Does speaking Spanish get you higher pay ?

  1. 0
    I don't speak Spanish as my primary language, but I'm fairly fluent. I was helping to translate basic needs for a patient at work one night and one of the other nurses on the floor pulled me aside and said "Do you know how much money you could be making with your skill set?" I told her I don't know any medical terms, but she said it would be worth it to learn, because nurses with a second language can make big $.
    So I'm curious if this is true, or just something she heard... we work at a union shop, everyone gets the same pay based on years of experience, not skill set, but if it were true elsewhere, I'd probably look into a class or something. Anyway, just curious!

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 1
    I'm bilingual as are many of my fellow nurse friends. Not one of us gets paid more to speak Spanish. Frankly, you have to have technical medical interpretation certification to even be qualified to interpret in a medical setting. I do not have this certification (I am certified in written translation only), so I am not qualified to do medical interpretation. I do not want to get sued for incorrectly interpreting a medical term, so I just don't do it. I always go to my language line for medical interpretation even though I am fluent. However, if you want to get certified, there are many programs out there. Just google medical interpretation certification.
    86toronado likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from diosa78
    I'm bilingual as are many of my fellow nurse friends. Not one of us gets paid more to speak Spanish. Frankly, you have to have technical medical interpretation certification to even be qualified to interpret in a medical setting. I do not have this certification (I am certified in written translation only), so I am not qualified to do medical interpretation. I do not want to get sued for incorrectly interpreting a medical term, so I just don't do it. I always go to my language line for medical interpretation even though I am fluent. However, if you want to get certified, there are many programs out there. Just google medical interpretation certification.

    Thank you for that! I had been wondering about that. I dont know where you're from but down here in Miami I have rarely ever seen employees use another person. usually the doctor or nurse, even if they barely speak any spanish, just assume whatever the person is trying to say. And so it sparked my curiosity about what you just cleared up. I am going to "assume" they're taking a risk!
  5. 4
    Here is some more information from the Department of Justice that states who is able to professionally interpret. Note that many hospitals use these same regulations. I always go into an interview by telling the employer that I am fully bilingual, however I am not qualified and will not do medical interpretation as it is unethical for me to do so. However, I will communicate basic questions/conversation, but explaining diseases/risks/benefits/ technical education - it is off limits.
    __________________________________________________ __________________
    Interpretation involves the immediate communication of meaning from one language (the source language) into another (the target language). An interpreter conveys meaning orally, while a translator conveys meaning from written text to written text. As a result, interpretation requires skills different from those needed for translation.
    Interpreting is a complex task that combines several abilities beyond language competence in order to enable delivery of an effective professional interpretation in a given setting. Consequently, extreme care must be exercised in hiring interpreters and interpreting duties should be assigned to individuals within their performance level. Command of at least two languages is prerequisite to any interpreting task. The interpreter must be able to (1) comprehend two languages as spoken and written (if the language has a script), (2) speak both of these languages, and (3) choose an expression in the target language that fully conveys and best matches the meaning of the source language.
    From the standpoint of the user, a successful interpretation is one that faithfully and accurately conveys the meaning of the source language orally, reflecting the style, register, and cultural context of the source message, without omissions, additions or embellishments on the part of the interpreter.
    Professional interpreters and translators are subject to specific codes of conduct and should be well-trained in the skills, ethics, and subject-matter language. Those utilizing the services of interpreters and translators should request information about certification, assessments taken, qualifications, experience, and training. Quality of interpretation should be a focus of concern for all recipients.
    Many court systems have adopted assessments, certification or other qualification procedures to ensure quality, so when hiring an interpreter, whether for courtroom or other assignments, such competency measures should be taken into consideration. Interpreters can be physically present, or, if appropriate, may appear via videoconferencing or telephonically. When videoconferencing or telephonic interpretation are used, options include connecting directly to a specific professional interpreter with known qualifications, or opting to use a company providing telephonic interpretation services, preferably one with quality control safeguards in place.
    In many circumstances, using a professional interpreter or translator will be both necessary and preferred. However, if bilingual staff are asked to interpret or translate, they should be qualified to do so. Assessment of ability, training on interpreter ethics and standards, and clear policies that delineate appropriate use of bilingual staff, staff or contract interpreters and translators, will help ensure quality and effective use of resources.
    rivir25, Meriwhen, 86toronado, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    Higher pay? Um, no.

    First in line for a job in Miami?

    Definitely.
  7. 1
    I would imagine that being bilingual will certainly make you more marketable! And if you go for the certification, perhaps it would increase your pay.
    Go for it!
    86toronado likes this.
  8. 1
    I am bilingual and I do not get higher pay. I remember when I mentioned it during one interview, the manager of the floor was like while that is helpful if you were hired here I do not want you translating, that is why we have interpreters here.
    Well if she said so.
    If you go to Miami though, yeah you NEED to. You hardly hear anything but.
    86toronado likes this.
  9. 2
    Quote from chicookie
    If you go to Miami though, yeah you NEED to. You hardly hear anything but.
    Same thing throughout a lot of Texas.

    I'm working on my Spanish while I'm meaningfully unemployed...maybe it might open up a few more job interviews, but I don't expect it to result in a higher paycheck if I'm hired. At the least, I can get back into those Spanish soap operas I used to watch while living in Texas
    juan.ramirez0426 and 86toronado like this.
  10. 1
    At my hospital you can get certified to be a translator, and get a smallish stipend monthly for it. We have lists of all the various languages nurses speak and can translate in.

    I am very far from being fluent, but I can get most of a simple history, where it hurts, do discharge instructions about keeping splints clean and dry, etc. I refuse to do preop or pysch histories because I just don't have the vocabulary or get the idioms and conotations.

    If I run into something I am not understanding, I say so, "I don't understand that word", and we work around it or I get someone else.
    86toronado likes this.
  11. 0
    That's good to hear, since South Florida is where I would like to end up in a few years, when the economy is out of this recession, and my husband finishes school... I think I'm more looking for things to keep my mind occupied, so an interpreter certification may be something to try!


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