How becoming a CMI changed my life-by Andrea Parsons

How Becoming A Certified Medical Interpreter Changed My Life For The Better

For many people, figuring out what career path to choose in life is very difficult. Fortunately, at a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. It wasn’t until I began formally studying Spanish at the age of 12, that I decided to  become a Spanish teacher. My initial love  for the Spanish language; however, began when I was a toddler watching Sesame Street; learning numbers, colors, the alphabet, and simple phrases. My pre-school teacher even gifted me my first Spanish dictionary on moving up day to kinder-garden.

I continued my Spanish studies through college. While completing my bachelor’s degree in Adolescent Education with a concentration in Spanish, I had the opportunity to live in Spain, become fluent in one of the world’s most beautiful languages and experience life  from another cultural perspective. What this career path did not prepare me for were the many faults in our country’s education system. The lack of care and enthusiasm for acquiring a new skill and wanting to learn about diverse cultures was both astounding and disheartening to me.

After teaching for two years, I realized that I wasn’t getting back all that I had put into my job as an educator. I felt that the time had come for me to make a career change. I decided to investigate careers, in which I could use my language skills and continue to help others. Through my search, I came across medical interpreting. I felt that maybe I had finally found my niche. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but that it would all pay off in the end. I was absolutely right.

Medical interpreting has been the perfect career for me for multiple reasons. One of the main reasons is that I, myself have been a patient for a good portion of my life. Having been born 15 weeks early and diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, I have had to endure repeat hospitalizations for lengthy illnesses, as well as multiple  surgeries. Unlike many, I have always felt at home in hospitals. They became my “home away from home.”  Also, with being a patient comes empathy , as well as a great grasp of medical terminology and overall knowledge.

As a Certified Spanish Medical Interpreter, I have contributed many things to the profession. I have provided empathy, compassion, knowledge, and most importantly, professionalism. I knew going in that I would be giving 110% to my career. What I didn’t realize was how much this profession would give me and how it would change me for the better. Medical Interpreting has given me more insight into the human condition. More specifically how people who don’t share a common language or culture can come together and work as a team; all  because of the voice that I provide them. Being a Certified Medical Interpreter has also made me appreciate my situation even more. I face daily struggles living with a physical disability. However, after interpreting for almost four years, I can honestly say that I am truly blessed with a special talent and I know I survived everything  I have gone through for one purpose: to help others.

Andrea Parsons

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Zoila Alvarez - Saturday, September 23, 2017
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Wow ! Thanks for sharing such a encouraging and moving personal story ! You're a truly fighter !

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