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Healthcare Interpreting Program

Health Care Interpreting Program

Are you bilingual and interested in a career in health care? The Health Care Interpreting program is designed to prepare you with the skills, knowledge and real-world experience to succeed as a health care interpreter. Our program doesn't require a medical background or healthcare-related work experience but you will need to be fluent in both English and your target language.

After completing this 6-month program, you should be prepared to not only effectively interpret in medical situations but also take the certification exam proctored by either the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) or National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI).


Components of the Program

Our program is currently the only health care interpreting program coordinated by a public university in the Pacific Northwest and one of only two public university programs located on the West Coast. In addition, our program offers the following features:

  • Unique curriculum. Complete the program in Our 99-hour program covers the basic skills of health care interpreting (Ethics, Standards of Practice and several other skills recommended by the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare), medical terminology, cultural competency, sight translation and note taking/retention skills.

  • Hybrid program delivery. Complete the program at your convenience online and in a classroom. Core interpreting skills, medical terminology and cultural competency classes will be held online. We meet every 3-4 weeks to practice interpreting and work through real scenarios at local hospitals.

  • Spanish, Russian and Beyond. Our program is "language neutral" with specific language specialties. This means, classes are taught in English but we are offering special tracks in Spanish and Russian culture and terminology.

  • Interpreting Skills Labs. In-person language labs are held every 3-4 weeks and allow you to practice speaking and interpreting in real-life scenarios. Skills labs are lead by certified interpreters at hospitals throughout Oregon.

  • Cohort-based learning. Just because you're learning online doesn't mean you're learning alone. We have small class sizes of 15-25 students and each class is facilitated by trained instructors.

  • Student practicum. The program ends with a 20-hour practicum which lets you practice interpreting with real patients at hospitals and clinics throughout Oregon.


Who Should Apply?

If you're bilingual and interested in working with limited English proficient (LEP) patients, this program is for you! Be sure to check out the specific admissions requirements below to learn more.


Admission Requirements

The primary requirement for this program is to be fluently bilingual in English and your target language. However, there are a few other criteria you need to meet before starting the program.

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Possess a high school diploma, GED certificate or equivalent from another country if you did not graduate in the United States.
  • Have an interest in helping healthcare providers effectively work with LEP patients.
  • Demonstrate language proficiency in both English and your target language. See below for more information.

How to demonstrate language proficiency. The Oregon Health Care Interpreter Council and Office of Equity and Inclusion have created this document to outline the ways you can demonstrate language fluency in Oregon. This directly applies to students seeking state qualification and certification but it is also the guideline we use to determine language fluency.

If you do not meet one of the requirements outlined by the Oregon Health Care Interpreter Council, you will need to complete an oral proficiency exam and pass the test at a "High Intermediate" level in order to be accepted to our program.


Tuition and Fees

Tuition for this training is $799 plus the cost of books and materials (roughly $150-200). Books can be purchased online or a physical bookstore. They are not currently available from the WOU bookstore on campus. We have several options available for you to pay the program tuition. Click here to learn more about payment options.


Apply Now

The next section of the interpreting program will begin in Redmond on October 7. Click here to apply today!


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MissionWestern Oregon University | 345 N. Monmouth Ave. | Monmouth OR 97361 | 503-838-8000(V/TTY) | Admissions 1-877-877-1593 | Text only
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