Profession

Medical interpreters can get certification

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 26, 2009

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Professionals who help patients with limited English proficiency communicate with doctors and nurses have the option of becoming certified medical interpreters. The certification, announced in October, is being offered by a new nonprofit entity, the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. The first certification, available now, is for Spanish interpreters; certification in other languages is expected next year.

The board is made up of 12 leaders in the medical and interpreting industries, including Eric Hardt, MD, a physician at the Boston Medical Center. "It is our mission to ensure that the certification process is credible, transparent, valid and inclusive, and protects the interest of all stakeholders that can be impacted by certification," he said.

Research has shown that patients with limited English proficiency are at an increased risk for poor quality care and medical mistakes.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/10/26/prbf1026.htm.

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