Advantage for Speaking Spanish? - page 3

by Multicollinearity 10,183 Views | 28 Comments

I'm going to graduate in a few months. I'm wondering how much of an advantage it is to speak Spanish, especially in the competitive environment for landing new grad jobs. What do you all think? How much of an advantage is it... Read More


  1. 0
    Try looking into a medical-Spanish class to make you more marketable, if your geographic area warrents such. I grew up in The Netherlands where mandatory language knowlegde of at least 2 other languages was required. English was one and i opted for Spanish where most of my friends opted for French. Living in South Florida, I made the wise choice. Its an asset, I have enrolled in Creole for medical personnel to be able to assist with Haitian-Creole speakers. Unfortunately i have not come across any Dutch speakers as patients at this time, but a few German speakers that i have helped.
    ANY additional skills that sets you above the pack, and shows initiative will come back to reward you. :spin:
    I am thankful to be fluent in 3 langauges, learning a fourth and expanding my knowledge. In South Florida, everyone (unfortunately) believes you should speak Spanish, and forego any learning of the language that they need as well...... But THAT's another posting.
  2. 0
    I would say that if you can handle the workload, go ahead and take some classes. I'm bilingual and live in the Southwest. Whenever I was in clinicals, I was being pulled in every direction to translate for pts. See if a community college in your area offers a class in medical Spanish too. I guarantee you that if you were applying for a job, and evenly matched with another prospective employee, the person who speaks two languages will definitely get the job.

    Best of luck to you!
  3. 0
    Quote from perfectbluebuildings
    I know it has helped me a lot in the day-to-day to be able to speak some basic Spanish with families... and I don't live in a part of the country, like you do, that is thought to have a high population of Spanish-speaking families, but it seems like there are many and getting to be more every day. It's just nice not to have to call the language line for everything and be able to communicate basic things with families more easily. I still do use the interpreters for in-depth teaching or anything, of course; I don't want to risk messing that up.

    I would think in your part of the country, knowing some Spanish would be a definite advantage, if not when you get hired, then later on when you are working. I agree with starting the at-home Spanish courses- I've heard the Rosetta Stone program is good though I've never used it, and also I recommend the "501 Spanish Verbs" book, it has lots of good info. If once you get into it, you find you want more interactive instruction you can always take the classes then. GOOD LUCK!! :-)
    thank you so much for the advice....I will see as to where I can find that book..is a school texbook ?
  4. 0
    Hey... you're welcome :-) I learned of the 501 Spanish Verbs back in high school when my Spanish teacher had it, but recently got it to brush up on my own Spanish and found at Borders... i will see if I can find a link to it on Amazon and come back and edit this post and add it... It is a really big book, kind-of a textbook but not exactly. (Sorry I'm not always much with the words). OK I'll be back...

    OK here's the link (if I can make it work): I suggest reading some of the "customer reviews" at the bottom, they explain why it is so useful better than I have...

    http://www.amazon.com/501-Spanish-Ve...1795501&sr=8-1
  5. 0
    Quote from perfectbluebuildings
    hey... you're welcome :-) i learned of the 501 spanish verbs back in high school when my spanish teacher had it, but recently got it to brush up on my own spanish and found at borders... i will see if i can find a link to it on amazon and come back and edit this post and add it... it is a really big book, kind-of a textbook but not exactly. (sorry i'm not always much with the words). ok i'll be back...

    ok here's the link (if i can make it work): i suggest reading some of the "customer reviews" at the bottom, they explain why it is so useful better than i have...

    http://www.amazon.com/501-spanish-ve...1795501&sr=8-1

    thank you so much !!! i will check it out! happy mothers day to you and to all !
  6. 0
    bilingual in Spanish will definately make you more desirable to an employer!
  7. 1
    I'm bilingual and the jobs I applied for told me that it wasn't a big deal either way r/t the area I want to work in, which is cardiovascular ICU. They say that there isn't much of a need for spanish in my specialty area, but if you work in the ER or other areas where spanish is needed, then yes, it would help you. do anything you can to help yourself become more educated and thus more marketable
    MaritesaRN likes this.
  8. 1
    I am a Spanish /English medical interpreter at a small midwest 300 or so bed hospital. I have been interpreting there four years now. I think the ER has about 12-14 beds. I think we have about 300+ patients contacts a year. We are certified through some agency in Washington State or somewhere out there. I thought the certification process was rather easy, but my Spanish-English interpreting is pretty good. I also am a KY Court interpreter. I am only working an on-call position so I decided to go into nursing.

    I have previous high school Spanish teaching experience with a Master's in Education. I just couldn't put up with a bunch of lazy disrespectful 14-15 yr olds. It was heartbreaking. Anyways, speaking Spanish, 3.8 GPA, all general ed (non-nursing) classes completed and my current position had absolutely NO effect in getting into the RN program. I didn't get selected this last time. I have inquired why but after 3 weeks I still don't have an answer.

    Here's how I sum it up. All I hear when I mention that I am bilingual is how great that is and how great it would be to have someone like that working with us. Thats about the last I ever hear of it. I think other places (I used to live in south Miami) it is not a big issue, practically everyone (in some sense) is bilingual. They post bilingual requirements for the jobs and obviously get enough applicants.

    As for going out and learning Spanish... I think it would be a very good idea. Going out and learning Spanish to communicate with patients ...I think is a very bad idea. When it comes to something medical, I think you need to be dang sure (99.9%+) what you hear and dang sure what you say.
    So.very.blessed likes this.
  9. 1
    will you be more marketable? that really depends!!!!!

    if you are working at county hospital, 24th street & van buren, in any department at all, then yes! it's a benefit. if you are working at maryvale hospital, 51st ave & indian school, in any dept, then yes! it's a benefit.
    if there is another hospital that is in a neighborhood full of spanish-speaking people... then yes!

    question is... do you want to work at those hospitals?

    if you apply for a job at the mayo clinic, or at scottsdale healthcare north, then no. speaking spanish isn't gonna help you. (maybe if you're working in the er, but that's about it.) they don't have a whole lot of spanish-speaking patients.


    i speak spanish fluently. i can have an hour-long conversation in spanish, just talking to a friend. how are you? what did you do today? how is your family? etc. my vocabulary is limited, and there's alot of words i don't know, like car engine, wallpaper, chair cushion, ceiling fan... but i'm still fluent.

    there are times when i need the other person to slow down a little, to speak slower, so i can understand him/her. i've found, over - and over - and over - and over - and over - and over - and over again... that when i ask a mexican lady to slow down, she will. when i ask a mexican man to slow down, he won't. the men just don't seem to care.

    this has been my own personal experience with the mexican culture. i grew up in a "white" family, went out of my way to learn spanish in college, went out of my way to learn spanish, working different jobs after college. i've put a whole lot of time and effort and energy to learn a different language. there are many men i've met, men from mexico, that have been living in the us for 2 - 3 - 5 years. living in this country, surrounded by people who speak english. they have not put effort and energy into learning the language.

    when i was talking to the men who grew up in mexico... i wasn't asking them to learn english. all i was asking them to do was... slow down speaking so i can understand them. that was it. i wasn't asking them to meet me half-way. i was trying to meet them 90% of the way, asking them to meet me 10% of the way. did they do it? nope. no. not at all. not interested. no thanks. nil.

    there were some mexican men that were courteous, and respectful, and kind. there were some men that slowed down, and met me 10% of the way. some. i finally got to the point where... those few men who were courteous, respectful, kind... i slowed down, was patient, tried to help them. i tried to understand them. the men who did not slow down their speaking, and had no intention of meeting me 10% of the way, i just didn't care any more.


    on a side note... my old neighbor in phoenix... a mexican man... if he was my patient, i would go out of my way to take care of him. he has always been respectful, and kind, and trustworthy, and pleasant. he's lived in phoenix for 10-15 years. (by the way, he has taken time to learn english. he speaks english better than i speak spanish.) if we went on vacation, i would give him the keys to our house, and totally trust him with all our stuff. him, personally, i like. it's the other people i have no patience for.

    i am at the point in my life where i do not want to speak spanish. i do not want to deal with it anymore. if i have spanish-speaking clients, i will speak small talk. do you need to go to the bathroom? want to call your family? are you having problems breathing? i am going to draw blood. the doctor will be here in an hour. please take your pills. when i learn small-talk, it makes my job easier. it is much easier on me when i speak a little spanish.

    if they need more of an explanation, if they want to talk, if they have questions about anything medical, then i do the smart thing. i tell the patient, "i'll call the interpreter. you can talk to them."

    someone reading this post might think i'm rude. i went out of my way to learn the spanish language, i ask the men to speak slower, they don't, i get impatient, i give up, and i don't care anymore. if someone considers that rude, then so be it!

    that's my own personal experience. -- lisa ;-)
    So.very.blessed likes this.


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