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Learning from the pioneer - History of health care interpreting in the USA

Takayuki Oshimi, MD
Board Member of the Japan Association for Health Care Interpreting in Japanese and English

15 February 2006


Around the world, the need for trained health care interpreters is growing yet the professionalization of health care interpreting is rough and uneven. This is mainly due the fact that many countries lack a national code of ethics, a standardised training program, and a certification system.
The eyes of community and health care interpreters around the world are focusing on the U.S.A. as it develops a set of national standards of practice for interpreters in health care. It is beneficial to learn from their extensive expertise in this field.

During the presentation, the following areas were covered.
  1. Overview of the history of health care interpreting in the U.S.A.
  2. Standards of Practice by the National Council for Interpreting in Health Care
  3. Certification in Washington State and Oregon State
  4. "Interpreters Skills Summary": Halfway to Certification
  5. Current Movements in Japan

Dr Oshimi kindly provided the 26-page handout of his talk.


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