Health Care Interpreting

The noncredit Health Care Interpreter program prepares you for the national certification examination from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. CCHI requires that you complete 40 hours of basic training prior to sitting for the national exam, which is offered at the Madison College Truax Campus several times each year. New students may take "Introduction to the Profession," "Ethics" and "Spanish Medical Terminology." Prior to advancing beyond those courses, you must pass the written and oral language assessment.

Submit an approval request online

Get more information about national certification from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters.

Courses for New Interpreters

Health Care Interpreting Introduction

Are you bilingual? Have you ever been curious about interpreting, particularly in the health care field? Join us for an overview of the profession of medical interpretation. You just might find a whole new career for your set of skills. Learn more about medical interpreting in Dane County.

View Sections

Health Care Interpreter Ethics

Learning the code of ethics for health care interpreters is one of the fundamental steps for entering this profession. The principles and how to apply them as you work will have a huge impact on your success. In-class emphasis will be placed on discussion of case studies and the development of critical thinking to make informed choices about the best course of action. Also, some self-care techniques will be presented to help deal with the stresses of interpreting in the field of health care.

View Sections

Health Care Interpreting Assessment

This assessment is required of all students advancing beyond the introductory classes of this program (Introduction to the Profession, Ethics, and Spanish Medical Terminology.) Only those students passing the written portion of the assessment will be eligible to take the oral portion several weeks later, at a time set up by the instructor with the student. Students may take the assessment more than once, given that additional recommended coursework has been successfully completed.

View Sections

Health Care Interpreting Skills 1

This course is designed to teach new interpreters how to interpret consecutively in a medical setting. Emphasis will be placed on learning consecutive technique, expanding medical vocabulary in both English and the target language, and learning how to manage the flow of conversation in the encounter. Participants will work extensively in small groups practicing with dialogues based on real-life medical encounters. Textbook purchase required.

View Sections

Health Care Interpreting Skills 2

This course is designed to build on the skills new interpreters have acquired in Interpreting Skills 1. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to intervene and clarify appropriately, acquiring more advanced medical vocabulary in both English and the target language, and learning how to manage the flow of conversation when difficulties arise in the encounter. Participants will work extensively in small groups practicing with dialogues based on real-life medical encounters. Textbook purchase required.

View Sections

Health Care Interpreting: Sight Translation

Sight translation is one of the most difficult skills to acquire as a Health Care Interpreter. Often interpreters are unsure of the guidelines and boundaries they should use when asked to relay written information in verbal form. This class will place emphasis on distinguishing vital from non-vital documents, how to appropriately handle inappropriate requests and skill building and technique for sight translation in the medical field.

View Sections

Medical Terminology in Spanish

This course is intended for health care professionals or interpreters working with Spanish-speaking patients, but is open to anyone. It focuses on medical technical language in both English and Spanish. Students gain increased familiarity with medical terminology, thereby enhancing patient communication. Medical terminology will be presented according to body systems, clinical specialties and sub-specialties. The student will master both vocabulary and knowledge needed for a wide number of medical settings. Bringing a laptop, tablet, or iPad is recommended but not required.

View Sections

Courses for Certified Interpreters

Health Care Interpreting: Advanced Ethics

Advanced Ethics is designed for nationally certified healthcare interpreters who are interested in expanding their understanding of the NCIHC Code of Ethics and how to put it to use in their work environments. All participants will be encouraged to present interpreting scenarios based on their personal experiences for class discussion. It is our goal to help continue developing the critical thinking skills that all health care interpreters need to effectively deal with the complex situations that are common in the field.

View Sections

Interpreting in Mental Health

As a working interpreter, you’ll find that the most challenging appointments are often in the field of mental health services. This class will help you understand different types of mental illness, how providers often structure their treatment and how to deal with the special challenges in this field.

View Sections

Telephonic/Video Interpreting

Are you a working interpreter interested in other venues for your skills? Do you occasionally interpret by phone or video and are interested in exploring the special challenges that may arise in those circumstances? Join us for an introduction to telephonic and video interpreting.

View Sections


To register, use the course links above to locate an upcoming section and login to add to cart, or note the 5-digit class number and phone (608) 258-2301, ext 2, for registration assistance.

No application is needed. If you have never taken a class here before, you can facilitate enrollment by creating a student account.

For any course other than the Introduction to the Profession, Ethics, or Spanish Medical Terminology, students must also submit an approval request online.