Making the Tough Decisions : A skills-building workshop on interpreter ethics in healthcare settings

  • 03/23/2019
  • 13:00 - 16:00
  • Multicare Tacoma General Hospital
  • 26


Please complete payment within two weeks after registration. Registration will be cancelled if payment is not complete within two weeks from registration date.
Payment must be completed one week before the workshop date.

NOTIS Community Interpreting Division presents

Making the Tough Decisions: Ethical Decision-making for Interpreters in Health Care

The world of the healthcare interpreter is fraught with difficult ethical dilemmas and the need for making in-the-moment decisions. For example, if a patient asks that certain information not be interpreted, do you keep it confidential even if the non-disclosure may harm the patient? Do you interpret everything accurately even when the message could impact or destroy the patient-provider relationship? Do you withdraw from a medical encounter that is too complicated for you when that means the patient will get no interpreter at all? How is an interpreter to decide?

This workshop will introduce experienced healthcare interpreters to a process for thinking about these difficult situations and for quickly making ethical decisions about what to do.

The class will begin with a quick review and comparison of two Codes of Ethics: the National Code of Ethics for Interpreters in Health Care and DSHS’ Interpreter, Translator, and Licensed Agency Personnel Code of Professional Conduct. Participants will then learn the ethical decision-making model included in the California Healthcare Interpreting Association’s Standards of Practice. Concrete examples will be used to show how to apply the model to real-life situations. Finally, participants will break up into small groups, each of which will have an ethical dilemma to consider. Groups will apply the CHIA model to the dilemma and come up with one or several acceptable responses to the dilemma. These will then be shared with the larger group for consideration and, if there is time, for further discussion.

Who is teaching?  Cindy Roat is a national consultant and trainer with 23 years’ experience in the healthcare interpreting field. With an MPH in International Health Services, Cindy has made significant contributions to the healthcare interpreting field in the areas of training, program development, policy formulation, advocacy and organizational outreach. Her written works are key resources for interpreters, providers and administrators alike. Cindy was the principal author of Bridging the Gap, and her most recent book, Healthcare Interpreting in Small Bites, is being used as an ancillary text at many basic training programs. Ms. Roat is a former Co-chair of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC), a founding member of WASCLA, current chair of the Community Interpreter Division of NOTIS, as well as being known nationally as an energetic advocate for the field of health care interpreting and for language access in general.

CE credits?  This workshop has been accredited for 1 ethics credit and 2 general credits by the Washington State DSHS (Please note that DSHS credentialed interpreters need 1 ethics credit per year to maintain their certification). Three credits have been authorized by the Washington State AOC, CCHI and the ATA. Certificates of Attendance will be awarded to all who arrive on time and stay for the entire workshop.

When?   Saturday, March 23, 2019
Check-in at 12:30 pm.
 PLEASE ARRIVE AT 12:30 to sign in.
Class from 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Where?  Multicare Tacoma General Hospital
315 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Tacoma, WA, Mary Bridge Brigade Room

Cost?  $40 NOTIS members, $60  Non-members 
Click here to join NOTIS.

Registration?   Via the web (before midnight on March 20th)   
Click here to register and pay online. 

After registering, you will receive an email confirmation; if you do not receive a confirmation, your registration did not go through.

Please submit a separate registration form for each person registering.

Online registration only. Mail in registration is not available.

Please note: space in this workshop is limited to the first 45 applicants.

Refunds?  We regret that no refunds can be given after March 20th. A $10 processing fee will apply for refunds requested before March 20th. Please contact NOTIS office manager for cancellation. Transfer of credits to other workshops is not available.

Directions?  Tacoma General Hospital is located at 315 Martin Luther King Junior Way in Tacoma. The Mary Bridge Brigade Room is on the second floor near the tunnel that goes under Martin Luther King Junior Way to Mary Bridge Health Center. From the main floor (third floor) of the main hospital, take the Olympic Elevators down to the second floor, and go toward the tunnel to find this training room. 

A map of the Tacoma General Campus can be found at parking with no time limit is available at the Fifth Street Garage.

Refreshments?  In order to offer this unique opportunity at an affordable price, no refreshments will be provided. We encourage you to bring your own coffee and snacks.

Anything else?  If you require accommodation, please contact the NOTIS Office Manager ( at least 3 weeks in advance if possible.

Questions about class content? Please contact Cindy Roat at

Questions about registration? Please contact Naomi Uchida at

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