Health Care Interpreter Service

Health Care Interpreter Service (HCIS)

Professional Development

About NSW Healthcare Interpreter Service Professional Development Committee (NSW HCIS PDC)

NSW HCIS are specialist health interpreter agencies that provide interpreting and translation services to NSW Health public facilities and some non-government organisations.

There are three Health Care Interpreter Services in the Sydney Metropolitan area:

  1. South Western Sydney Local Health District Health Language Services covering South Western Sydney LHD;
  2. Sydney Local Health District HCIS covering Sydney LHD, South Eastern Sydney LHD, St Vincent’s Hospital (part of St Vincent’s Health Network), Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick (part of Sydney Children’s Hospital Network), and Forensics and Justice Health;
  3. Western Sydney Local Health District HCIS covering Western Sydney LHD, Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, Northern Sydney LHD, St Joseph’s Hospital (part of St Vincent’s Health Network) and Children’s Hospital at Westmead (part of Sydney Children’s Hospital Network).

In addition there are two regional/rural Health Care Interpreter Services in NSW as follows:

  1. Hunter New England Local Health District HCIS covering Hunter New England LHD, Central Coast LHD, Mid North Coast LHD, Northern LHD, Far West LHD and Western LHD;
  2. Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (LHD) HCIS covering Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, Murrumbidgee LHD and Southern NSW LHD.

The NSW HCIS Professional Development Committee comprises of five NSW HCIS Managers, NSW HCIS PDC Professional Development Coordinator as well as Sydney and South Western Sydney LHD Sessional Interpreters, Research and Learning & Development Manager.

Through the PDC, NSW HCIS provide a range of in-house professional development workshops for their interpreters. The courses include mandatory 2-day induction training, ethics workshops, interpreting and translation skills development workshops, courses developing awareness of interpreting in the healthcare context and communication skills training. The workshops are usually of 1 to 2 day duration. They are free of charge to staff and contract interpreters engaged with NSW HCIS. They carry professional development points in line with NAATI revalidation requirements. A full list of the PDC courses available with a brief description is provided below.

Induction and Orientation

Healthcare Interpreting Induction Workshop

Objectives: To develop beginner interpreter awareness of issues relating to interpreting in the health setting; to enhance understanding of the health care interpreter’s role and the Code of Ethics and to reinforce skills, knowledge & practice of interpreting techniques.

Topics include:

  • Interpreting in the medical setting
  • Ethics and role of the interpreter
  • Medical terminology
  • Sight translation
  • Dialogue interpreting techniques & methodology.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 40

Ethics of the Profession

Ethical and Professional Decision Making Workshop

Objectives: To provide healthcare interpreters with an opportunity to reflect on ethical and other professional practice challenges, enhance problem solving skills, and share experiences with peers.

Topics include:

  • Rule-based (deontological) and goal-based (teleological) approach to ethics
  • AUSIT (2012) and ASLIA (2007) Code of Ethics
  • Professional decision making models
  • Applying decision making skills to authentic interpreting scenarios.

Duration: 1 day
Professional Development Points: 20

Coming up in 2019: Ethics Follow-up workshop

Translating and Interpreting Skills Development

Advanced Medical Interpreting Workshop

Objectives: To enhance technical skills of interpreting and provide interpreters with knowledge and tools for reflecting on and improving overall performance. The focus of the workshop is setting reflective practice habits. The workshop is designed for interpreters with minimum 3 years experience in medical interpreting.

Topics include:

  • Communication in the medical setting and interpreter role in facilitating direct communication between clients
  • Interpreting process & interpreting modes in the medical setting
  • Sight translation
  • Dialogue interpreting techniques
  • Reflective practice for interpreters.

Duration: 3 days
Professional Development Points: 60

Chuchotage in the Medical Setting Workshop

Objectives: to provide interpreters with an overview of chuchotage in the medical setting, and an opportunity to practice and polish this essential interpreting technique. At the end of the workshop, participants are expected to demonstrate chuchotage knowledge and skills for continued re-certification.

Topics include:

  • Settings in which chuchotage is used in medical interpreting
  • Practice in basic simultaneous interpreting techniques
  • Practice of chuchotage in medical interpreting settings
  • Challenges and strategies for overcoming them
  • Managing the situation and ethical issues.

Duration: 1 day

Professional Development Points: 20

Group Interpreting Workshop

Objectives: to enhance skills and confidence in interpreting of health education presentations

Topics include:

  • Skills and Techniques of interpreting for groups
  • Research and preparation skills including glossary building
  • Public speaking and presentation skills
  • Strategies to deal with challenges in group interpreting
  • Group interpreting practice.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 60

Translation Workshop

Objectives: To enhance health care interpreters’ translating and checking skills in the context of health related translations.

Topics include:

  • Translation history and the process of translation
  • Translation equivalence problems at the word level and above including grammatical, textual and pragmatic
  • Strategies for solving the above translation problems
  • Research required for the production of quality translation
  • Presentation standards and editing techniques
  • Role of translation checker and checking techniques
  • Practice of translation and checking techniques in hands on exercises with a variety of medical texts.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 60

Pronunciation Workshop

Objectives: To provide an overview of essential pronunciation skills for speaking clearly, accurately and fluently in health care interpreting situations and to develop the pronunciation and speaking skills in activities ranging from speech analysis to practice exercises, role play, feedback and evaluation.

Topics include:

  • Pronunciation self-evaluation and individual goal setting
  • Sounds and stress in accurate and fluent communication
  • Stress and intonation in the expression of intent and meaning
  • Intonation and voice quality in the expression of affect and rapport
  • How to practice pronunciation.

Duration: 2 days Professional Development Points: 60

Phone Interpreting Workshop

Objectives: To assist healthcare interpreters in enhancing their telephone interpreting skills. The workshop provides interpreters with an opportunity to explore the differences between face-to-face and telephone interpreter-mediated interactions, to reflect on technical and talk coordination challenges in telephone interpreting and to enhance interpreting skills and strategies for dealing with challenges in remote interpreting.

Topics include:

  • Defining telephone interpreting
  • Exploring differences between phone and face-to-face interpreting
  • Research findings
  • Phone interpreting challenges and strategies.

Duration: 1 day
Professional Development Points: 40

Note-taking for Phone Interpreting Workshop

Objectives: To assist healthcare interpreters in developing skills in taking notes that are clear, well-structured and easy to read and to improve their efficiency in interpreting over the telephone.

Topics include:

  • analysing speech in order to focus on the overall meaning rather than words and phrases
  • using symbols, abbreviations and meaningful layout to increase the speed and clarity in note-taking
  • taking clear and well-structured notes to support memory and increase efficiency in phone interpreting.

Duration: 1 day
Professional Development Points: 40

Coming up in 2018: Chuchotage in the Healthcare Setting

Complementary Skills Development: Knowledge of the healthcare interpreting setting

Interpreting in Mental Health Consultations Workshop

Interpreting in Mental Health Consultations Workshop aims to provide interpreters with an overview of the mental health setting with an emphasis on cultural aspects and interpreting strategies.

It includes the following topics:

  • introduction to mental illness and illness behaviour
  • objectives of mental health interviews including assessment and treatment issues
  • mental health professional’s expectations of the interpreter
  • cross-cultural issues in mental health
  • interpreting process and practice issues in psychiatric interviews.

At the end of the workshop, interpreters are expected to be able to:

  • define the major categories of mental illness, illness behaviour, assessment and types of treatment used in Australia
  • describe the psychiatric interview process and the mental health professional’s expectations of the interpreter
  • describe interpreting process and practice challenges in the mental health setting
  • apply effective interpreting strategies in mental health consultations.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 40

Interpreting in Mental Health Inquiries & Tribunal Hearings Workshop

Objectives: To provide interpreters with background information and strategies for interpreting in mental health hearings.

Topics include:

  • mental health legal aspects including types of hearings & treatment orders
  • MHRT expectations of interpreters
  • strategies for dealing with interpreter challenges specific to this setting.

Duration: 1 day
Professional Development Points: 20

Interpreting in Speech Pathology Workshop

Objectives: To provide interpreters with an overview of speech pathology with an emphasis on interpreting challenges and strategies.

Topics include:

  • Overview of speech pathology including common problems of speech and specialist terminology
  • Speech therapist’s expectations of the interpreter
  • Interpreter role, challenges and strategies in speech therapy consultations.

Duration: 1 day Professional Development Points: 20

Interpreting in the Health Care Field Workshop

Objectives: To develop interpreter awareness of issues relating to interpreting in the health setting, to enhance understanding of the health care interpreter’s role and the code of ethics and to reinforce the skills, knowledge and practice in dialogue interpreting techniques.

Topics include:

  • Medical discourse in the context of healthcare delivery in Australia
  • Role of the interpreter in the medical setting
  • Ethical and role-related challenges for medical interpreters in the real life work setting
  • Strategies to effectively deal with practice challenges
  • Selecting and applying a range of dialogue interpreting skills including dialogue interpreting and sight translation.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 40

Complementary Skills Development: Communication skills courses

Peer Support Workshop

Objectives: to develop self-help strategies, skills & knowledge to support colleagues, awareness of resources/agencies available to provide debriefing/support

Topics include:

  • Communication process
  • Strategies for supporting others in crisis/trauma situations
  • Self-help strategies for coping with crisis/trauma situations
  • Resources/agencies available to provide debriefing/support.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 40

High Order Communication Skills in the Interpreter Service Context

Objectives: To develop high order communication and interpersonal skills, which are essential for health care interpreter service staff as they communicate with peers, clients and health professionals.

Topics include:

  • Components of effective interpersonal communication
  • Effects of personal style & common communication barriers
  • Person-centered listening
  • Effects of non-verbal signals
  • Practise of clear and accurate speech
  • Managing the emotional content in transactions
  • Applying higher order communication principles to workplace scenarios.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 40

Stress Management and Self-care Workshop

Objectives: To assist interpreters in recognising signs of stress, and developing stress management and self-care strategies.

It covers the following topics:

  • Recognising and managing stress
  • Self-care strategies
  • Mindfulness
  • Resources available to provide support for interpreters.

Duration: 2 days
Professional Development Points: 40 PD

Application Process

All staff and contract interpreters registered with NSW HCIS are eligible to apply and attend free of charge. Interpreters interested in applying for any of the courses on the PDC Training Calendar, submit the PDC Application Form to the PDC training Coordinator, relevant Interpreter Coordinator or HCIS Manager.

Interpreters who are not registered with NSW HCIS are also welcome to apply and are required to pay for the training prior to attendance.