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Why Medical Interpreter Education is Key to Professionalization – Essay 10

By Vanessa Caraveo, CMI-Spanish

The Flame that Never Dies:

The great American philosopher John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” This truly depicts the importance education has in our lives and more so, the benefits one reaps in attaining the knowledge needed in today’s fast-paced world and ever changing society and of course, also applying the education one attains into one’s chosen career field. I still vividly recall the day I chose to embark in my quest towards my chosen profession as a Medical Interpreter and from the start I was very much aware of the time, dedication and most importantly proper education this career choice would demand in order for me to be the best professional Medical Interpreter I could be and in order to be able to give the highest quality of service possible to those I served. Enrolling in Medical Interpreting courses to gain the knowledge I needed assisted me tremendously and gave me important insight on things one needs to know that include interpreter protocols, confidentiality laws, code of ethics, and medical terminology that I definitely have utilized in this field numerous times throughout the years. When the time came to become Nationally Certified, it was then I was enlightened on the realization that all the information I had learned during my Medical Interpreter education had served me well in knowing what was expected of me in order to attain my credential, and needless to say I received my credential as a Certified Medical Interpreter on my first try which has been by far one of my life’s greatest personal achievements. To this day, I continue having the discipline needed to stay on top of my profession by taking and attending continuing education courses which keep me up-to-date in today’s evolving medical environment and informing me of what is available to me to help sharpen my skills and keep me at my best as a professional, ensuring I give the best quality service to those I render my skills to. Simply being bilingual with no prior education in medical interpreting isn’t enough; especially in the complex medical environment. I, personally, am constantly learning new things every day as this field exposes one to a variety of health scenarios and by having professionals who are educated and proficient in their field, many health mishaps are prevented protecting health-care entities from liability issues and more importantly ensuring proper diagnoses and treatments for the patient’s well-being, proving well-educated and fully competent medical interpreters do have a positive impact in the medical field. As Socrates once said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel,” and as long as I am a Certified Medical Interpreter I will ensure my flame never dies and I continue my education, expanding my knowledge to ensure I continue giving the highest quality service I can to others in this wonderful profession that has brought me much satisfaction and joy in serving others throughout the years.

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