Spanish for Healthcare Workers

  1. I am done with prerecs (hopefully- waiting on transcript review) and plan to apply to NAU- Tucson for the traditional BSN program for Fall. In the meantime, I'm wondering if it would be helpful for me to take spanish 101 or spanish for health care workers?

    Has anyone taken the HC spanish? It looks like it is the same as Spanish 101 but with an emphasis on health care vocab. There's also a conversational spanish I. I'm really torn about which course (if any) I should take.

    I already have a 2nd language (latin) for transfer so I'm not concerned about credit. I'm mainly looking into it for my own benefit once I'm working. Is one semester enough to be useful? I could probably take the 2nd semester during summer term before NS if it would be beneficial. I know I probably won't be fluent or anything but for those of you working in Arizona would you consider it worth the time and money?
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    About Southern Magnolia

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 461; Likes: 179
    Mom; from US


  3. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from NomadMomma

    I know I probably won't be fluent or anything but for those of you working in Arizona would you consider it worth the time and money?
    Si, si, senora. I would love to be bilingual. I know some just by growing up in AZ.
    I know some key phrases. I definitely need a translator to do teaching or discharge
    instructions - sometimes several times a day.

    I have needed translators in rural hospitals, inner city Level 1 trauma centers, and
    even upscale suburban hospitals. If you live in AZ it sure doesn't hurt to know Spanish.
    In fact, I have seen it in job requirements also.
  4. by   Cursed Irishman
    Beneficial and time saving: yes. Necessary: no. All the hospitals I've worked at employ readily available interpretors; one of them required an interpretor present during discharges of Spanish speaking pts. If an interpretor isn't available, there are telephonic translation services for most languages available as well.

    Ending point: don't waste the money or time.
  5. by   azstu25
    It will help with small things of course but it isn't necessary.. I am actually an interpreter. I work at a couple of hospitals around the valley. The policies are getting stricter to where even if you have spanish skills, you need to be properly accessed before using them. Most staff uses their limited Spanish for the small things but you will always have an interpreter available to you. The law requires it, whether it be in person or over the phone. In the end, it's really for everyones safety. You need to be able to communicate properly in order to give your patients the best care. I really don't know if I would go on to spend money or time on something like that. You're probably better off working some extra hours to save up for when you get in. I too finished all my pre & co reqs ahead of time. I start block one in January, it's really expensive!!
  6. by   tthor5220
    Yes definately. I work in Florida and really would like know Spanish. Would save me a lot of extra work.
  7. by   catz123
    In the nursing program that I am in it is required that you take spanish for the health care professonal. This also included those that have taken spanish and my spanish speaking friends. We all had to take it... regaurdless. Hope this helps. Good luck
  8. by   Riverrat2010
    Even though I'm from the midwest, I've encountered many Hispanic patients who had minimal proficiency in English. I speak Spanish, but I am not fluent and I have not had medical Spanish. I mentioned my intention of taking a medical Spanish course to one of my colleages who told me that I should take the course to increase my understanding, but that I should still use the hospital's interpreter or phone interpreter service due to the increased liability for a lawsuit that might be pursued if a misunderstanding occured. I'm taking an online course, but I will still use the hospital provided interpreter or phone service.
    Last edit by Riverrat2010 on Jan 5, '11 : Reason: mistake in sentence
  9. by   Gurmo
    I wish I knew more medical terminology for Spanish. I thought I could speak it well but the other day I couldn't figure out how to tell someone their blood pressure with out sounding like a fool.
  10. by   bradleau
    Yes, I would seriously consider Spanish for health care workers, as well as conversational Spanish. I took Latin and Spanish, one year each in high school, but did not use it for several years. Now I help tutor ESL where we have many different languages. My Spanish is coming back to me, with the help of two Cuban ladys. A mother and daughter. Our primary instructer has French as her language requirement, so I have been able to help the Spanish speakers. Medical Spanish is very different to learn. You will not have that in regular classes. It will also help to have this on your resume. Go for it.
  11. by   Southern Magnolia
    Thank you all for the replies. I think I'm going to hold off and do the hc spanish in the summer because I ended up not needing anything else this semester. I'm just foucsing on my Hesi and getting my ap together for the nursing program now.
  12. by   Kitesurfing bum
    It will help your career and will make you even more of a well-rounded individual. I say definitely take it! Either HC or 101, whatever fits your schedule!
  13. by   orangeroom
    I live in upstate New York, and find my Spanish knowledge to be a time saver and very helpful. I don't claim to be fluent, by any means, however, the years I took in high school, college and assisting my two children in HS, have helped in my career. In my unit we have translator phones in most rooms. If needed for more intense conversations, at least they're available.
  14. by   anjresident
    Hey Southern Mag, did you ever take the class? Does it help? Of course the patients will need interpreters but it would be nice to just know a few words here and there to even say, eat this, do that, etc. I was thinking of taking the class too. let me know.