Introduction to Health Care Interpreting

Time: Lecture: Monday 6:00 - ­8:00 pm

Language section:

  • Japanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese: Tuesdays 6:30-8 pm
  • Tagalog, Spanish: Wednesdays 6:30-8pm
  • Mandarin: Thursdays  6:30-8pm
  • Korean: Fridays 7:30-9pm

Email: (Education Coordinators), (Language Coordinator)

Education Coordinators: Megan Chow and Jiyoon Chung

Language Coordinators: Ashleigh Takemoto and Eunice Tsang

DeCal Faculty Advisor: Rachel Morello-Frosch (email: )

Training Description

NOTE: To participate in the training, you must be accepted into the Volunteer Health Interpreters Organization after our interview process. Apply here

Undergraduate students in public health, social work, or related fields who are fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Spanish, or Tagalog are welcome to apply. Language assessments are conducted prior to admission to the mandatory training, which acquaints new Volunteer Health Interpreters Organization volunteers with health interpretation practices.

We aim to train fluent, bilingual students to interpret, or verbally translate, for health workers and patients in various healthcare settings in different languages in the San Francisco Bay Area­­­: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Tagalog. Our 40-hour training course is based on the Language Cultural Access Program curriculum from the Oakland Asian Health Services. Through our training, students of all linguistic backgrounds will be introduced to

  1. The theory, concepts, and skills in health care interpreting
  2. The complexity of the roles and responsibilities of interpreters in health care setting and skills to carry out those functions
  3. The ethical principles, considerations, and strategies to handle challenges they may encounter as health care interpreters
  4. The biological and anatomical aspects of healthcare that will enhance their knowledge of the medical fields they may come across.

They will apply these principles and skills and familiarize themselves with common medical terminologies during the language group simulation practice portion of the class. The language group practice portion will focus on the specific areas of health that VHIO is working with during the semester, such as physical therapy, dentistry, and end-of-life care, so that students who are also members of VHIO will be able to get continuous practice that prepares them for actual interpreting sessions at clinics and events.

Providing training in...

Interpretation Protocols
Confidentiality Laws
Medical Terminology
Anatomy and Physiology