A guest post from Judy Williams, Supervisor, FMH Interpreting Services
Maria Shuck, LEP Services Coordinator/Certified Spanish Interpreter, has received national certification from the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI).
Maria is among the first interpreters in the country to have received this certification. Of 500 nationwide candidates, only 80 have passed the test to date and received the certified medical interpreter credentials, including Maria. Maria completed the first phase of the testing process May 12, 2010 and the second phase October 27, 2010.
NBCMI made history by developing and launching the first and most comprehensive national medical interpreting certification program in the nation one year ago. It serves as the certifying entity and has independent authority over all essential certification implementation and expansion decisions. The purpose of certification is to ensure limited English proficiency patient safety by rigorous evaluation and assurance of the competency of medical interpreters, through written and oral exams. Those who pass the written and oral exams are bestowed the CMI credential which stands for Certified Medical Interpreter.
Maria’s certification with NBCMI is a milestone for FMH. Besides being one of two hospitals in the greater Baltimore/DC area (the other hospital is Children’s) with an interpreting services department, FMH can now boast having a nationally accredited interpreter on staff.
Maria has been interpreting for FMH since 2002. Prior to that she provided translating services for a publisher of medical health care patient education handbooks, which is where she first learned medical terminology. She has also interpreted for Frederick County Public Schools and Frederick County’s Department of Social Services.
On a personal level, for Maria this achievement is validation of the many years of interpreting service she has provided for community. And though she earned this certification herself, Maria acknowledges her gratefulness to her manager, Nan Principe-Crockett: “I’d like to thank Nan for the hard work she has put into creating this department. She had the foresight to see the growing need for this kind of patient service and worked tirelessly to make it happen at FMH.”