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What will I learn?

According to recent figures, about 40,000 people of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity reside in Johnson and Wyandotte counties. Many do not speak English fluently.

This program 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 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 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) and Introduction to Health Care Delivery (HC 101). You can complete the program in three semesters, or longer depending on your schedule and personal needs.


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.

Need help with career decisions? Visit the Career Development Center.

Money matters. JCCC is working hard to make tuition affordable for you.

Here’s what we offer:

Supplies and textbook costs vary depending on your classes.