The following six components together comprise a reasonably comprehensive process for initial assessment of qualifications for healthcare interpreting.
Basic language skills. General proficiency in speaking and understanding each of the languages in which the applicant would be expected to work. (If multiple languages are involved, it is essential that the applicant’s ability in each language be assessed, especially those in which the applicant may have more limited proficiency.) The applicant should be able to demonstrate public speaking skills.
Code of Ethics. Recognition of ethical issues, knowledge of ethical standards (a code of ethics) and ethical decision-making. Cultural issues. Ability to anticipate and recognize misunderstandings that arise from the differing cultural assumptions and expectations of providers and patients and to respond to such issues appropriately.
Healthcare terminology. Knowledge of commonly used terms and concepts related to the human body; symptoms, illnesses, and medications; and healthcare specialties and treatments in each language, including the ability to interpret or explicate technical expressions. Integrated interpreting skills. Ability to perform as required for employment, demonstrated by interpreting a simulated cross-linguistic interview with acceptable accuracy and completeness while monitoring and helping to manage the interaction in the interest of better communication and understanding. Translation of simple instructions. Ability to produce oral translations, or, where appropriate, brief written translations, of written texts such as signage or medicinal labels.