Interpreter Services


Tufts Medical Center is a world-class academic medical center located in downtown Boston, in the Chinatown community, is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Our Medical Center is the principle teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. We offer outstanding patient care to both adults and children, teaching generations of future physicians with the most advanced medical science and innovative research.

Tufts Medical Center is culturally diverse, providing culturally competent care and organizational supports demonstrated by our outstanding language access services. This was evident this year (2012) when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded our Interpreter Services Department national recognition for best practices.

In addition, Tufts Medical Center’s Mission Statement stresses that we uphold the, “highest standard of care and service to all in our community. We are committed to all the patient’s that we serve, including providing the highest level of care to our patients needing language assisted services and an alignment to cultural competent healthcare.

Tufts Medical Center’s Interpreter Services Program is comprised of a department which provides 24/7 access to interpretation to both our inpatient and outpatients. These interpretation services are delivered in a manner that utilizes multiple strategies and innovations, which meets the multiple needs of our patients. Among the practices utilized are: face to face interpretation at approximately 65%, phone interpretation at approximately 34% and the Deaf Talking Machine.

In 2012, the Interpreter Services Department reported a total of 69,672 encounters.

Additionally, numerous other ways to reach our language-need patients are implemented, including translation of regulatory and teaching tools, clustering of outpatient clinic appointments, weekly scheduled chemotherapy educational sessions, interpreters making rounds for unscheduled patient visits, language charts hanging on all units and outreach to physician groups in order to meet their patient’s needs to name a few.

Tufts Medical Center provides ongoing educational support to our interpreters. First, our department has an “educator role” who is continually meeting the learning needs of our interpreters. The challenges and complexities of healthcare necessitates that our interpreters learning needs are met, in order to provide the highest level of patient care.

Overall, Tufts Medical Center works to ensure that our patients receive, “effective, understandable, and respectful care that is provided in a manner compatible with their cultural health beliefs and practices and preferred language”, as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Making the Connection

Excellent care means little if you and your healthcare provider can’t communicate with each other successfully. At the Interpreter Services Department for Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children, we believe that every non-English-speaking patient and his or her family has the right to an interpreter, at no cost. In fact, our interpreters handle an average of 5,500 encounters every month. In addition to face-to-face interpreter services, we offer interpretation services by phone and American Sign Language. Every adult and pediatric inpatient floor at Tufts Medical Center has special telephones equipped with dual handsets that allow both patient and provider to communicate via interpreter—so that you can get the most from your visit with us.

We Speak Your Language

We are one of the largest interpreter services departments in the region, with translation services available in regulatory healthcare forms and teaching tools.

Intérprete de español

Asian Information and Medical Referral Line

Vietnamese Interpreter Services

Entèprèt ki pale kreyòl

Russian Interpreter Services 

Interprète de français

Intérprete de português

You can request an interpreter any weekday by asking the secretary on the unit to call 617-636-5547. (On the nights and weekends, interpreters are reserved for emergencies and inpatient only.)

 Download our Interpreter Services Policies and Guidelines