Spanish/English Health Care Interpretation

A young child needs weekly therapy for autism. A woman struggles to understand her cancer diagnosis. A senior shows up in the emergency room with chest pains. When these patients and their families speak limited or no English, a skilled interpreter can be a lifeline for the patient and the medical provider, bridging the communication gap to ensure the best possible care. It’s no wonder that medical interpreters are in high demand, and Alverno’s Spanish/English Health Care Interpretation program will help you develop the concrete skills you need to succeed in this fast-growing field.

Are you fluent in English and Spanish? Do you like helping people? Consider adding a support in Spanish/English Health Care Interpretation. This support is the perfect complement for bilingual Nursing, Psychology, Art Therapy, Pre-Health, Community Leadership and other majors. And medical interpreters are more needed than ever: The United States is home to more than 41 million native Spanish speakers.

Develop unique, in-demand skills
You’ll learn to accurately interpret by leveraging your knowledge of specialized vocabulary, ethical principles and tools for managing the flow of communication. You’ll also act as a cultural mediator, using your understanding of Latino culture, cultural proficiency and transcultural communication to help patients and medical providers better understand each other.

Hands-on, interactive learning
You’ll practice what you learn through in-class role playing, projects and group work. You’ll participate in a simulation in Alverno’s new Clinical Nursing Resource Center, where high-tech mannequins speak Spanish while you interpret in a hospital-like setting. And your learning will continue off campus. Unlike other programs, Alverno’s Health Care Interpretation program requires a 120-hour internship, giving you real-world experience and connections before you graduate.

Connect with the community
You’ll get new insights into the field from professional health care interpreters who visit your classes, interview working interpreters as part of your online/digital portfolio and participate in a Google Hangout with a professional Hispanic voice-over artist. To practice written translation, you’ll translate one health-related publication for a community organization. You can also join one of the many student organizations that celebrates diversity, including the Hispanic Nurses Association, CHICA (Cultura Hispana e Idioma en la Comunidad de Alverno), the campus chapter of the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and the Global Studies Club.

Study abroad
The best (and most fun) way to put your language skills to work is through an immersion experience in a Spanish-speaking country. Though not required, we strongly encourage students to study abroad for at least four weeks. You can choose summer or semester-long programs or take a short-term travel course taught by Alverno faculty in Latin America (such as a health-focused study abroad opportunity in Ecuador). Scholarships and financial aid are available.

Internships for interpreters
Alverno’s location gives you convenient access to top internship sites, including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Aurora Health Care, Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Froedtert Hospital, Columbia St. Mary’s and All Saints Hospital. Our dedicated Internship Office can also help connect you to more than 2,000 partner sites.

How you can use your interpreting skills
You’ll be prepared for a rewarding career in the health care, education, legal, social work, mental health and insurance fields. Many interpreters work as independent contractors, giving you the option to choose your work and set your own schedule.


Have questions about studying Spanish/English Health Care Interpretation at Alverno? We invite you to connect with faculty to learn more.

Jennifer FlamboeJennifer Flamboe
Chair of World Languages