Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice

by the CATIE Center/NCIEC
Do you have students or mentees who have expressed a potential interest in healthcare interpreting?  Given that the RID has national credentials for legal and educational interpreting, but not healthcare, it is not surprising that students are often unclear on the pathway for developing competency in this specialized area.
Healthcare Interpreting Career LatticeThe Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice is a new resource from the CATIE Center / NCIEC that is a useful tool for talking with students and mentees about the process for developing the knowledge and competencies needed for the healthcare setting.
The Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice maps the phases of development after obtaining a BS/BA degree and certification, to working autonomously as an interpreter in healthcare settings. Interpreters can enter and exit this progression at various points, depending on their background, knowledge, competencies, career goals and job requirements. At each stage, links or resources for learning opportunities are included.
Specific purposes of the Lattice include:

  • Attracting individuals to the specialty of healthcare interpreting.
  • Providing guidance for those seeking professional development in healthcare interpreting.
  • Offering interpreters at all levels of experience specific information about training, education, and experiences leading to greater expertise.
  • Assisting educators, academic advisors, students and potential students in outlining careers and the critical experiences individuals should acquire to enter and progress through careers in healthcare interpreting.
  • Informing individuals who may rely on interpreting services in healthcare about the general levels of experience, education and training of ASL-English interpreters.

Career lattices are common in many practice professions, such as nursing and physical therapy. They are designed to help people conceptualize professional development within a field. Because there are currently no national certifying or credentialing processes in place for ASL-English healthcare interpreters, the Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice is a means for current and potential interpreters, Deaf and hearing, to better understand the progression toward competency in healthcare interpreting.
The Healthcare Interpreting Career Lattice relies on the individual interpreter to actively seek out and participate in specific activities and to document completion of the activities. In addition to the current resources included, observation and supervision, as well as mentoring are important components of the professional development of healthcare interpreters. The Lattice provides guidance while promoting individual accountability for one’s career development.
The Lattice is not meant to capture all the details related to specific training or educational activities for advancement in the field of healthcare interpreting, but rather to provide resources and guidelines for developing competency. It is anticipated that this Lattice will stimulate discussion in the profession about the qualifications and education of healthcare interpreters.
The Lattice was developed in a multi-stage process that included:

  • review of the literature on career lattices,
  • creation of the initial lattice,
  • preliminary survey of experts in the field to obtain input,
  • development of revised version of lattice,
  • development of plan for conducting focus groups for more stakeholder feedback (with IRB approval0,
  • focus groups with stakeholders (Deaf and hearing interpreters, and interpreter educators/mentors) for input on lattice,
  • analysis of focus group results,
  • incorporation of results into the current model of the lattice.

Explore the interactive version of the Lattice at:
http://www.catiecenter.org
Be sure to check out the wealth resources behind the “additional preparation” boxes.   Keep in mind that the Lattice is just a first step in quantifying the requirements for competency in healthcare interpreting. The CATIE Center sees it as a living document that will grow and change over time.
Please share this information with interpreters, educators, healthcare professionals and others who may be interested.