Healthcare interpreting ethics

See outline page for healthcare interpreting training outline.

This module of the Medical Interpreting training by Gaucha Translations emphasizes aspects of the Interpreter Codes of Ethics that are accepted by all codes first and focuses on aspects of interpreting codes that are specific to only one code at the end.

Language: This module is delivered in English.

Module Duration: 8 hours

Delivery: Interactive. Integrated with the other modules for better discussion. See the course schedule for details. 

Technical requirements for teleconferencing:

  • Computer with high-speed internet connection (participants will be entering answers on their computers on a regular basis)
  • Headset (using speakers for audio creates echoes for the other listeners)
  • Microphone (all participants will be interacting live on their microphones)

Reference materials:

A comparison of the different interpreting codes of ethics by Helen Eby:

20180921 ethics comparison

Additional supporting materials

Ethics syllabus

Delivery mode: Teleconference. See Technical requirements on the main class page.

Language neutral (course delivered in English).

Each session will be one hour long, and participants will be expected to complete assignments and evaluations as homework.

The link to GoTo Training will be provided after payment has been received.

1 Impartiality and Neutrality Include a statement about impartiality in the interpreter’s introduction.

Describe three ways to promote impartiality in the session.

Find ways to uncover our own implicit bias which impedes impartiality.

Written paper answering questions raised in session.
2 Competency This value is included in other codes, but not in NCIHC. What can we learn from the other codes? How should interpreters implement this value? Written paper answering questions raised in session.
3 Confidentiality Include a statement about confidentiality in the interpreter’s introduction.

Find two ways to promote confidentiality in the session.

How do we discuss issues from the session with colleagues so we can learn and at the same time maintain confidentiality?

Written paper answering questions raised in session.
4 Accuracy Ways the interpreter can promote accuracy. Is accuracy attainable? Does accuracy mean that two different interpretations will be exactly the same? Tools the interpreter has to maintain accuracy:

The interpreter requests a repetition.

The interpreter requests clarification

Introduction of the concept of the interpreter talking about the interpreter in the third person during the session

How can an interpreter be culturally sensitive? Presentation of ILR view of cultural competence (

Written paper answering questions raised in session.
5a Professionalism Ways the interpreter can grow in knowledge and skills. Resources available locally, nationally, online.

Associations, etc.

Contractors are not controlled by those who hire them – but they have no guarantee of continued employment.

What are some implications of the statements in the codes of ethics regarding professional demeanor?

Interpreters submit a list of steps they are taking regarding professional development.

Steps interpreters take to appear professional at all times, submitted to the instructor by email.

5b Reporting obstacles to practice, ethical violations

(Professionalism part 2)

These issues are in the Washington and Court interpreting codes, but not in the NCIHC. How important are they? Who would they be reported to? How do they apply to all interpreters? One paragraph submitted to the instructor by email.
6 Honesty (Scope of Practice) What is the scope of practice of the interpreter, and what is not?

How do interpreters avoid doing work that is not part of their scope of practice?

How do they explain that this is not part of the scope of practice to the provider?

Two examples of the scope of practice submitted to the instructor by email.
7 Advocacy What are the benefits and dangers of advocacy in the interpreting session?

Advocacy in Workers Compensation sessions: not accepted by stakeholders.

A short essay on issues presented in class submitted to the instructor.
8 HIPAA Participants complete HIPAA training for Business Associates per instructions in this blog post and submit the certificate to the instructor. Independent study. Cost: $25
Final Summative evaluation: Multiple choice questions and essay questions graded per rubric.