Interpreter Training for Bilingual Hospital Staff

NJHA’s Health Research and Educational Trust has worked with healthcare organizations across the state to train bilingual staff as dual-role medical interpreters. The program was developed following the recommendations from NJHA’s Interpreter/Translation Task Force and the N.J. Office of Minority & Multicultural Health to address language barriers in healthcare settings, advance workforce competency and create an alternative “pool” of trained interpreters for timely access to communication services.

The Joint Commission also emphasized in its 2011, A Roadmap for Hospitals the need to meet patients’ communication needs and appropriately assess the qualifications and competencies of individuals who provide these services.

HRET’s one-day, 8-hour training curriculum provides interpreters with the foundation, skills and knowledge they need to bridge the communication gaps between providers and patients. The curriculum includes:

  • Importance of linguistically and culturally appropriate services in healthcare
  • Legal mandates behind the provision of interpreter services
  • Standards of practice, ethical principles, boundaries and conduct
  • Managing the flow of an interpreted session and interpreting in difficult situations
  • Cultural competency and complementary/alternative medicine.

The training is taught by a team of expert instructors in the field of medicine, cultural competency and quality improvement. The program and its curriculum were pilot tested by a consortium of six hospitals in southern New Jersey with a grant from the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health. The pilot findings showed an increase in staff knowledge, skills and cultural competency among participants. More details about these findings can be accessed in the Executive Summary.

Join the more than 500 bilingual staff and 34 healthcare facilities that have been trained successfully by HRET’s program and register for a session in your area.


Research Department