Health Care Interpreter

The Health Care Interpreter Program is dedicated to promoting excellence and professionalism in interpretative services and to enhance the provision of health and social services to ethnic communities.

  • Provide a model approach to the provision of linguistic and cultural services to the limited-English proficient (LEP) population
  • Provide an influential voice in shaping the role of the medical interpreter in the changing healthcare system
  • Promote active communication between service providers, communities and interpreters
  • Arrange professional training and continuing education with focus on a code of ethics
  • Promote the value of interpreter services with articulating institutions


Exciting news: Many of our former students were recently hired, at Fresno Community and at Children's Hospital among other hospitals and clinics. The starting salary is $19.65 per hour, and after about one year it may go up to $22 per hour! There is an increasing demand for certified Health Care Interpreters.

Health Care Interpreter Certification Program-Spanish

Successful students obtain a Certificate in Health Care Interpreting.

The program consists of 3 college level courses for a total of 15 college credits (288 to 300 hours). It takes two consecutive semesters to complete it.

Classes are scheduled to be held on the Reedley College campus, while skill practices take place at hospitals and medical clinics in the area. Classes will meet two times per week.

Health Care Interpreter Certification Curriculum

The curriculum for the Health Care Interpreter Certificate is designed to train bilingual and bi-cultural students to develop awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary for effective language interpretation in health care settings. Through academic preparation, practical skills training, and service hours in community based health care settings and educational organizations, certificate candidates learn:

  • roles and responsibilities of a health care interpreter
  • basic knowledge of common medical conditions, treatments, and procedures
  • insight in language and cultural nuances for specific communities
  • application of interpreting skills in English and the language of service

Minimum Requirements

It is highly recommended that enrolled students be able to demonstrate fluency in speaking English and fluency in the language of service, which is Spanish in the current cohorts.*) It is also highly recommended that students have completed a course in Medical Terminology (OT 10) and be eligible for English 125 and English 126.

Requirements for the Certificate in Health Care Interpreting

Each course must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher for credit. Students must complete the following sequence of required courses:

  • HEALTH 14 - Interpreting in Health Care I (4 units)
  • HEALTH 15 - Interpreting in Health Care II (4 units)
  • HEALTH 16 - Field Experience in Health Care Interpreting (4 units)

Medical Terminology along with Human Anatomy & Physiology will be extensively integrated into all three courses - with fluency in the language of service (Spanish) being an important part of all class activities.

Our Staff

Program Lead Instructor and Coordinator: Clara Escamilla
Other faculty members and language coaches: Stela Gallegos

Financial Aid is available for students who don't qualify for the WIB. Make sure you fill out a FAFSA, a free application for federal student aide. This can be done on line. You may be eligible, even while the first class HLTH 14 is only 4 units. Each person's case is different especially when it comes to Financial Aid. There is also a BOG waiver, a Board of Governors fee waiver you may be eligible for. It is all WITHIN YOUR REACH!