Non-Credit Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting

Program now open to working pre-certified interpreters!

Students and Professor in LabRIT/NTID announces the non-credit "Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting" (CHI) program for 2019-2020. The program is a blended format consisting of a consolidated, week-long face-to-face classroom experience and online learning components. CHI provides specialized professional development to ASL/English interpreters in the area of healthcare interpreting, and employs innovative teaching by nationally recognized healthcare experts combined with practical application within healthcare environments.

The online application deadline is March 15, 2019. Applicants will receive an email by March 31, 2019 with a decision on their application status.

Program Overview

We will offer two cohorts: one for certified interpreters and one for working pre-certified interpreters.

CHI will offer its next session during the 2019–2020 academic year. This program includes approximately 160 hours of classroom and online instruction.

June 3 - 7, 2019 on site at NTID

June 10, 2019 – February 2020 online

The program includes:

  • Medical terminology (online prerequisite must be completed by 6/1/19)
  • Human Body Systems for the Professional Interpreter — online and in classroom
  • Healthcare Practical Interpreting — online and in classroom

Upon completion, the student is awarded a Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and will earn up to 16 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

Program Cost:

The prerequisite medical terminology course is $99.95. The cost for the Certificate Program is $1,400. There is a $35 book fee due during the onsite week in June.

Equipment Needed:

You will need a high-speed internet connection, a microphone and a webcam.


Lodging will be available at the Radisson Inn on RIT's campus for the week of June 2 - 7, 2019 (5 nights). The cost is $113 per night for double occupancy and $103 for single occupancy rooms. Further details will be emailed upon acceptance to the program.

Student Qualifications:

The following criteria will be used to select applicants to participate in this program:

  • Applicants must have previous experience (staff or freelance) as an interpreter in healthcare settings.
  • Applicants must agree to complete the entire program including the prerequisite online course.

Program Goals:

After completing this program the student will:

  1. Develop an understanding of basic healthcare systems, various venues where medical/psychiatric care is provided, common diagnosis and treatments, institutional hierarchy and the roles and responsibilities of healthcare personnel.
  2. Develop an understanding of state and federal regulations regarding healthcare settings (e.g. liability, Department of Health regulations, HIPAA, ADA, hospital policies) and its impact on interpreters (external demands/interpersonal demands).
  3. Examine common human diseases from a systematic approach including etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
  4. Recognize general medical/psychiatric terms, procedures, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology in English and ASL.
  5. Recognize and appreciate the ways that medical terminology is used in medical and psychiatric settings.
  6. Discuss the meaning of a practice profession approach, working within the service of the goal of the environment, and professional responsibility.
  7. Recognize issues in the work environment that may create distress within oneself and employ strategies for dealing with feelings.
  8. Identify and discuss strategies and techniques that foster effective communication within healthcare environments.
  9. Discuss behaviors and practices that demonstrate respect for patients and healthcare providers from diverse backgrounds and with diverse beliefs and thought worlds.
  10. Develop an understanding of the common types of mental illness and the use of the DSM diagnostic criteria in the evaluation of patients.
  11. Identify the personal and professional demands that can occur in these settings and strategies leading to effective interpretations through the demand-control schema analytical construct.
  12. Understand the role and function of "Designated Interpreters" in healthcare settings.
  13. Understand common and complex therapeutic dynamics, especially third-party dimensions, and the interpreter's potential impact and interference on the therapeutic process/relationship.
  14. Analyze ethical dilemmas and apply ethical standards and practices via case conferencing and supervision.