Skip to main content

The Health Care Interpreting program at Johnson County Community College gives you the opportunity to become a pivotal resource for those who do not speak English fluently.

What will I learn in JCCC’s Health Care Interpreting program?

According to recent figures, about 40,000 people of the Hispanic/Latino Ethnicity reside in Johnson and Wyandotte counties of the Kansas City metro area, many of which speak little to no English. Because of this, seeking required medical treatment can be challenging and confusing.

The Health Care Interpreting program at JCCC will help you gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in hospitals and medical practices as a Spanish-to-English interpreter and translator. You’ll learn to quickly, coherently, and accurately translate complex questions, answers, and concepts.

Through practice and role-playing, you’ll also learn to adapt how you interpret and translate to meet the comprehension and understanding of the Spanish-speaking client.

Skills and tools you’ll develop in JCCC’s Health Care Interpreting program include:

  • An understanding of cultural concepts, usage and expressions
  • Awareness of the Spanish language’s varieties, dialects and accents  
  • Common medical conditions, treatments, protocols and procedures
  • Medical terminology in both English and Spanish
  • The importance of providers’ and clients’ cultural beliefs and values
  • Intercultural communication, cross-cultural mediation and conflict resolution
  • A code of ethics and professional standards of practice for interpreters
  • Application of interpreting and translating skills in English and Spanish
  • Legal aspects of interpreting and potential legal liabilities of interpreters 

Progressive courses build upon what you learn, starting with general concepts that lead to increasingly complex skills and knowledge. The course includes five classes developed specifically for the program and two non-interpreting classes:

  • Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professionals (HC 130)
  • Introduction to Health Care Delivery (HC 101)

You can complete the program in three semesters, or longer depending on your schedule and personal needs.

Selective admission programs, like JCCC's Health Care Interpreting program, are not eligible for the 60+ reduced tuition rate.

[Catalog] Health Care Interpreting Certificate

[Catalog] Health Care Interpreting courses

Download information packet

Why JCCC for Health Care Interpreting courses?

JCCC’s Health Care Interpreting program has had nearly 100 percent completion rates since its inception more than 10 years ago. In fact, our reputation is so well known and respected that many students are recruited before they complete the program.

Our instructors have worked directly within the healthcare system and bring that direct experience and knowledge to the classroom. Each spring JCCC hosts the Mid-America Chapter of the American Translators Association (MICATA) conference. Students from the Health Care Interpreting program can network and learn more about the field.

In compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulations, JCCC provides information pertaining to professional licensure and certification for all relevant programs. Visit our Professional Licensure page for more information.

This is a selective admission program. See how to apply

The employment outlook for interpreters is strong, especially for part-time and on-call positions. Once you complete the program, you may be eligible for employment as salaried or on-call staff interpreters, or as self-employed freelance interpreters. You might also find work with professional interpreting and translating service companies.

While the emphasis of the program is health care interpreting, you can easily apply your skills to other interpreting and translating settings in the community, such as conference and business interpreting or translating written documents.

The U.S. Department of Labor compiles statistics on the careers involving translating. You'll find information specifically related to careers in Kansas, including salary information and the job prospects.


Pursing higher education is a large expense, and many students struggle academically due to the financial requirements of college. At JCCC, we are always trying to make tuition more affordable so that all students have the opportunity to pursue a degree they love.

At JCCC, we offer:

Classes in the Health Care Interpreting program may require textbooks and supplies. These items have additional fees and pricing.

There are several things to consider when budgeting for college. Visit our Cost of Attendance page for detailed information.

Resources at JCCC

At Johnson County Community College, we’re here for all of our students. That’s why we offer a variety of tools and resources for you to take advantage of. JCCC offers small class sizes, personalized learning, and professional tutoring services.

Counselors in the Financial Aid office can help you to find scholarship or loan opportunities that can help lower your out-of-pocket cost each semester.

The Career Development Center and Academic Counseling services can help all students who are still indecisive about what they wish to do post-graduation. 

If you want to transfer your credits to a four-year college, JCCC makes the process easy and convenient. Those looking to continue their education elsewhere will be able to do so stress-free.