courses leading the student from general concepts to increasingly complex skills and knowledge, culminating in a comprehensive skills exam and a professional practicum. It includes five courses developed specifically for the program plus two courses offered through other departments. Students must earn a grade of C or higher in each of the program's courses to continue in the program. The latter two courses, HC 130 Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professions, and HC 101 Introduction to Health Care Delivery, do not have prerequisites and could be taken at any time prior to completion of the program. Students must have all course work but the HC 101 course completed before beginning HCI 180, the medical interpreting practicum. Please note, however, that HC 101 is not offered during the summer semester.

The HCI program is organized as part of the JCCC interpreter training program, although it has its own unique course prefix (HCI) and curriculum. Other courses in the interpreter training program emphasize deaf communication and sign language. HCI students should enroll only in courses with the HCI prefix, plus HC 130 and HC 101.

Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all coursework and be able to demonstrate at least 85% accuracy in both English and Spanish while interpreting.

REQUIREMENTS: All students who participate in shadowing and practicum assignments at Truman Medical Centers (TMC) must complete specific requirements. At the end of the fall semester, all students must complete the following information.

  1. Paid background checks. These background checks are for GSA-Excluded Parties List, Family Care Registry Safety, ABS- Police/Criminal background check for Missouri and the OIG-U.S. Department of Human and Health Services List of Excluded Individuals/Entities. This background check is for GSA Excluded Parties Testing System, Police/Criminal Background Check for Missouri, and the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services List of Excluded Individuals/Entities.
  2. Name and Social Security Number.
  3. Proof of up-to-date immunizations - records must include a TB test and Hepatitis B vaccinations.
  4. HIPAA training - a printout that proves HIPAA training has been completed is required.
  5. Test results - results from the Clinical Nurse Educator Orientation are required.

This program requires a professional liability insurance fee. Students will be notified via their JCCC student e-mail account when are required to pay a $16 fee. This fee needs to be paid once enrolled in HCI 180. The dollar amount for fees is subject to change.

Suggested/Sample Course Sequence

The sequence taken by the student may vary depending on prerequisites, course availability, and personal/ professional responsibilities.

(Major Code 4390; State CIP Code 16.0103)

Fall Semester

HCI 110Introduction to Interpreting*3
HCI 120Interpreting Skills I*3
HC 101Introduction to Health Care Delivery3
Total Hours9

Spring Semester

HCI 130Interpreting Skills II*3
HCI 140Spanish Medical Interpreting*3
HC 130Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professions3
Total Hours9

Summer/Fall Semester

HCI 180Medical Interpreting Practicum*2
Total Hours2

Total Program Hours: 20