Spanish Medical Interpreting Program
There is much more to being a certified healthcare interpreter than you would think!
¿Hablas español? Do you want to build on your bilingual skills and work with the Latino community in the healthcare field? The Spanish Medical Interpreting Program (SMIP) at CBC may be for you! Our program prepares students to enter the rewarding, flexible, and well-compensated career of healthcare interpreting. The desire to work in this profession is fueled by a passion to help linguistically diverse patients receive equitable healthcare and improved health outcomes. The program starts every fall quarter and applicants must pass an entrance test to be accepted.
CBC offers a sequential, three-quarter (15 credit) short-term certificate in Spanish Medical Interpreting. The program combines in-class instruction and guided skill-building activities with real-world experience in local healthcare clinics. Our faculty combine academic expertise with years of professional and extensive interpreting experience. Upon successful completion of the short-term certificate, students can sit for either the national or the state (Department of Social and Health Services - DSHS) medical interpreting certification examinations.
- Our interpreting program only offers a fall quarter start.
- The program takes nine months to complete.
- All classes are held face-to-face, at the Pasco campus and attendance is required.
- Each course is offered sequentially, you cannot take all the courses in one quarter.
- Students register for one section each quarter. Each section meets twice a week for two hours, for a total of four hours per week.
- There are additional lab times for short oral terminology tests.
- Students must successfully pass each quarter to progress to the following quarter.
- During the program you will learn relevant bilingual medical terminology, along with definitions of important terms and concepts.
- You will learn about standard interpreter protocols and state, national and international interpreter ethics and standards of practice.
- There will be plenty of guided in-class interpreting practice, plus a chance to practice everything you learn in class with patients and healthcare providers during clinical hours.
- We will practice taking tests to get you more comfortable and ready to take the state or national certification exams.
- Lastly, we will have frequent guest speaker events to meet alumni and industry professionals, and to learn about the interpreting industry and the steps you need to take to begin work as an interpreter once you are certified.
All courses for the program are cross-listed as HSCI and SPAN. Cross-listed means that the same individual course can be designated in one of two places on your transcript, depending on your academic intent.
Students that complete all three quarters registered with the HSCI prefix will be eligible for the short-term certificate annotation on their transcript. Students that complete the courses using the SPAN prefix will not be eligible for the transcript annotation.
If you plan to apply to a CBC Health Science Program such as Nursing or Radiologic Technology, you should select the HSCI prefix, as the completion of the short-term SMIP certificate may count as a point on the admissions index.
If you qualify for financial aid, you may wish to select the SPAN prefix. If you qualify for financial assistance through the Workforce Education Center (WEC) or other vocational assistance, you should choose the HSCI prefix.
Course registration is an important decision, and we recommend that you speak to our Arts, Humanities and Communication (AHC) Completion Coach to help you decide.
- HSCI 148 Spanish Medical Interpreting I (5 credits)
- SPAN 281 Spanish Medical Interpreting I (5 credits)
- HSCI 149 Spanish Medical Interpreting II (5 credits)
- SPAN 282 Spanish Medical Interpreting II (5 credits)
- HSCI 150 Spanish Medical Interpreting III (5 credits)
- SPAN 283 Spanish Medical Interpreting III (5 credits)
There are no required prerequisite courses for the Spanish Medical Interpreting Program. For students who wish to improve their Spanish language proficiency, we recommend any of the Spanish for Spanish Speakers courses.
- SPAN 205 Spanish for Spanish Speakers (5 credits)
- SPAN 206 Spanish for Spanish Speakers (5 credits)
- SPAN 207 Spanish for Spanish Speakers (5 credits)
We recommend students take Medical Terminology either before starting the program, or at the same time, however it is not a prerequisite.
- HSCI 147 Medical Terminology (5 credits)
Applicants do not need to take any math or English assessment tests.
Students who complete all three quarters registered with the HSCI prefix will be eligible for the short-term certificate annotation on their transcript. Students that complete the courses using the SPAN prefix will not be eligible for the transcript annotation.
Check with our AHC Completion Coach for more information, and assistance with academic planning. See Faculty & Advisors for contact information.
If you would like more information about our program, please attend one of our frequent Informational Sessions. During the session, questions will be answered by the Program Coordinator and an AHC Completion Coach. Anyone interested in a career as a healthcare interpreter should attend. These sessions are free and open to the public. Check out the dates for upcoming sessions and register via our CBC calendar.
Each state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. protectorates vary in what professions they require to be licensed and the educational requirements for those licenses. It’s important to understand whether the degree or certificate you obtain from CBC will meet the educational eligibility requirements for a license in the state in which you plan to practice.