Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Cecilia Gutierrez-Arce


Cecilia Gutierrez-Arce Certified Medical Interpreter

Cecilia Gutierrez-Arce
Certified Medical Interpreter

As a certified medical interpreter, Cecilia Gutierrez-Arce helps patients whose first language is Spanish to communicate their ideas and feelings in their own words during what can be a difficult and often frightening experience in the hospital.

“I make patient-provider connection possible. I am able to listen and understand patients with culturally sensitive insight. I can put into words their feelings and emotions any way they communicate them,” she explained. “When patients realize we are carefully listening, even to subtle gestures, we create an invaluable bridge of trust and peace of mind.”

The work of our medical interpreters goes beyond communicating words. They also act as patient advocates and cultural liaisons, facilitating the care of TMC’s patients with limited English proficiency.

While staying focused and sensitive to even nuances in patient’s communication, it is important to keep a certain level of detachment. Gutierrez-Arce, with more than six years of service at TMC, said that this can be difficult to do. “We interpreters get very involved, deep into patients and their families’ thoughts, and that can be a very traumatic experience at times,” she said.

But while interpreters like Gutierrez-Arce often assimilate the pain of the patients they are working with, it is still this opportunity for connection that drives what they do. According to her, the humanitarian side of it, making other people’s lives better is a huge reward for long, exhausting hours.

“Cecilia is a not only a very skilled medical interpreter and translator, she also has great compassion for our patients. She goes above and beyond bridging the language gap to ensure patients have a positive experience. We are so blessed to have her in our TMC family,” said Monica Frisbie, manager of International Services at TMC.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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