Terms & Conditions


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Course Description:

This course is designed to provide a foundation for best practices in health care interpreting.  Interpreters will gain knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology concepts.  Interpreters will understand the implications of the Code of Ethics for Health Care Interpreters.  This language-neutral training program is taught in English and will prepare interpreters in the seven language groups identified as eligible for certification in the state of Oregon and will prepare other language interpreters for qualification.  The course will familiarize the student with CCHI and NBCMI national certification requirements and prepare them for the national examinations.

Course Structure:

  • Classes are designed on a module basis.  The course consists of eight 8-hour modules.  
  • Classes are held on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Students enroll in the full course and take the courses in sequential order. 
  • The course consists of 52 hours of Anatomy and PhysiologyMedical Terminology in English and non-English language; Introductory Health Care Interpreting Concepts and Modes, and 8 hours of training of Ethics and Standards of Practice (including HIPAA laws).  
  • We recommend that all students take the Anatomy and Physiology for Interpreting and Medical Terminology for Interpreting modules, regardless of whether you have previous training in these subjects.  However, if you have previous training in Anatomy/Physiology/Medical Terminology, please contact the Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion directly about a waiver for these classes at or 971-673-3328.


The course evaluation is based on a 4-hour final review and examination will be held on the date of the final module.  Students must achieve a 70 percent grade or higher on the final exam to successfully complete the course.

Class Size:

Class enrollment is limited to 55 students.

Course Accessibility:

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychological, vision, or hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact OHCIA one week prior to the module date.


$400- For all 64 hours training (eight 8-hour modules). Includes all training material.

Students must pay for the entire course at the time of registration.  Special arrangements are available for those with financial hardship.  Requests should be submitted via email to


Classes are held in the first floor Auditorium at the OHSU School of Nursing:

3455 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd, Portland, Oregon

  • PARKING - Parking is free on weekends behind the building on Gaines St. in Lot 70.  (please do not contact OHSU or its School of Nursing for information.  If you have questions, please contact us at 503-893-9660 or - Parking map HERE.

Attendance & Absences:

100% attendance is required for successful completion of the course.  Participation in class activities is mandatory. Students who have missed a module will be given a voucher to take the module during the following 64-hour training course.  Only those students who must make up a class will be allowed to register for single modules.  Please contact to make arrangements.



You must be at an advanced mid-level of fluency or higher in English, and in the language(s) in which you interpret.

Language Proficiency

Students who register for the 64-hour Health Care Interpreter training must first meet the English language proficiency requirements set by the Oregon Health Authority’s office of Equity and Inclusion.  This will help students to meet one of two language requirements for Health Care Interpreter Qualification or Certification by the OHA.  

Miscellaneous - One of the following may demonstrate oral proficiency in English:

  1. Bachelor, masters, doctorate or any other degree from any U.S. institution of higher education.
  2. Graduation from any high school in an English language speaking country where English is the primary language of instruction.
  3. Graduation from a higher education institution abroad where English is the primary language of instruction.
  4. One of the following tests (subject to change). Test results must be from no more than three years ago to be considered valid.
  5. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 570+ on paper; 230+ on computer version; 90+ on iBT
  6. Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), Level 4: B
  7. Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), Level 5: B
  8. International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.0+
  9. Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR): 2+
  10. Common European Framework (CEFR): B2
  11. Oral Proficiency Interview at the advanced mid-level on the ACTFL scale


If language proficiency can't be demonstrated by any of the options listed above, language testing is the next option. 


Language testing - Oregon Health Authority approved language proficiency testing centers include:

  • Language Line University Level 3 or above – OHCIA students are eligible for a rate of $80 for testing ($50 discount).  ((Interavency Language Roundtable (ILR) equivalent, based on website information)).



  • Language Testing International testing is based on American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages {ACTFL) assessment. Both the optional phone interpreter (OPI — telephonic) and OPIc (computer recording) are acceptable.


  • The passing level for all language testing is advanced mid-level on the ACTFL scale.


Refunds & Transfers

If a student has paid for the the course and has missed a module, they will be issued a voucher to take the module at the next training quarter.  Students who have not completed their entire 64-hour training after two quarters will forfeit their credits and must begin the training again.  No refund will be issued.

Students who have already taken some of the modules prior to 2018 will only be charged for the modules needed to complete the course. Modules must be completed by December, 31, 2018.  After that time, they will forfeit their credits and must begin the training again.  No refund will be issued. 

Please email OHCIA at with questions regarding which modules you need to complete the course.





Module 1:  Introduction to Health Care Interpreting I (8 hours)

Description:  In the first module, students will be given a broad introduction to Health Care Interpreting concepts such as the difference between interpreter and translator, modes of interpreting, types of interpreting professions and settings, Civil Rights and history of the interpreter profession, standards of practice, code of ethics, and HIPAA privacy laws.  We will explore the requirements for Oregon health care interpreter certification and qualification and the requirements for national board certification.   Students will learn about the essential skills required to become professional interpreters such as message conversion skills and discourse analysis, clear and understandable speech delivery in an appropriate volume.  An introduction to health care, professional expectations within the health care industry; overview of health care specialties such as Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Intake for Eligibility, Worker’s Compensation, etc. 


Module 2:  Medical Terminology for Interpreting I (8 hours)

Description:  This class is the first of two units focused on Medical Terminology.  The first part explores the Latin and Greek suffixes, prefixes, and roots of medical terminology.  This will include terminology relating to registration and admitting, and body planes, directions, and locations, diagnosis and symptoms.  Recognizing that it is vital for interpreters to develop strategies for independent learning, this class provides multiple opportunities for students to practice these skills.  Working in pairs, students learn to utilize these basic word components to break down and analyze familiar vocabulary as well as to decipher unfamiliar medical terms.  Working in small language-specific groups, students will create a personalized reference tool with terminology in English and their target language that they can use as an interpreting resource.  Students will be instructed on useful online resources for interpreting medical terminology. 


Module 3:  Medical Terminology for Interpreting II (8 hours)

Description:  This class is the second of two units focused on Medical Terminology.  Students will scaffold on the first module to build upon their medical terminology.  They will review a description of organs and structures of main body systems; diagnostic procedures, medical abbreviations, and specialized vocabularies.  Terminology will include medical specialties, genetics, pathologies, treatments and commonly used pharmaceutical terminology.  The areas of focus will include medical, mental, dental, and vision health terminology.  Students will continue to build upon their personal medical references and work together in groups by language to discuss the use of medical terminology in their target language.  Students will also have the opportunity to practice the terminology through role play, interpreting various scenarios.


 Module 4: Overview of Anatomy and Physiology I (8 hours)

Description:  This class is the first of two sections related to Anatomy and Physiology.  The first unit explores the division of the body into regions and systems.  Students will learn the functions, locations, related components and related organs of the Musculoskeletal, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nervous, Integumentary, and Endocrine Systems.  Students will learn the most common conditions and pathologies related to each of the body systems along with common treatments for those pathologies.


Module 5: Overview of Anatomy and Physiology II (8 hours)

Description:  This class is the second of two sections related to Anatomy and Physiology.  In the second unit, students will learn the functions, locations, related components and related organs of the Lymphatic, Digestive, Urinary, and Reproductive Systems, as well as the Ears, Nose, Throat, the Eye and Vision, and Dental structures.  Students will gain an understanding of epidemiology such as common diseases and their vaccinations.  Students will learn the most common conditions and pathologies related to each of the body systems along with common treatments for those pathologies.


Module 6:  Health Care Interpreting Ethics (8 hours)

Description:  This module is designed to thoroughly review the Ethics of Health Care Interpreting using best practice examples such as the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NHCIC) Code of Ethics, the International Medical Interpreter Association Code of Ethics, and the California Standards for Health Care Interpreting.  Students will explore the historical context of the national HIPAA and HIPAA as “ethics put into law” and how it relates to the interpreter (proper disposal of notes, etc.)  (A separate HIPAA certificate will be given at the end of the day.)  Students will become familiar with the core values of interpreter.  Working in small groups, students will work on scenarios that will challenge their understanding of these principles and present to the class their scenarios.


Module 7:  Advanced Health Care Interpreting I (8 hours)

Description:  This class is the first of two sections related to developing the skills required to interpret in the medical, mental, dental, and vision health care settings.  The process of memory will be introduced, and students will have the opportunity to explore their individual memory recall and to apply different skills in attempting to learn new information as they develop their memory skills.  The class explores strategies such as note-taking for consecutive interpreting.  Students will learn active listening skills to retain information.  They will learn about voice register and the importance of maintaining and changing the register in interpreting.  Similarly, some languages employ various levels of formality that are addressed in class.  Students are exposed to other message conversion challenges such as target languages equivalence (figurative language, expletives, idioms, and colloquialism), as well as the ability to identify differences in meaning due to regional dialects.  Since interpreters are often called upon to sight translate documents such as medical history, release of information, consent forms, financial policy, and insurance forms at registration and to perform simple written translations like patient instructions, this class will allow students the opportunity to translate most often used documents.  Students will have ample opportunities to practice all these skills in small groups and to provide constructive feedback within their groups.  Students will also learn about self-care strategies for interpreters. Students will review the requirements for Oregon health care interpreter certification and qualification and the requirements for national board certification.  


Module 8 – Part I:  Advanced Health Care Interpreting II (4 hours)

Description:  This module is the second of two units related to developing the skills required to interpret in the clinical environment.  This segment will provide information on cultural competence.  Students will learn about the tenets of culture—what it is, and how it relates to health care. Students will work in small groups to analyze themes related to their own cultures.  In this unit, students will also have an opportunity to speak with practicing interpreters and ask questions related to the profession such as self-employed contractor vs. employee, scheduling, etc.  This class is designed to provide students with exposure to real world experiences of health care interpreters in the clinical setting.  Also in this unit, interpreters will have the opportunity to meet representatives from employers or interpreting agencies so that they can learn what those agencies look for when contracting interpreters.


Module 8 – Part II:  Final Written Examination (4 hours)


The final module will include a review of Health Care Interpreting Concepts, Best Practices of Health Care Interpreting, Codes of Ethics of Health Care Interpreting, Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology.  Students will present their completed personalized reference tool.  This will be followed by the final written examination which is the culmination of the 64 hours of training required for certification.


Summative course assessment.  Must achieve a score of 70% in order to pass the course.


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