Spanish Medical Interpreter


Job Category

Lowell CHC seeks a fast thinking and empathetic Spanish Medical Interpreter (MI) to ensure a mutual understanding between healthcare providers and patients who do not speak a shared language. The MI is responsible for conveying medical, behavioral, and dental information to patients in an understood language, as well as informing the health care provider of any information provided by the patient. Under the direction of the Director of Patient Experience and supervision by the Interpreter Services Supervisor, the MI serves as an interpreter for patients and staff and supports the operations of the department. Relays medical information between speakers of two different languages in compliance with all Health Center policies and procedures, respecting patient's confidentiality and informed consent, passing performance of competencies listed in the International Medical Interpreter Association (IMIA) Standards of Practice, and the Code of Ethics. This position is a Hybrid Position.


  • Provides accurate interpretation of medical information to patients and staff via telephone, video and in person and ensure understanding of information between doctors, nurses, medical staff, and patients.
  • Helps facilitate successful delivery of services to linguistically diverse patients.
  • Explains Health Center resources, office protocols, and limitations to providers, clinicians, and patients; makes appropriate referrals; serves as a cultural and linguistic resource to both patients and providers to contribute to successful outcomes.
  • Performs duties in a spirit of teamwork and cooperation.
  • Adheres to Health Center policies on customer service.
  • Understands the Health Center’s approach to service delivery.
  • Completes written translations as required in patient encounters such as filling out forms and medical instructions, and medication schedules; administrative translations such as letters to patients, documents, and patient materials.
  • Supports the office operations by answering the phone, taking requests, calling patients to confirm appointments, documenting encounters in the interpreter tracking system, entering data, verifying and scheduling appointments when necessary, general troubleshooting, filing, and photocopying.
  • Utilizes various online systems such as the EHR, Microsoft, Kronos, Interpreter tracking system, and text and video platforms.
  • Participates in staff meetings and completes necessary departmental reports.
  • Works on special projects and other duties as assigned.


  • English and Spanish fluency both oral and written, and a minimum of Advanced Mid proficiency level as evidenced through language assessment test results from a recognized body such as:
  • Ability to work accurately in consecutive mode and sight translate into and from working/target language(s).
  • Ability to use both languages fluently and accurately on all levels pertinent to professional needs.
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of experience in a healthcare setting as a medical interpreter with strong medical vocabulary (including vocabulary of medical specialties)
  • Bachelor’s degree in any area related to science or human services preferred
  • Proof of satisfactory completion of medical interpreter training, minimum of 40 hours
  • High level of customer service and a positive approach
  • Familiarity and ability to work with diversity of cultural/socio-economic backgrounds
  • General knowledge of cultural backgrounds of patients to be served
  • Good interpersonal, organizational, and time-management skills
  • Knowledge of computer systems

Strong linguistic skills:

  • understands a variety of regional accents and linguistic styles and registers
  • selects appropriate mode of interpretation for each situation
  • interprets with highest degree of accuracy and completeness in consecutive, simultaneous, and sight translation modes
  • self-corrects, understands own linguistic limitations, seeks clarification, and accepts correction notices cues from encounter participants regarding level of understanding and/or need for clarification
  • possesses strong writing skills and understanding of translation process

Strong cultural awareness competencies:

  • understands language as an expression of culture, recognizes the underlying assumptions of each party about medicine, the encounter, the illness etc.; uses this understanding to empower patient and provider to better understand each other
  • intervenes as intercultural mediator when culture-bound messages compromise communication
  • uses culturally appropriate behavior and may need to clarify or interject appropriately by respecting the goals of the encounter
  • possesses awareness of personal values, beliefs, and cultural characteristics, which may be a source of conflict or discomfort in certain situations, with the ability to acknowledge these and/or to withdraw from encounters when these may interfere with successful interpretation.
  • avoids generalizations and stereotyping

Strong interpreting skills:

  • explains role of the interpreter to patient and provider (pre-session)
  • recognizes the complexity of the clinical encounter and added factor of linguistic barrier
  • encourages and fosters direct communication between provider and patient
  • sets tone of the patient/provider encounter to manage spatial configuration and flow of communication to preserve accuracy and completeness, and to assess and address potential areas of discomfort for patient (age, gender of interpreter, no previous experience with interpreters)
  • maintains professional distance and integrity
  • diffuses conflict between parties by remaining calm and impartial
  • clarifies instructions, follow up steps in a diplomatic, effective manner

Ethical competency:

  • understands and abides by Health Center policies on patient confidentiality, informed consent, non-discrimination; abides by interpreter’s code of ethics and standards of practice

Interpersonal and customer service skills:

  • projects positive attitude about the department and the Health Center, and offers services to ensure positive experience
  • works as a team with colleagues and providers
  • addresses concerns raised during or after an encounter by encouraging provider to make appropriate referral and/or assisting with making of appointment with right resource and booking interpreter as needed

Organizational skills:

  • works well under pressure to manage stressful situations
  • demonstrates flexibility to meet scheduling needs and can handle changes
  • exhibits sound judgment and confidence
  • handles multiple tasks
  • demonstrates attention to detail and accuracy
  • Keeps time to all scheduled appointments

Fast-paced clinical and office environment, with frequently changing priorities. Physically demanding with a lot of walking and standing time. Can be emotionally challenging at times due to some interactions may be highly stressful requiring maturity, composure & sound judgment.
Mostly working remotely, although there will be times the interpreter may be required to work onsite, depending on patient, meetings, and department needs. Daily/Weekly interaction with the other members of the team and immediate supervisor is required. The following is required while working from home:

  • Desktop Computer or Laptop (laptops & other hardware needs may be provided)
  • High Speed Internet
  • HIPAA Compliant space in your home that can be closed off

Location: 161 JACKSON ST., Lowell, MA 01852

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location
Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
Share This Job With