Medical Interpreting Training – Modular

The Art of Interpretation

When someone speaks two languages, we expect they can interpret. However, it’s more complicated than that. The meaning has to be transferred from one language to another language. It’s a little bit like playing the piano. Being able to play with one hand at a time is not that hard. Many people can get there with little help. However, playing with two hands requires special training, especially when both hands are working somewhat independently. Transferring meaning from one language to another, whether orally or in writing, requires special training.

This document, first published in March of 2015, clarifies the roles of Translators, Interpreters, Transcriber-Translators and Terminologists, and has been endorsed by several professional associations. Helen Eby is one of the team leaders for this project.

Training objectives

  • Develop interpreting skills for passing the oral certification exam.
  • Develop personal research skills in medical terminology to prepare interpreters for passing the written certification exam.
  • Learn ethical values and principles from the applicable codes of ethics in the Pacific Northwest, including the National Code of Ethics for Interpreters in Health Care, WA State Department of Health and Human Services Code of Professional Conduct for Interpreters, Translators and LAPL, the Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the Oregon Courts, and the code of ethics from the ASTM F2089 – 15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting Code of Professional Conduct, in preparation for passing the written certification exam.
  • Meet HIPAA Business Associate Certification requirements.

What do you need to become an Oregon Health Authority Health Care Interpreter?

Oregon Health Care Certified InterpreterOregon Health Care Qualified Interpreter
60-hour training or equivalent approved by the Oregon Health Authority (such as this training)
Proof of language proficiency (included in the cost of this training)*
Pass a certification exam such as the ones listed in this link. To see the medical certification assessments accepted in the Pacific Northwest, please view
this comparison chart

Spanish interpreters cannot renew this credential. They can convert to Certified by passing the Certification exams within 3 years.
30 hours of interpreting experience15 hours of interpreting experience.
18 years of age
*This training will not accept candidates with a lower level of language proficiency than Advanced Mid on the ACTFL scale.

Training Modules

ModulesEthicsMedical TerminologyHealth Care Interpreting Skills
Training hours 81636
Mode of deliveryOnline through GoTo TrainingOnline through GoTo TrainingIn person, location to be determined for each course.
PrerequisitesLanguage proficiency in English and Spanish measured pursuant to OHA requirements.
Required resources Merck Manual for Home Health in English and Spanish, available onlineThe Interpreters Rx, by Holly Mikkelson (delivered on first session, included in cost of training)
Required equipment• Computer with high speed internet connection (participants will be entering answers on their computers on a regular basis)
• Headset (using speakers for audio creates echoes for the other listeners)
• Microphone (all participants will be interacting live on their microphones)
Recording device with audio playback
Approvals16 CE Credits CCHI
16 CE Credits OJD (8 Spanish, 8 General)
16 CE Credits OJD (8 Spanish, 8 General)
Discounts for certified interpreters$70 $70
Discount for members of professional associations$20$40$70
* The cost of the ACTFL Advanced Mid exam is included in the combined Medical Terminology and Skills modules.
If booked as a package deal, the total cost is $1200. Participants who have fulfilled the OHA language proficiency requirements for Qualification receive a discount of $100. Members of professional associations receive an additional discount of $100.
These prices are for the Portland, OR, vicinity and online delivery and may vary based on travel, lodging, etc.

See medical terminology module

See ethics module for medical interpreting

See health care interpreting skills module

Helen Eby, Instructor


One of Helen’s major interests is guiding translators and interpreters who are just entering the profession. This commitment to helping newcomers prompted her to co-found The Savvy Newcomer, an ATA blog that is now recognized as a go-to resource for launching a career in translation and interpreting.

Helen’s background as an English and Spanish teacher also led to her involvement with Cuatro Mosqueteras, a team of bloggers working to improve Spanish writing, as well as her participation in the ASTM drafting group for translation standards.

Membership in professional associations:


A registration form will be available on this page for registration for a September course. If interested, please email gaucha @

Click here for full syllabus details as submitted to the Oregon Health Authority.

Materials developed by Helen:

outline for internship aug 2015

evaluations for interpreters HE 20150715

DCS overview Helen Eby

semantic note taking rv march 2 2015

Medical terminology by Gaucha

Dialogues from Medical Language: Terminology in Context, by Melody Hull. Used by permission.

Medical terminology database feb 2014

Medical terminology intro to systems