Dental Assistant

Learning Outcomes

What certification will I receive after completing the program?
Students that complete the Healthcare Interpreting program are eligible to take the California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) certification exam and become a CHIA certified Healthcare Interpreter.
What will I learn in this program?
Students will learn and apply the basic skills, techniques, information management skills, standards of practice, ethics and ethical decision-making concepts of healthcare interpreting.  Students will demonstrate techniques to accurately convey messages originally expressed in a different language so that the interpreted message has the potential for evoking the same cognitive and emotional response as the original message.  Students will become adept at accurately interpreting for people who are considered Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and act as a bridge between LEP’s, and their healthcare providers in order to obtain services to which LEP’s are entitled under Title V of the Civil Right Act.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Define terminology related to the interpreting process.
  • Accurately render a message from the source language to the target language so the interpreted message evokes the same response as the original message.
  • Describe and demonstrate the four roles of the interpreter (Message Converter, Clarifier, Cultural Clarifier and Advocate).
  • Describe and perform three modes of interpreting that are appropriate at different times during the interpreting process.
  • Show sensitivity and understanding of cultural conflicts that may arise during the interpreting session and appropriate ways to handle them.
  • Illustrate respect for differences of opinion and remain neutral in situations where there is conflict.
  • Identify and demonstrate how to manage the interpreting processes and the incoming messages.
  • Understand and utilize the Code of Ethics for Healthcare Interpreters by the California Interpreting Association (CHIA) and resolve problematic situations by applying ethical decision making process.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of key medical terms related to the 11 systems of the body, related specialties, main diseases and treatment.
  • Recognize that continuing education and self-development are essential to improving their performance.
  • Demonstrate acceptance of diversity and the ability to work with peers and clients from various cultures.


What are the requirements to take this course?
  • Be at least 18 or older
  • Speak English and at least one other language
Please check the program guide to for the most current list of requirements.


When is the program offered?
This is a 1-semester course (5 months) that is offered twice a year starting in August and January.  The program is Tuesday nights 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm.
Please check the program guide to for the most current schedule.


How much does the program cost?
 The program registration fee is $125 and is due in full at the time of registration.  
Are there any additional costs associated with the program?
Yes.  Additional fees that need to be considered average approximately $60 and may include:
  • Textbooks
  • Examination fee
Is financial aid or tuition assistance available?
At this time tuition assistance is not available for this course.
What is the refund policy?
Students have until the last day of the second week of class to request a refund for the registration fee minus a $25 processing fee.
Prices subject to change.  Please check the program guide to for the most current cost.

Job Outlook

What is the job outlook?
According to the California Economic Development Department, employment opportunities for intepreters are predicted to increase by 20.4% or 2,100 jobs between 2016 and 2026. Often, healthcare interpreters are hired in part-time or per diem roles rather than full-time positions.  Explore the links below for more information about the labor market for healthcare intepreters.


Dr. Ernestina Geschwind Savin, M.D. 
Ernestina Geschwind Savin has been an instructor for our Healthcare Interpreting course since 2018.  She is a full-time Healthcare Interpreter for the UCSD Medical System.  Previously, she worked as a physician in Mexico.  She holds a Designated Subjects Teaching Credential to teach Career Technical Education courses in California. 


Where is training for the program completed?
The Healthcare Interpreting course is offered on our Health Occupations Center campus located in Santee, CA.
Campus buildings

Next Steps

I'm interested!  What are my next steps?
The Healthcare Interpreting program accepts students twice a year through the orientation and First Class day process.  Check the Program Guide for the next class start dates. Visit the How to Get Started page now.
Refund Policy
Refunds for this class must be requested by the end of the second week of class.  A $25.00 processing fee will be charged.