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 interpreting and translation of written documents.

Each year we accept up to 12 new 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 if you have any questions about the selective process. The final selection for new HCI students is made in May.

Candidates for the Health Care Interpreting certificate will be tested in their non-dominate language in order to measure knowledge and fluency in both English and Spanish, with a requirement of ACTFL Advanced Mid in Spanish or English for admission to the program.

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. 

Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all coursework and be able to demonstrate at least 80% accuracy in both English and Spanish while interpreting.

REQUIREMENTS: All students who participate in shadowing and practicum assignments at Truman Medical Centers (TMC) and Children's Mercy Hospital (CMH) must complete specific requirements. At the end of the fall semester, all students must complete and provide the following information to the HCI supervisor:

1.  A copy of background checks with satisfactory results.

2.  A copy of drug testing with satisfactory results.

3.  Their Social Security Number.

4.  Proof of up-to-date immunizations - records must include 2TB tests with readings, MMR, Varicella, the current year's flu shot, Tdap and Hepatitis B vaccinations.

5.  A copy of the results from all the TMC Compliance tests and a copy of the CMH Compliance test.

6.  Signed confidentiality sheets from TMC and CMH.

7.  Proof of health insurance by January 1.

(Major Code 4390; CIP Code 16.0103)

Health Care Interpreting Program web page

Fall Semester

HCI 110Introduction to Interpreting*3
HCI 120Interpreting Skills I*3
Total Hours6

Spring Semester

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

Summer/Fall Semester

HC 101Introduction to Health Care Delivery3
HCI 180Medical Interpreting Practicum*2
Total Hours5
Total Program Hours: 20

This course has registration requirements.