What Does a Medical Translator Do?


Medical translation has become extremely important in a world where people from different countries are living together. A medical translator serves as a written interpreter between a doctor and a patient that cannot speak the English language. This is a very important job, as failure to understand a patients needs can result in serious complications, mistakes, and sometimes even death. Below you will find out what a medical translator does to help a doctor and the patients the doctor is trying to understand.

Primary Responsibilities in Medical Translation

A medical translator is responsible for listening to, then translating what patients say to the medical staff and then putting it into the written word to be understood by medical personnel who only speak the English language. Below you will find the primary job duties of a person who works in the medical translation field.

Convert Information

You will be responsible for converting the doctor’s spoken advice, diagnosis, and prognosis into a language that can be understood by everyone involved. You are also responsible for translating the medical office or hospitals informational brochures into a second language that can be read by persons who are not native English speakers.

Provide Effective Communication Method

Someone who works in medical translation needs to be able to help parties who don’t speak the same language be able to understand one another, through the written word.

Prepare Financial Records and Bills

A medical translator helps to prepare financial records and bills that go out to patients who do not speak the English language, so that there is no mix up in what is owed and what has already been paid.

What You Need to be a Medical Translator

A career in medical translation is a hard one to prepare for. You need to have a high school diploma with a strong background in languages. It is best to be able to speak at least two languages fluently before you apply to work in medical translation. The salary for a medical translator is roughly $46,000 a year, which varies according to the location and the state you work in. There is a growing need for medical translators as more and more non-English speaking people settled in America.

A Love of Languages and People

One of the main things you need to be a good medical translator is the desire to help people and a love for the languages you speak. Although you will be dealing mainly in the written word, you will want to put love and care into the translations you are working on. Lives may depend on it, as one mistake can cause serious complications in a patient’s health.

These are just a few of the duties that you will have with a job in medical translation. You will also need a love for languages and people to ensure that you are doing your job the right way. Any of the medical field is a great place to start a career today and medical translation is no exception.