Spanish-English Medical Interpretation

Spanish-English Medical Interpretation

What is Spanish/English Medical Interpretation Training Program?

The Spanish/English Medical Interpreter Training Program is a 44-hour training program designed for bilingual individuals who speak English and Spanish and work in the medical field or in a healthcare setting. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 42% increase in employment for interpreters and translators over the next decade. This increase is due to the "broadening of international ties and the large increases in the number of non-English speaking people in the United States." Source: BLS/OCO

The Law: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166 of 1990 mandate that healthcare providers - including private practitioners - receiving Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal funding must provide speakers of limited English "meaningful access" to their services, when those speakers constitute a specified percentage of the demographic. The courts have interpreted "meaningful access" to mean face-to-face interpretation, as well as translation of vital documents. In Colorado, this demographic involves speakers of Spanish. The 44 hour certificate is required by federal mandate, and the Joint Commission provides documented proof that an interpreter used at a medical facility meets required federal OCR guidelines.

  • Program Format:

    Eleven 4-hour Sessions | 44 contact hours | 4.4 CEUs:

    • Language Coaching
    • English Medical Terminology
    • Spanish Medical Terminology
    • Cognitive Skills, Protocols, Ethics, and Best Practices

    One component that makes this course unique and we believe "better," than other interpreter courses is the use of online interactivity (via live web chat sessions, etc.)  Research and experience demonstrate the importance of actually hearing and using the language as it better prepares and equips our students more than programs that do not incorporate this type of active and participatory learning. 

    Because of the value we place on our curriculum and the desired positive outcome for our students, this course requires mandatory/required live chat sessions.  These sessions are scheduled by the instructor and require students to have some online sessions that are at times determined by the instructor.  Students will be given the schedule via their online Blackboard learning shell.  All times are at Colorado/MST (mountain standard) time.  Please be sure to note this and consult with your instructor if you have any questions or concerns.

  • What Can a Certificate of Completion in Spanish/English Medical Interpretation Do For You?

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor, The job outlook for interpreters and translators can expect much faster than average employment growth over the next decade due to the increase in the number of foreign language speakers in the United States and the broadening of international ties.

  • Who Should Attend?
    • Nurses, physicians, pharmacists, front office staff, receptionists, dieticians, laboratory technicians, social workers, etc. who are bilingual in English and Spanish
    • Interpreters and translators currently employed in the medical field or healthcare settings, such as hospitals, physicians' offices, pharmacies, rehabilitation clinics, etc.
    • Independent interpreters
    • Interpreters with other interpreting credentials, such as those who have completed the Spanish/English Legal Interpreter Certificate Program or the Professional Interpreter in Education Certificate Program
    • Individuals seeking employment in the medical field or in a healthcare setting
    • Individuals seeking their first professional interpreting certificate
  • Why earn a Spanish-English Medical Interpretation Certificate?

    Participants who complete the training receive a Certificate of Training Completion that meets federal guidelines.

    • You will be more marketable
    • Improve your patient communication and care
    • Builds upon and enhances your knowledge and skills
    • More career opportunities and options for advancement
  • Course Qualifications:

    This course is available to those who fluently speak both English and Spanish (bilingual.)
    Please note that being bilingual does not automatically qualify an individual to serve as a medical interpreter. A native-language or "heritage language" speaker (through proper training and education) can become a valuable asset as a trained medical interpreter in any health care related field.
    The course does not require a degree.

    Pre-Assessment Evaluation:
    All training participants must be assessed (orally) for bilingual proficiency, and demonstrate a high level of fluency before final admission into the course.

    • No prior knowledge of medical or technical linguistic awareness is necessary for the pre-assessment.
    • The pre-assessment exam is conducted orally and is based on every day conversational Spanish that is qualitative in nature.
    • The pre-assessment exam is taken by speaking to an expert instructor in qualifying and testing candidates for medical interpretation.
    • Exam participants will be placed into one of three categories guided by the Spanish Assessment rubric linked here: Basic (Less than 10 points), Advanced (10-15 points), or Master (15-20 points).

    The qualitative score is calculated on whether the applicant is:

    • Completely fluent in speech without struggling
    • Able to comprehend the spoken message immediately
    • Can converse easily in a casual manner about a given topic without hesitation

    Candidates will know their qualitative score at the conclusion of the oral exam. 

    Candidates that fall under the master level will be able to start the class.  Students who fall under advanced but are evaluated to most likely progress to a master level by taking the course, will be considered on an individual basis.  Students that fall under basic will be recommended to take a beginner course such as NURS 2470 prior to enrolling in the interpreter program.

    Acceptance into the class will be evaluated individually and is not only based on their score but also at the discretion of the instructor.  

    Language pre-assessment requests must be emailed to
    Contact an Extended Studies Representative to learn more or schedule your pre-assessment evaluation today!


Fall 2022

NURS 4000 Spanish/English Medical Interpreter
Class Number:  41666
Dates: 09/26/2022 - 10/28/2022 

Tuition: $950.00*


Please contact Sharon Clark for additional information.

Spring 2023

NURS 4000 Spanish/English Medical Interpreter
Class Number: 39870
Dates: 02/27/2023 -  04/02/2023

Tuition: $950.00*


Please contact Sharon Clark for additional information.

Required Text available in the UCCS Bookstore (medical reference section):

  • Medical Spanish Made Incredibly Easy! [Paperback] Springhouse
  • Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Third edition (June 2, 2008)

The UCCS Spanish/English Medical Interpreter course meets the requirements for future interpreters and translators certification, offered by the International Medical Interpreters Association.

Refund Policies
There are no refunds on non-credit courses dropped after the course census date.  Students can see the census deadline(s) in their student portal, after they register for the courses, by clicking on the calendar icon in their class schedule.


Disclosures: Non-Credit - Certificate of Completion - Not notated on transcript - Not Financial Aid Eligible

These Programs are NOT gainful employment certificates and are NOT eligible for financial aid. Degree seeking students should consult with their student advisor prior to taking non-credit courses. For a full description of UCCS certificate types and policies please visit:

UCCS Campus Policy (200-023): Certificate Programs


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