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Culturesmart Launches the Fourth Edition of Its Multilingual Medical Interpreter Training Course

April 23, 2006

Culturesmart is pleased to announce the release of its completely revised and updated multilingual training for medical interpreters. The Essential Piece™ training course is now offered to bilingual staff at healthcare practices throughout the country and to qualified individuals who are interested in becoming medical interpreters. Its design and skill-building curriculum have been developed specifically to address the needs of healthcare organizations and their bilingual staff.

This latest revision is the result of a two-year project involving more than 12 expert consultants, including Cynthia E. Roat, MPH and Shani Dowd, LCSW (biomedicine chapter). These consultants assisted us in making the curriculum even more relevant to meeting medical interpreters’ ever-changing needs. We implemented changes based on feedback from customers and training participants. The revisions include:

  • Redesigning the order of delivery;
  • Developing additional training modules that allow further customization of the program for specific audiences; and
  • Restructuring the program for cost-effective on-site delivery at health care facilities throughout the U.S.

In redeveloping and launching this program in its updated form, we maintained five key principles:

  1. The course had to be delivered over a period of at least six weeks so there would be plenty of time in between sessions for participants to absorb and put material into practice.
  2. The course had to be offered in English and the target languages spoken by attendees.
  3. We needed to have a rigorous screening process prior to admission to ensure that candidates have sufficient language proficiency to become medical interpreters.
  4. We needed to have a realistic screening process at the end of the training to ensure that candidates are meeting the basic standards that the training seeks to teach.
  5. The course had to be delivered by full-time practitioners in healthcare, training, and interpreting-related fields so that participants would be exposed to the depth and breadth of knowledge necessary for continued professional growth.

The new curriculum, called The Essential Piece™, builds on our nine years of experience training over 1,000 interpreters who speak more than 21 different languages. The new name, The Essential Piece™, symbolizes two important principles:

• The critical, yet underrated role that the trained, qualified and screened medical interpreter plays in assuring quality health care for patients with limited English, and

• The power of our program to turn bilingual staff into trained, qualified interpreting personnel capable of providing health care organizations with the greatest return on minimal investments.

Culturesmart offers a broad range of options for collaboration, including a licensing program that enables clients’ in-house trainers to deliver The Essential Piece™ training curriculum.


If you’d like more information about The Essential Piece™ curriculum or if you are interested in bringing this training to your area, please call Greg Figaro at 617-890-1111 or send us an email at info@culturesmart.org


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