Training Bilingual Medical Professionals in Interpreting

Training Bilingual Medical Professionals in Interpreting 

Relying on professional interpreters for every patient encounter can be costly for healthcare organizations. By training bilingual medical staff as interpreters, healthcare facilities can reduce the need for external interpreter services, resulting in cost savings without compromising the quality of interpretation services. 

In some healthcare settings, professional interpreters may not be immediately available or accessible. Having trained bilingual staff members allows for more timely and efficient communication with patients who have limited English proficiency, avoiding delays in care and facilitating better patient flow. 

Below are some examples of training programs for bilingual medical staff 

United States: 

  • Bridging the Gap for Medical Professionals: This program, offered by the Cross-Cultural Communications organization, provides medical professionals with training in basic interpreting skills and cross-cultural communication in healthcare settings. 
  • The Community Interpreter International (TCII) for Medical Professionals: TCII offers a specialized training program for medical professionals interested in improving their communication skills with limited English proficient patients. The program focuses on enhancing language access and cultural competence in healthcare. 


  • Language Interpreter Training for Medical Professionals (LITMP): The Language Interpreter Training for Medical Professionals program, offered by the University of Alberta, is designed for medical practitioners and healthcare staff who wish to improve their language skills and cultural understanding to communicate with patients more effectively. 


  • Intercultural Mediation and Interpretation in Healthcare Settings (IMIH): This program, offered by various institutions across Europe, provides training for healthcare professionals to develop their interpreting skills and cultural competence to communicate with patients from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. 

United Kingdom: 

  • Introduction to Medical Interpreting: This course, offered by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) in the UK, is designed for healthcare professionals who want to gain a basic understanding of medical interpreting and improve their communication skills with non-English speaking patients. 

Australia and New Zealand: 

  • Various institutions in Australia and New Zealand offer short courses or workshops focusing on cross-cultural communication and language access in healthcare settings. These programs aim to enhance communication skills for medical staff working with patients from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. 

Overall, training bilingual medical staff in interpreting enhances communication, promotes patient-centred care, improves patient outcomes, and increases patient satisfaction. It is a valuable investment that contributes to delivering high-quality, culturally competent healthcare services. 

We at IMS Interpreter Management System are honoured to provide a system for scheduling and managing interpreters in health care. 

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