Medical Interpreter (Spanich/English 

(Female, Age 45) from chicago, IL

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 45 who works as a Medical Interpreter (Spanich/English in chicago, IL. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Medical Interpreter (Spanich/English
Salary $39,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location chicago, IL
Years Experience 3 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for the University of Illinois Medical Ctr. This is the Medical part of the university. it consists of the state hospital and clinics and specialty clinic like the phych, orthodonics, ENT, ect. It is a very big complex.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Basically I interpret from English to spanish and back again for patients and medical staff. Here at UICMC i am paged whenever a request for an interpreter comes in. i interpret medical procedure, clinic appts, er medical histories, discharges, ect.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
I have a great retirement plan and I have great benefits. i work for the state. It was better at the county.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Well compensated.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
i work with many people all day, patients, providers and patients framilies. I feel that I am making a differnce in someones life.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
We all carry pages and pass on calls if it becomes too busy which it often does.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 7
Benefits: 4
Hours: 2
Co-Workers: 5
Supervisors: 8
Job Title: 6
Level of Responsibility: 3
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am the morning person usually see the patients that are scheduled for surgury. Interpreting and signing of consents for surgury are necessary. Medical histories and procedure questions and answers takes place.
8am to 9am The clinics open and interpreters are paged to the clinics when they are needed. The clinics are either in the same building or in other buildings so walking from one place to another is essencial so wear your walking shoes. Peds is a very busy clinic but
9am to 10am Doctors and interns are doing the rounds and most of the time an interpreter is present. This is for all the units including the mother/baby unit where there are many patients going home. Patient will be asked how they feel about their progress and if the feel comfortable going home. Procedures and tests results will be explained during this time and patiens questions will be answered.
10am to 11am Still seeing patients in different clinic. Every clinic is a challenge because the interpreter is walking in on a situation where the provider and the patient are familiar with the condition and treatment that they have been following. The interpreter on the other hand, is coming in new and has to catch up.
11am to 12pm Different health groups are scheduled throughout the day. For instance, diabetes info groups, nutrition groups for diabetics, Peds obesity clinic ect. These are groups where one or more patients do not understand English, so an interpreter for thier language is provided.
12pm to 1pm Lunches start and some of the clinics close for lunch. There are still E.R.calls and Labor and Delivery calls which are priority calls and medical history needs to be taken in order to diagnose E.R. patients and evalute and admit L&D patients.
1pm to 2pm Clinics open up again and back to work we go. We have a dermatology clinic that
2pm to 3pm
3pm to 4pm
4pm to 5pm
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
i was referred to this job by the same contacts that I was making along the way with my agency job.

What was the application process?
electronic application, civil service test and interview with director of dept. After the interview I took a translation test.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I had one interview and i took a test for interpreting, plus i had very good referrals.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
I was asked about my experience. i was asked what hours i could work and of course being a hospital they need to know shift avaiablity. I had plenty of expericence and most of it working on my own with no supervison.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. definately, but alot of it has been my own training and researching.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
I have actually been training for this job all my life. I was always the interpreter and translator for my parents and nieghbors.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
yes, I have an associates in the applied sciences.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
I gave me an overview of the job duties and I taught me things that i did not know.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
The class for certification is given at the city colleges or through the interpreting agency itself. i went through the interpreting agency and started training and working right away. Then i applied to the hospital with a certificate and experience.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
first they need to be bilingual in their native language and in English. Next they need to be comforable with the medical enviroment. They will be seeing, smelling and hearing many things that may cause them to feel uncomforable. They also need to enjoy working with people and they would need patience and concentration. Every interpretation needs to be as accurate as possible. This is someones health you are discussing. The would be interpreter also needs to walk and talk alot.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
yes, you need to have basic knowledge of the body and medical terminalogy.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Get your certificate and work for an agency first while you start to make contacts and then apply for the hospitals and clinics. You have to be sure that you can walk around all day from assignment to assignment.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
yes. I wanted to work for the universtiy as a way to pay for my college tuition and continue my studies.

What are your current career goals?
i plan to keep studing within the medical field.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I love this job. I come to work and it is not a burden it is a pleasure and I can still go to school for free.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 med interpreter 5 15 same as medical interpreter
Prior Job 2 med interpreter 8 21 same as medical interpreter

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3 UIC appied sciences
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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