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Medical Interpreter

Class Specification – H.45
Medical Interpreter I – 9355
Medical Interpreter II – 9356
Medical Interpreter Per Diem – 9357

August 2006

Series Description

Medical Interpreters are responsible for providing concise, accurate and objective interpretation for patients throughout the Medical Center. Incumbents function as members of the health care team and may work closely with various health care professionals across all specialties, including, physicians, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, laboratory technologists, radiology technicians and all levels of nursing care.

Medical Interpreters maintain a high degree of integrity and ethics in order to follow federal and state confidentiality laws and professional impartiality rules, while keeping interpretations within the scope of accurate translation. Interpreters adhere to the same mandatory reporting responsibilities as other health care professionals, including HIP AA and JCAHO. Often, the Interpreter is the first contact for patients seeking medical attention, and/or assisting the patient and medical staff in obtaining and/or explaining medical and related information, at times of a difficult and complex nature.

Typical communications include interpreting diagnostic procedures, diagnosis and prognosis, treatment plans, social service consults, psychiatric evaluations, family conferences, CPR training, genetic counseling, family planning consultations and informed consents.

Job related tasks usually do not involve exposure to blood, body fluids or tissues. However, position may require performing tasks that risk exposure to blood borne pathogens.

Classification Specifications

Medical Intepreter II

This is the advanced operational level for this series. Incumbents may assist with training new staff and volunteers and administering competency assessments to temporary and volunteer staff. May help with scheduling outside sign language interpreters for hearing impaired patients and patient families.

Interpreters at this level are able to independently identify and employ the appropriate mode of interpreting ( e.g., consecutive, written translation, over-the-phone interpreting, or sight translation). Incumbents have knowledge of both English and the target language of any specialized medical terminology or concepts specific to the vocabulary of general or specialized medical care and of any particular vocabulary and phraseology used by Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients and patient families, either verbally, in writing or over the phone.

Incumbents independently organize and prioritize allocated patient assignments to ensure full and timely completion of language services provided and to meet urgent patient language needs. Incumbents are well-versed in Medical Center policies, procedures and protocols. Incumbents maintain current knowledge oflanguage fluency and competency of English and the target language, medical terminology, cultural sensitivities, human anatomy and systemic physiology across all specialties of medicine and have a strong understanding of the ethical and professional standards of health care interpreters. Typical communications include more complex and difficult assignments such as emergency room assessments, social service consultations and hospice care discussions.

Medical Interpreter I

This is the operational level for this series. Under direction and supervision, incumbents perform the full range of interpreting activities. However, consultations at this level are typically standard and routine ( e.g., not of an urgent or complex nature). Incumbents organize and allocate patient assignments under the direction of a Medical Interpreter II or a manager/supervisor. Incumbents are learning the full range of medical terminology across all specialties of medicine, medical center procedures and protocols, and cultural sensitivities. Incumbents determine the appropriate mode of interpreting based on circumstance, under the direction of a Medical Interpreter II or a manager/supervisor.

Minimum Qualifications

Medical Interpreter I

HS Diploma and 4 years medical interpreter experience OR Bachelor’s degree and 1 year medical interpreter experience Passing score on internal Interpreter Competency Test Must be fluent in English and target language(s) with proficient written interpretation skills Extensive knowledge of medical terminology, basic knowledge of human anatomy and systemic physiology.

Excellent oral communication skills and ability to exercise sensitivity and patience in interactions with patients, families, and staff in stressful situations while maintaining confidentiality, and awareness of cultural differences. Preferred: Certification from an independent medical interpreter school or program.

Medical Interpreter II

Meets the qualifications at the Medical Interpreter I level, PLUS: Certification from an independent medical interpreter school or program. Knowledgeable about Medical Center policies, procedures, and protocols Leadership skills to be able to direct and advise Medical Interpreters with less experience.