Do you get extra work cause your bilingual? - page 6

I always have to deal with my patients, +plus other nurses patients because most of our patients are spanish speaking. This gives me extra work and puts me behind. It takes away from time I could be... Read More

  1. by   edmia
    Quote from leslymill
    Only Spanish I acknowledge is um...potto...um...caca...
    So we don't force them to learn English, you want to force ME to speak a language I HATE???????
    UM..if I want to learn Spanish I WILL MOVE TO MEXICO....gracias
    Mujer, lo que obviamente odias es a tus pacientes. Con esa actitud, me pregunto porque te encuentras en esta profesion?

    Me preocupa que tu actitud pueda llegar al descuido de algun paciente. Te vendria bien un poco de buena educacion.

    BTW, potto is not a word in Spanish. If you only know 2, you should at least make an effort to get them right.

    It really worries me to see this kind of attitude in any medical professional. If I travel to say, China, and happen to need medical care, I'd love to know that someone is there to translate for me. The world is smaller each day, it's not a matter of boundaries, but of good medical care. It's not a matter of politics, you're a nurse for goodness sakes! I had a cultural sensitivity course in nursing school, but maybe those are new...
  2. by   TTRN
    Yes, I too feel the strain being the only tri-lingual nurse on the unit however I always negotiate my services. If someone needs help I always ask for the one in need to help me in return. I can explain your surgical consent if you start my IV for example. And if I'm terribly busy I say" No, not at this moment" please use the interpreting service. As Americans we must be open to other cultures and meet their needs if we plan to deliver the best nursing care possible. Hospitals need to be equipped with interpreters, or interpreting services whether live or via telephone. I think the problem is that hospitals do not want to pay for these services due to budget cuts. As more immigrants enter our country in search for a better life, shouldn't we have interpreting services, teaching materials, and or consents that they can read and understand? If you were in a non-English speaking hospital I can guarantee you would feel frustrated and complain about the lack of English speaking personnel. Like most Americans we want the rest of the world to cater to us. We must remember this country is made of several races. Yes, English is the language spoken here however we should widened our horizons and perhaps learn another language so that we can serve ALL and not be so egocentric.
    By meeting with hospital administration and voicing our concerns over this issue we can bring improvement with our current situations. Lashing out that immigrants must learn English is un-professional and judgmental. Perhaps these people are in transition and attempting to learn. But how would you know if you can't speak their language, huh?
  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from ttrn
    lashing out that immigrants must learn english is un-professional and judgmental. perhaps these people are in transition and attempting to learn. but how would you know if you can't speak their language, huh?
    [font="comic sans ms"]
    i haven't seen anyone here "lashing out." (except perhaps you, lashing out at your fellow nurses.) however, i must point out that i personally know many spanish-speakers who have been in this country since 1951 who only speak english when it suits them. to say that i have a responsibility to learn spanish in order to care for them is judgemental and wrong. after 55 years, they've had every opportunity to learn to speak english.

    i have enormous sympathy for someone who just moved here and is attempting to learn the language. or who was here on vacation when they had their mi. i have no sympathy for someone who refuses to speak english after 55 years in this country!

    we have spanish-speaking patients where i work. and croatian, russian, ukraine, ethiopian, mandarin, tagolag, german, utu, and many other languages. i can't learn all those languages. so why single out spanish?

  4. by   ElvishDNP
    It has been my experience that can't speak English and won't speak English are two separate monsters.

    I hear what you are saying in that 2nd paragraph, Ruby.
  5. by   Bookworm14
    [QUOTE=
    It really worries me to see this kind of attitude in any medical professional. If I travel to say, China, and happen to need medical care, I'd love to know that someone is there to translate for me. [/QUOTE]


    Needing medical attention in a foreign country while traveling is FAR different than LIVING somewhere for years and not learning the language.

    If I MOVED to Germany, I would learn the language. I wouldn't expect all German nurses to learn English so they could take care of me.
  6. by   CyndieRN2007
    When I was in Germany back in 91-95, (Bitburg Germany) all the German teenagers that were my age spoke English fluently. Hmmmmmmm.......
    Last edit by CyndieRN2007 on Nov 8, '07
  7. by   EmmaG
    Quote from CyndieRN2007
    When I was in Germany back in 91-95, (Bitburg Germany) all the German teenagers that were my age spoke English fluently. Hmmmmmmm.......
    Internet gaming now lol
  8. by   CyndieRN2007
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    Internet gaming now lol
    What Emmanuel? LOL..... Please explain that one.
    Last edit by CyndieRN2007 on Nov 8, '07
  9. by   EmmaG
    Quote from CyndieRN2007
    What Emmanuel? LOL..... Please explain that one.


    Gotta stop posting before I'm caffeinated.

    I'm wondering how much the internet contributes to that, especially the online games these kids play.

    Still not making sense LOL...
  10. by   shellsincanada
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein


    Gotta stop posting before I'm caffeinated.

    I'm wondering how much the internet contributes to that, especially the online games these kids play.

    Still not making sense LOL...
    I don't think the net was very widespread when she was in germany ( early 90's) Europe emphasizes langauge more in the schools. It is common to learn not one language in school but 2 or more. It's recognized that this is a global economy and the more languages you have the better. I speak a smidge of french( we have to take it until at least middle school here) and I have forgotten tons but I can get along with it when needed.
  11. by   Adenium
    I do applaud the European schools (and more progressive ones here) for promoting the study of other languages from an early age. I think it's great, and I took advantage of that when I got a chance. I chose two common languages, figuring they might serve me well when traveling or within the U.S. But can I speak Polish? Vietnamese? Lots of others? Nope. Do I have time to learn them all? Definitely not.

    It may be useful to learn another language, but how many are we expected to learn? I still think it takes it too far to require that nurses take a class to learn a particular language that happens to help out with the dominant patient demographic at the time. So resources are spent to force adults to try to learn, say, Spanish, and then maybe a while later there are more patients who speak Polish or Chinese, and then what do you do? You can't train the staff to each be able to accommodate patients in every language, which is the whole reason why we have one national language to begin with - to try to establish a common way to communicate. And beyond that, you try to use interpreters where you can and whatever other resources you have.

    There will certainly be patients who are trying to learn English, but haven't gotten to yet. Or those who are traveling. And so the nurses do their best to accommodate them as they should. But to mandate language study? It still seems wrong. And yay, Europeans frequently learn English, but their nurses still have the same problems we do when someone speaks, say, Greek. You can't cover it all! If I'm in Germany it's helpful that many there speak English, but I wouldn't just "expect" it to be that way simply because there are a lot of English speakers in the world. I just get lucky there, unlucky in Zimbabwe.

    You can certainly encourage language study, and make resources more available. But to force it on people who've done their studying and gotten their license? It seems insufficient for medical communication, unfair to boot, and it would still leave many patients needing interpreters.

    Argh. Life is complicated. Where's that tropical island to retire on? I see lots of sides in this argument, but I think people get too caught up in what would help them in their particular situation, and don't think about the extended issues. Because, well, we're human and we're tired.
  12. by   CyndieRN2007
    Everyone seems to think from my original post that I want all nurses to learn Spanish. I don't. I do not work in a hospital. I am a OHN in a beef processing plant. About 90% of the workers there are Spanish speaking. We dont have Germans, French, or any other foreign speakers at my plant. Just Spanish.

    Just like our nurse manager can recommend that we take a mandatory keyboarding or microsoft word class, I think my coworker should take a medical spanish class at least. AND....for the record, she wants to take one. We do not have a language line or designated translators at our plant.

    It was not my intention from my OP to imply that all nurses should speak every language of every foreigner that comes through the hospital doors. That is ridiculous, of course. What I meant is that my friend could benifit from a medical Spanish course, that my employer should pay for.
  13. by   Alois Wolf
    I know in Germany and a lot of other places in Europe and Asia, kids are taught how to speak English from a very early age. I'm starting to see that kind of mentality here with our kids in the US learning to speak Spanish.

    Okay... while I agree that immigrants should learn how to speak English, nurses who work with a lot of this particular population, IMHO nurses should try to learn at least enough Spanish to do their job more efficiently with a pt. who is Spanish speaking only. I know I'm probably going to get flamed for it... but would it really hurt? ... the learning of Spanish that is... not the flaming... that actually might hurt a little, lol.

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