Health Care Interpretation Master of science degree

804b9e3c-acb7-44bd-8d22-53a92c4e4ba1 | 129347

Overview

Online Option

The MS degree in health care interpretation is designed to meet the demand for nationally-certified sign language interpreters who wish to work in health care environments.


The master of science degree program in health care interpretation is designed to meet the demands of nationally certified sign language interpreters desiring a master’s degree specific to working in health care environments. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf's Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education administers the program with some course work contributed by RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology. This unique program:

  • Meets the growing demand for specialized sign language health care interpreters as more deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals enter medical/health care fields.
  • Increases the number of specialized sign language interpreters working in patient health care settings.
  • Prepares interpreters to work in leadership roles in the health care interpreting field.

The program begins with a one-week on-campus Professional Seminar held during the first week of June each year. This course consists of pre-readings, 40 hours of classroom instruction, and assignments to be completed after the on-campus sessions. The course is designed to deliver crucial introductory content and create connections that build trust and rapport among classmates. This initial connection promotes student engagement in the reflection-based components of the program. The Professional Seminar course establishes the theoretical parameters that you are expected to follow in case analysis and establishes a framework for conducting online discussions in safe and confidential ways.

The remaining course work is taken online. It is estimated that each course will require 9-12 hours per week for class assignments. Course materials will be delivered via both synchronous and asynchronous methods. In your final semester, you will complete a capstone project consisting of either a research paper or project.

The program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis: one academic year (with two summers) for full-time students or two academic years (with two summers) for part-time students.

Industries


  • Health Care

  • Non-Profit

  • Other Education

Typical Job Titles

Manager of Interpreter Services Sign Language Interpreter

Curriculum

Health Care Interpretation (full-time), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HCIA-610
Interpreting Research Settings (summer)
This online course will prepare graduate interpreters for working in research settings. Students will learn about the lived experience of Deaf scientists and how to effectively work with them by utilizing a variety of tools and strategies. Students will also become familiar with procedures and protocols for interpreting in research settings including lab-based work, meeting with collaborators, and professional conferences. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to build upon their American Sign Language (ASL) and English skills, specifically working on how to translate and interpret complex research related terminology and jargon. Also, students will investigate a topic related to their interest specifically in context of research and science that extends beyond the course materials covered in class and will summarize their findings in both academic ASL and English. This course involves online video lectures in both English and ASL, video observations and case studies, and online group discussions. Grading in the course will be based on students’ participation online and performance on their assignments. Students can receive credit for INTP-510 or HCIA-610, not for both.
3
HCIA-705
Professional Seminar (summer)
This course is the first course taken in the MS in Health Care Interpreting degree program. This week long on-campus residency professional seminar will build a foundation of the practical skills and knowledge undergirding the master’s degree program. It is intended to provide the learner with an overview of the course management system, webinar software, and sign language health care skills development used throughout the program. This course addresses the theoretical constructs and the approach to the practice of interpreting based on the demand-control schema and reflective practice and the federal regulations and policies impacting communication access and the work of interpreters. The latest research regarding health care disparities in the deaf population will be presented and health care interpreting skill development activities will commence.
3
HCIA-719
Theories of Translation and Interpretation (summer)
This course will begin with an examination of the scope of practice of spoken language interpreters in health care settings and this will then be compared to the models of profes-sional deportment in sign language interpreting. From there, we will review the major paradigms in the field of translation and interpretation, that of formal or functional (dynamic) equivalence, and how the scope of practice expectations impact the interpreta-tion process. Finally, students will explore the concept of “sense” or meaning and how to convey that in a medical setting.
3
HCIA-715
Human Body Systems/Diseases I*
This first course in a two-course sequence will help interpreters build a strong foundation in human body systems and diseases. Within each body system topics for discussion include: anatomy and physiology (structure and function), common conditions/diseases, common medications and treatments, specialized terms, health care provider specialties, medical tests, and procedures and equipment. This class is conducted in ASL.
3
HCIA-720
Health Care Practical Interpreting I*
This interpreting course exposes interpreters to interpreting in mental health, cardiology, OBGYN, and orthopedic outpatient and inpatient settings. This course will expose inter-preters to medical professionals, common medical service protocols, typical diagnostic and treatment dialogues or clinical "scripts" of common conditions, diagnoses, and initial presenting complaints. Exposure to this new content knowledge happens via observations of medical student practice dialogues with simulated patients and other problem-based learning activities. In addition to this new knowledge and the unique observation opportunity, participants will be further reinforcing and integrating the Human Body Systems course content in their analyses of medical interpreted cases. English to ASL/ASL to English skill development activities will be employed.
3
HCIA-730
Human Body Systems/Diseases II**
This second course in a two-course sequence in Human Body Systems/Diseases will continue to help interpreters build a strong foundation in human body systems and diseases by addressing the remaining body systems not covered in the first course. Within each body system, topics for discussion include: anatomy and physiology (structure and function), common conditions/diseases, common medications and treatments, specialized terms, health care provider specialties, medical tests, and procedures and equipment.
3
HCIA-740
Health Care Practical Interpreting II**
This course is a continuation of HICA 720 Health Care Practical Interpreting I. The course content will address interpreting for surgery, end of life care, pediatrics, and cancer inpatient and outpatient settings. It will also advance students’ ability to facilitate group supervision based on DC-S constructs. Using reflective practice techniques already employed and demonstrated in the program’s courses, students will be expected to emulate similar techniques with their colleagues. Case presentation and case analysis of actual interpreting assignments will form the basis for the course material and activities. Students will be expected to identify and articulate the unique contextual factors of the case (the demands of the job), the decisions made by the interpreting in the case, and discuss all ethical attributes of these demand-control pairings. Students will also be expected to use DC-S constructs to restructure the dialogue that emerges from case analysis discussions. Students will be further reinforcing and integrating the Human Body Systems course content in their analyses of medical interpreted cases. English to ASL/ASL to English skill development activities will be employed.
3
HCIA-760
Research Methods in Interpreting
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of social and linguistic research in translation/interpreting in health care settings. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, data collection, and analysis, including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, data collection and analysis, issues concerning human subjects from vulnerable groups, and research ethics. This course instructs the learner how to conduct research in real-world contexts of health-care settings, drawing on translation/interpreting theories. The analysis component of the course teaches how to interpret data found in research (including statistics) as well as how to use data analysis software.
3
 
HLTH Elective
3
Second Year
HCIA-750
Health Care Interpreting Within a Diverse Deaf Community (summer)
This course is for health care interpreting students to learn how to work with the diverse Deaf community. The course begins with a discussion of current perspectives in Deaf Studies including the Deaf Gain paradigm and Social Justice Theory relevant to medical interpreting. Current research on deaf individuals’ health knowledge, health literacy, and health outcomes are presented. Class discussions will focus on working with deaf individuals fluent in foreign sign languages, minority Deaf populations, deaf individuals with special needs, deaf-blind individuals, deaf interpreters, deaf students, and deaf professionals. Students will develop skills interpreting for some of these deaf individuals.
3
HCIA-770
Capstone Prof Proj/Rsrch Paper (summer)
The purpose of this course is to provide students the opportunity to conduct research, develop a plan and evaluation components, or submit a project as a demonstration of final proficiency in the program. The faculty teaching the class will guide the topic selected by the student and it will require the student to coalesce and incorporate into the final project or paper a culmination of their entire course work in the program to date (e.g., if a student is employed in a health care setting a project related to enhancing the provision of Language Access Services could be conducted).
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
33

*HCIA-715 and HCIA-720 are taken in session 1 (first 7 weeks) of the semester.

**HCIA-730 and HCIA-740 are taken in session 2 (last 7 weeks) of the semester.

Health Care Interpretation (part-time), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HCIA-705
Professional Seminar (summer)
This course is the first course taken in the MS in Health Care Interpreting degree program. This week long on-campus residency professional seminar will build a foundation of the practical skills and knowledge undergirding the master’s degree program. It is intended to provide the learner with an overview of the course management system, webinar software, and sign language health care skills development used throughout the program. This course addresses the theoretical constructs and the approach to the practice of interpreting based on the demand-control schema and reflective practice and the federal regulations and policies impacting communication access and the work of interpreters. The latest research regarding health care disparities in the deaf population will be presented and health care interpreting skill development activities will commence.
3
HCIA-719
Theories of Translation and Interpretation (summer)
This course will begin with an examination of the scope of practice of spoken language interpreters in health care settings and this will then be compared to the models of profes-sional deportment in sign language interpreting. From there, we will review the major paradigms in the field of translation and interpretation, that of formal or functional (dynamic) equivalence, and how the scope of practice expectations impact the interpreta-tion process. Finally, students will explore the concept of “sense” or meaning and how to convey that in a medical setting.
3
HCIA-715
Human Body Systems/Diseases I*
This first course in a two-course sequence will help interpreters build a strong foundation in human body systems and diseases. Within each body system topics for discussion include: anatomy and physiology (structure and function), common conditions/diseases, common medications and treatments, specialized terms, health care provider specialties, medical tests, and procedures and equipment. This class is conducted in ASL.
3
HCIA-720
Health Care Practical Interpreting I*
This interpreting course exposes interpreters to interpreting in mental health, cardiology, OBGYN, and orthopedic outpatient and inpatient settings. This course will expose inter-preters to medical professionals, common medical service protocols, typical diagnostic and treatment dialogues or clinical "scripts" of common conditions, diagnoses, and initial presenting complaints. Exposure to this new content knowledge happens via observations of medical student practice dialogues with simulated patients and other problem-based learning activities. In addition to this new knowledge and the unique observation opportunity, participants will be further reinforcing and integrating the Human Body Systems course content in their analyses of medical interpreted cases. English to ASL/ASL to English skill development activities will be employed.
3
HCIA-730
Human Body Systems/Diseases II**
This second course in a two-course sequence in Human Body Systems/Diseases will continue to help interpreters build a strong foundation in human body systems and diseases by addressing the remaining body systems not covered in the first course. Within each body system, topics for discussion include: anatomy and physiology (structure and function), common conditions/diseases, common medications and treatments, specialized terms, health care provider specialties, medical tests, and procedures and equipment.
3
HCIA-740
Health Care Practical Interpreting II**
This course is a continuation of HICA 720 Health Care Practical Interpreting I. The course content will address interpreting for surgery, end of life care, pediatrics, and cancer inpatient and outpatient settings. It will also advance students’ ability to facilitate group supervision based on DC-S constructs. Using reflective practice techniques already employed and demonstrated in the program’s courses, students will be expected to emulate similar techniques with their colleagues. Case presentation and case analysis of actual interpreting assignments will form the basis for the course material and activities. Students will be expected to identify and articulate the unique contextual factors of the case (the demands of the job), the decisions made by the interpreting in the case, and discuss all ethical attributes of these demand-control pairings. Students will also be expected to use DC-S constructs to restructure the dialogue that emerges from case analysis discussions. Students will be further reinforcing and integrating the Human Body Systems course content in their analyses of medical interpreted cases. English to ASL/ASL to English skill development activities will be employed.
3
Second Year
HCIA-610
Interpreting Research Settings (summer)
This online course will prepare graduate interpreters for working in research settings. Students will learn about the lived experience of Deaf scientists and how to effectively work with them by utilizing a variety of tools and strategies. Students will also become familiar with procedures and protocols for interpreting in research settings including lab-based work, meeting with collaborators, and professional conferences. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to build upon their American Sign Language (ASL) and English skills, specifically working on how to translate and interpret complex research related terminology and jargon. Also, students will investigate a topic related to their interest specifically in context of research and science that extends beyond the course materials covered in class and will summarize their findings in both academic ASL and English. This course involves online video lectures in both English and ASL, video observations and case studies, and online group discussions. Grading in the course will be based on students’ participation online and performance on their assignments. Students can receive credit for INTP-510 or HCIA-610, not for both.
3
HCIA-750
Health Care Interpreting Within a Diverse Deaf Community (summer)
This course is for health care interpreting students to learn how to work with the diverse Deaf community. The course begins with a discussion of current perspectives in Deaf Studies including the Deaf Gain paradigm and Social Justice Theory relevant to medical interpreting. Current research on deaf individuals’ health knowledge, health literacy, and health outcomes are presented. Class discussions will focus on working with deaf individuals fluent in foreign sign languages, minority Deaf populations, deaf individuals with special needs, deaf-blind individuals, deaf interpreters, deaf students, and deaf professionals. Students will develop skills interpreting for some of these deaf individuals.
3
HCIA-760
Research Methods in Interpreting
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of social and linguistic research in translation/interpreting in health care settings. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, data collection, and analysis, including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, data collection and analysis, issues concerning human subjects from vulnerable groups, and research ethics. This course instructs the learner how to conduct research in real-world contexts of health-care settings, drawing on translation/interpreting theories. The analysis component of the course teaches how to interpret data found in research (including statistics) as well as how to use data analysis software.
3
HCIA-770
Capstone Prof Proj/Rsrch Paper
The purpose of this course is to provide students the opportunity to conduct research, develop a plan and evaluation components, or submit a project as a demonstration of final proficiency in the program. The faculty teaching the class will guide the topic selected by the student and it will require the student to coalesce and incorporate into the final project or paper a culmination of their entire course work in the program to date (e.g., if a student is employed in a health care setting a project related to enhancing the provision of Language Access Services could be conducted).
3
 
HLTH Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
33

*HCIA-715 and HCIA-720 are taken in session 1 (first 7 weeks) of the semester.

**HCIA-730 and HCIA-740 are taken in session 2 (last 7 weeks) of the semester.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in health care interpretation, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application,
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae,
  • Hold current national ASL/English certification or state licensure. Applicants must email a copy of their credentials to ntidadmissions@rit.edu.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (or superior endorsement) from an accredited college or university.
  • Submit two letters of reference from individuals who are qualified to observe your interpreting work.
  • Submit a personal statement describing your educational objectives. (This may include reasons for applying to the program, how the program will relate to long-range career objectives, any personal or non-academic qualities that contribute to the program, any prior experience, or why you want to attend RIT.)
  • Submit an ASL interpretation sample.
  • Deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants must submit an audiogram.

Applicants accepted into the program are required to complete a self-paced online course in medical terminology called Language of Medicine prior to the beginning of the summer term, which starts each June.

Learn about admissions and financial aid 

Additional Info

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program.