Rampant Racisim in Hospitals!! - page 2

I am from California where many classified ads for nurses state "bilingual is a must!" Well I am trilingual, but since I do not speak spanish I do not qualify as bilingual. What is the rationale... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    Fire Wolf that did not offend me at all.
    My mother was hospitalized in Italy. She died there.
    i am very glad some of the nurses spoke English.

    I am also so appreciative of the common body of knowledge and caring that is the science and art of nursing.
    Thank you nurses!

    PS: It was a long time ago.
  2. by   4nomark
    Not Racist but very Discriminatory!!

    I loathe people who are intolerant and/or judgemental, I've been called the "N" word by whites and treated unfairly by some other groups of people mainly phillipinos. I try not to be guilty of these same behaviors but truthfully sometimes I am. When I make the following statement I don't make it because of my race or socioeconomic status but because of my citizenship as an American Citizen.
    I live in a country where everyone attempting to come here illegally or legally knows english is the language of the land so what type of mentality would make some people come here with the attitude that this country owes it to them to change the language from english to spanish. Before some people say that this isn't so, ask many people who've worked with some spanish speaking people who absolutely refuse to learn the english language.

    So after I work my butt off to earn a degree and become qualified in my own country to work I find out there are areas of America where I may be hindered from employment not because of race or criminal background but because I don't speak a foreign language to work in the United States!! I know Nurses like to say the bottom line is PT care and I agree 99.9% of the time, but sometimes you have to say that some things have gone too far and if speaking spanish becomes mandatory to work in some areas of this country things have gotten way out of hand.
    Now, I'm studying spanish because I believe that some areas of the country will become spanish speaking only, but that dosen't mean I think it's right, I think I just see the handwriting that's on the wall.

    I'm going to say something about being "Protectionist" in terms of immigration. America is a lifeboat in a sea of countries that are failing their citizens but everyone knows that if you let everyone swamp that lifeboat it is going to turn over and everyone ends up drowning so someone has to say how many and when they can get on that boat, this is what legal immigration attempts to do. When we continually cater and enable people to break our laws both immigration and criminal and turn a blind eye we can no longer point the finger at someone else because we can't get a decent job in our own country if we don't speak spanish.
    I think that public sector workers, first responders, public safety officers, etc. should be commeded for taking the time to learn spanish in order to better serve a segment of our population but I would never say they should have a hard time working in America if they don't.
    Again, I don't mean this to sound racist because that's not my intent. I look forward to hearing other opinions and apologize to any whose feelings I may inadvertently hurt.
  3. by   jjjoy
    When you are sick, it doesn't matter how hard you are studying a second language, it would be a big relief to be able to be communicated to about your illness in a language that you are more or less fluent in.

    This is different than demanding that all public facilities have multi-lingual signs or that public schools ought to be teaching in everyone's native language instead of in English. Those are other debates.

    But when it comes to health care, especially when you're talking about hospitalized patients, I think one ought to leave one's language politics at the door and do whatever it takes to assist that patient, which includes hospitals preferentially hiring bilingual (in whatever target languages are relevant) nurses if they are otherwise qualified for the job.
  4. by   Kim O'Therapy
    Quote from faithmd
    You are right, I see your point, and I understood that from the OP as well. I guess I just put that aside in my mind because for me that wasn't the larger problem. Even though my response was taking us off topic, I felt compelled to state my opinion. The larger problem is that nurses in the US are being required to know another language in order to work in an institution. I am bilingual as well, and no, the other language is not Spanish (as the OP's is not). I understand that learning a second language in school is important for a variety of reasons. I do NOT agree that knowing a second language in order to have a job in a company/institution within the US, owned and operated by English speakers, and servicing persons within the US (regardless of where they are from originally), should be a requirement. Especially in the case of a hospital where much of the revenue comes from the government in one form or another. As I said in my previous post, if I were in another country, I would never expect that my nurse had to know English to treat me. As long as s/he is a good nurse, I'd be fine.

    And I agree with the OP that if the ridiculous requirement to be "bilingual" is English/Spanish, that's what the posting should state.
    :yeahthat:
  5. by   zahryia
    Quote from fire wolf
    [font="comic sans ms"]okay, this may not turn out right when i say it ......... so you all be nice and take it with the honesty and innocence it is intended. it is just an opinion and an experience that i had going to live overseas.

    i speak two different languages and no, one is not spanish. ((i can also sign in american sign language enough to communicate with the hearing impaired.))

    i learned my second lanuage when i was going to germany and was expected to live there. (i did live there for 5 years and that was a long time ago)

    i did not ever ...and at any time ..... expect the german people who i lived with and who worked around me and with me, to learn and use english, because it was i who moved there and i was the guest in their country.

    i respected their culture, holidays, foods, their mores and values and did not try one time to impose my beliefs or american thought processes on them unless asked for what it was "american's believe" on a subject and even then, i could only tell them what i individually thought. i am not a spokesperson for the whole country, we are all too different.

    like wise, to me and only in my opinion, i believe that it is the responsibilty of any person coming into the usa to learn english. ((i did speak english with my parents at home or some friends from the usa but not when we were out around in the german public so that people listening would not feel excluded. that to me seemed rude even when i was younger.))

    i am not against anyone coming into this country but i expect them to be as respectful to our country ((or any country anyone would go to live in)) and if they choose to live here or spend a significant amount of time here, they should take the time to learn the language. it is just a matter of accepting responsibility and respect to me.

    [[[[[ducking behind my computer for those who did not get the intent that i mean not trying to offend anyone. ]]]]]

    [font="century gothic"]the only flaw is your analogy is that the usa is more diverse than germany. therefore when you talk about imposing on a 'culture'. who's culture are you talking about? the heartland , miami, the bronx or washington dc? to many hispanic immigrants, they can fight right into the 'american' culture, depending on where and who it is.

    having said that, i personally don't care if people come here and don't learn how to speak english, but i do think that when the general workforce is discriminated against for speaking 'their' language, then it's a problem.

    if you don't want to speak english, fine. but don't expect to be catered to or navigate through soceity and social services as if you never left your country. it's not right.
  6. by   Mission
    Quote from zahryia
    [FONT="Century Gothic"]Having said that, I personally don't care if people come here and don't learn how to speak english, but I do think that when the general workforce is discriminated against for speaking 'their' language, then it's a problem.

    If you don't want to speak english, fine. But don't expect to be catered to or navigate through soceity and social services as if you never left your country. It's not right.
    I have never met an immigrant who came here to work and didn't want to learn English, I'm sure someone like that would be the exception and not the rule. Learning a second language is not easy otherwise people wouldn't be posting about how they don't want to do it, yet they want to impose on people who more than likely have less education and resources then they do to do learn. I don't think taking English classes should be a priority for immigrants when they are making less than minimum wage and the apples or whatever they're picking don't care what language they speak. My patients, however, will benefit greatly from me knowing another language. If learning a second language helps me do my job better, no matter what the language is, then I'm going to try and learn it. I think it says a lot about a person who is unwilling to try and learn a second language that would be of benefit to their patient.
  7. by   Mags4711
    Quote from Mission
    My patients, however, will benefit greatly from me knowing another language. If learning a second language helps me do my job better, no matter what the language is, then I'm going to try and learn it. I think it says a lot about a person who is unwilling to try and learn a second language that would be of benefit to their patient.
    But going by your thought that learning a second language would be a benefit to your patient (if your patient is a foreigner, of course), then we should all know Japanese and Spanish and French and German and Italian and Tagalog, and...and...and... When does it end????

    I appreciate that in my institution we have interpreter services. And invariably there is a nurse or a doc around who speaks Spanish or French or Arabic, etc... and can help out in a pinch when interpreter services aren't around.

    Quote from Mission
    I think it says a lot about a person who is unwilling to try and learn a second language that would be of benefit to their patient."
    Goodness, I SO want to go there with this statement, but I'm going to hold myself back because I know I won't be nice.:angryfire
    Last edit by Mags4711 on Feb 21, '07 : Reason: fixed spelling and grammar
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from StlRn2b1206
    I am in Ventura County, which has a large number of Hispanic residents.
    It's a small world after all. I was born and raised in Oxnard, and lived there until 2003. When I finally left Ventura County, the nonwhite Hispanic population in Oxnard numbered 70 percent.
  9. by   Soup Turtle
    I lived in Europe for a few years and was amazed at how accommodating everyone was. Whatever language you spoke, they were willing to attempt to speak it too. It really changed my "ugly American" attitude about people living in the US who didn't speak English well.

    That being said, of course I don't think one should have to speak Spanish to get a job.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    The most often run advertisements on Spanish language TV and radio are for English classes.

    I don't know of any hospital that will not hire a nurse because they don't speak Spanish. Probably a bilingual nurse would be hired over an equally qualified nurse who cannot.
    One hospital had a unit where they recruit bilingual nurses and staff who speak English and/or Japanese or Korean because people come there for specialized surgery.

    Like many of us I have experienced rampant racism. Not being allowed to use the bathroom, getting spit on, Dads life threatened, and such are rampant racisim.
    I am not fluent in Spanish, am older, overweight & a minority, and yet I know I can work in almost any hospital I want because my experience is current and I am willing to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

    Oh my Mom was vacationing when she had an MI in Italy. They made a real effore to have an English speaker available.
    We nurses do our very best for our patients. It is so appreciated by those who know. We are the most trusted profession.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Feb 21, '07
  11. by   KellNY
    Quote from faithmd
    But going by your thought that learning a second language would (potentially) be a benefit to your patient (if your patient is a foreigner, of course), then we should all know Japanese and Spanish and French, and German and Italian, and Tagalog, and...and...and... When does it end????
    Well, when we're talking about places that may have equal or higher percentages of spanish speaking than English speaking pts, that's a big difference than the occasional Tagalog speaking Pt you might come into contact with. So that's not really a relevant comparison unless you worked at the UN or something.


    (And FTR, there are hospitals in NYC who specify that Bilingual English/Russian prefered, Polish and Yiddish a bonus)

    On my entire unit (where we generally have a 10-60% spanish speaking pop)-I am one of the most fluent Spanish speaking nurses. With my portfolio of about 20 words and 10 phrases. I would LOVE to have a bilingual coworker to help me out. It would not be unreasonable for our nurse manager to actively seek out a potential employee who has not only excellent skills, but can also speak Spanish somewhat fluently.

    When it's not 9a-5p (and most of nursing isn't!) translation services are not present. We have the language line, true, but I'd much rather have a human there to help me. Most of our doctors do not speak spanish (residents are much better than community docs and attendings, but the few that "know" spanish are far from fluent-with one exception).

    This is not unreasonable of a hospital at all.
  12. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    The hospital I worked in before the one I'm at now had a solution that worked really well. The staff there was a real salad bowl of ethnicities as were the patients. When a translator was needed urgently, the hospital page operator would announce overhead, "Anyone who speaks fill in the blanks please contact the hospital operator." Most of the time there was someone who could provide simple translations until more formal arrangements could be made. The prevailing wisdom was life over limb over privacy concerns and I can't recall anyone ever complaining about confidentiality issues.
  13. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Mission
    I think it says a lot about a person who is unwilling to try and learn a second language that would be of benefit to their patient.
    Well ... I'm going to be honest with you. My future employer does pay extra for learning Spanish and I am willing to do that. But, I'm also interested in pursuing my bachelor's and master's for better career opportunities.

    Since I will, more than likely, have limited time for extra studies as it is while working ... the degrees are going to take priority over another language.

    If that makes me a bad nurse, so be it. Sorry but, my degree goals are more important.

    :typing

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