After working in the office of a family-owned foundry in Chicago for over 14 years, I felt that I had advanced as far as I could in the company. I was tired of the regular day-to-day routine of orders, and bills. The only part I enjoyed was interpreting for our mainly Spanish-speaking workforce, but I needed to do something that was more meaningful.
At the age of 41, I decided to go back to college and take a medical interpreting course. Once I completed the one-year course, one of my professors hired me to work as an interpreter at Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park. I had two part-time positions before coming here to work at Rush University Medical Center.
Working as a medical interpreter is extremely rewarding. While it can also be very stressful, you go home at the end of the day knowing that you actually did something to help another human being.
As an interpreter you get to play different roles from day to day. You can be the voice of young mother who is going into premature labor and is worried about how her baby will survive, the voice of a man who has not been feeling well and has just found out that it’s due to cancer, or the voice of a confused elderly man who left his nursing home and is very upset and swearing his heart out because we are trying to calm him down. But instead of getting depressed because of all the bad news I have interpreted all day, I can look at the bright side and say that “I got to swear at work, and got paid for it!”
I have been told that I am very good at what I do. All I can say to that is that when you love what you do, it shows!