Medical interpreters speak for patients with limited English to help them communicate effectively with healthcare professionals. In addition to knowing a second language, interpreters must understand medical terminology and be able to relay health information back to patients. This career requires excellent communication and people skills, as interpreters speak on the behalf of patients and interact with their families and healthcare providers.
Medical interpreters most often work in hospitals, but can also be employed by clinics, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. Because patients need care around the clock, the hours and work schedule of interpreters varies.
No formal training or education is needed for medical interpreters, although they must be fluent and have significant experience in more than one language. Most colleges offer classes and degrees in a variety of foreign languages.
There are several certificates or degrees available in translation and interpretation that can lead to a career as a medical interpreter.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
The job prospects for qualified interpreters is very good. Iowa is becoming more diverse and interpreters are needed to break the language barrier. The expected 10-year growth rate is 22% for the state.