OHCIA Health Care Interpreter Training Course Details



Our language neutral program provides a good foundation to work as a health care interpreter and move forward in certification and qualification.  Mostly lecture based, with some interactive elements, we train you in the following:

  • Health Care Interpreter Standards of Practice and Ethics
  •  Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • History of the Health Care Interpreter Industry
  • How to Get Certified or Qualified as a Health Care Interpreter in Oregon
  • Interpreting Techniques
  • Cultural Competency
  • Mental Health Interpreting
  • Ethical Scenarios
  • Practice for the Certification Written Exam

The course is taught solely in English, and interpreters of all languages are welcome to attend, including ASL interpreters.


$40 per module ($320 for all eight modules)

You have the option of paying the whole amount in advance, or by a payment plan.

Payment Plan  

$40 on 4/2/16 (Day of Module 1: Intro to Health Care Interpreting)
$40 on 4/10/16 (Day of Module 2: Anatomy and Physiology I)
$120 on 4/17/16 (Day of Module 3: Medical Terminology I)
$120 on 5/8/16 (Day of Module 6: Medical Terminology II)

Students who have taken modules with the OHCIA in the past, or have an exemption from medical terminology and/or anatomy and physiology modules because of prior education, may purchase any module individually.


Anatomy and Physiology Homework Packet - $5
Medical Terminology Homework Packet - $5

The packets above will be for sale at the course.  

Required Book for Medical Terminology: Medical Terminology: A Living Language by Bonnie F. Fremgen and Suzanne S. Frucht (any edition is acceptable)

This book can be purchased on www.amazon.com or bookbyte.com.  It typically sells used in older editions for $20-30.


Optional Book for Anatomy and Physiology: The Human Body in Health and Illness by Barbara Herlihy (any edition is acceptable)

This book can be purchased on www.amazon.com or bookbyte.com.  It typically sells used in older editions for $30-40. 

There are additional materials that will made available on the private student website (you will receive access when you register).


No refunds are offered for any payments.  Students are now allowed transfer up to two paid modules that were missed to the next immediate course.


If you have a transcript from a university or college in the United States that specifically states "medical terminology" and/or "anatomy and physiology" then you should be able to substitute the education in place of our modules regarding those subjects.  

You are ultimately responsible for finding out for sure whether your past education counts as a substitute. For further questions on which previous education credits count, contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI).  You can reach them at all the options listed below:

Carol Cheney - Equity and Policy Manger
971-673-2960 carol.i.cheney@state.or.us
April Turner - Health Equity Workforce Assistant
971-673-3359 april.turner@state.or.us
Kweku Wilson - HCI Learning Collaborative Coordinator
971-673-3328 kweku.wilson@state.or.us
General OEI Contact Email: hci.program@state.or.us


There is required homework for Medical Terminology I and II and Anatomy and Physiology I and II.  Each assignment will be given the week before, and students are required to come to class with completed homework.


For every module, registration begins at 7:30 AM.  The class begins promptly at 8 AM.  Students should arrive not later than 7:45 AM.  All students arriving after 8 AM will be turned away.  


OHSU School of Nursing, 1st floor auditorium (3455 SW Veterans Hospital Rd Portland, OR 97239)  - Parking is free (please do not contact OHSU or its School of Nursing for information, please instead contact us at 503-893-9660 or support@ohcia.org) 


Anyone registering for this course MUST have an advanced fluency level for English and their respective interpreting language(s).  This is the only mandatory requirement.


The program is assessed solely on attendance.  The final exam at the end is only a practice test.  Students who arrive on time and stay the duration of a specific module receive a certificate of completion for that particular day.  One completes the entire course when they have been awarded a certificate for each of the eight modules.  This allows for students take modules at their own pace at different times of the year (you can take all the modules at once or a few at a time).  

We offer this training three times a year (winter, spring and fall).

The program is taught exclusively in English, and the material is language neutral, so that no matter what language you interpret for, this program will benefit you.


There will be a lunch break provided from 12-1 PM.  Students are encouraged to bring their own lunch or bring money to purchase lunch at the OHSU Cafeteria (a ten minute walk from the School of Nursing).


Please bring a pen/pencil and paper to take notes.  You are also encouraged to bring a tablet or laptop to follow along with the slides and online materials. 

The School of Nursing is handicapped accessible, with wheelchair ramps into the building and auditorium.  

Please let us know if you need any additional accommodations.

No food or drink is allowed to be consumed in the auditorium.


Introduction to Health Care Interpreting (8 hours)

This module is an overview of the entire course, covering topics such as: medical interpreting history, standards of practice, message discourse and modes of interpreting.

Anatomy and Physiology I (8 hours)

This module covers introduction to the human body, chemistry, cells and tissues, body membranes, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscle tissue, blood, and the cardiovascular system.  All terms are taught in English, with the expectation that the student will create a glossary in their respective target language.

Anatomy and Physiology II (8 hours)

This module covers the respiratory system, nervous system, special senses, endocrine system, lymphatic system, digestive system, nutrition, urinary system, reproductive system, and embryology.  All terms are taught in English, with the expectation that the student will create a glossary in their respective target language.

Medical Terminology I (8 hours)

This module includes how to break down and analyze the components of medical words, descriptions of organs and structures of main body systems, diagnostic procedures, medical abbreviations, and specialized vocabularies.  All terms are taught in English, with the expectation that the student will create a glossary in their respective target language.

Medical Terminology II (8 hours)

This module is a continuation of the module description above.

Health Care Interpreter Code of Ethics (8 hours)

This module is designed to thoroughly review the ethics of health care interpreting using best practice examples from the National Council on Health Care Interpreting Code of Ethics, the International Medical Interpreter Association Code of Ethics, and the California Standards for Health Care Interpreting. 

Advanced Health Care Interpreter Techniques (8 hours)

This module is broken into three sections: 

Cultural Concepts: This focuses on developing cultural awareness and sensitivity skills.

Note Taking: Students are instructed on the importance of effective note taking while interpreting consecutively. 

Mental Health: This section equips students with the tools to handle scenarios possible in a mental health interpreting setting. 

Final Exam (4 hours)

The final exam is a 120 question, multiple choice exam reviewing all the content of the course, such as introductory concepts, mental health scenarios, cultural competency, ethics, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology.  This exam is a practice test that loosely resembles the written test for the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) or Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI).

Passing of the course is based solely on attendance, so there is no official passing score for the exam.  Students will have two hours to complete the practice exam, and then will self-grade their answers.