Irritated about making an appt. - page 6

Hi I wasnt sure where to post this! I have just about had it with the receptionist at the clinic. Whenever I call for an appt. she insists on knowing EXACTLY what I am coming in for. I feel that... Read More

  1. by   kittyw
    Originally posted by hogan4736

    I have worked in 4 ERs in Phoenix, and all of them use other family members,other patient's family members, janitors, or anyone they can find. Honest to god's truth.

    We have one state hospital, I haven't ever worked there, so I can't speak to what they do, but I have my suspicions...All of the rest of our 14+ hospitals are privately owned... Over my last 8 years in the ER, I would go on record saying that the housekeeping staff do the lionshare of the translating...

    Just because it happens doesn't make it the right thing to do. Also I have a really hard time believing that the use of janitorial staff is a regular occurance for the ENTIRE city of Phoenix. See above regulations. There must be some form of outside inspections that would detect this lack of services and enforce changes. Even if it's just the use of the AT&T translation services. We have to provide that at a minimum for no cost to the patient. If someone hasn't sued by now, it is prime time for them to do so.
    Last edit by kittyw on Feb 26, '03
  2. by   hogan4736
    kids,

    I reread her post as well, and there is no mention of her being an MA...But MAs can do triage and give antibiotic injections??? Really???Not legal in AZ, though it goes on...mmm

    Look, I'm talking reality...I know of one hospital (an inner city, predominately hispanic neighborhood) that employed (when I worked there 3 years ago) that hired a "patient liason" from 2-12 4 days a week...one person only...now, she was from Mexico, and she happily translated. That's 1/14...After posting earlier, I made some calls...Not one hospital has a translator 24/7, and only 2 have one part-time...All others have access to the language line, but I've heard, "I'd rather have housekeeping do it, they're right here." or "The language line is too expensive"

    The law says what it says, but I'm talking reality...Look up the E.M.T.A.L.A. law as it pertains to transferring care, and how many hospitals have actaully been held to that standard, when an allegation arises

    The federal laws notwithstanding, it's not realistic to make a hosiptal that is already in the red, to hire a translator 24/7, when that salary (188 hours @ 10/hr) could hire 2 FT nurses, in this age of a nursing shortage...

    And it's not right to ask the hospitals to translate for an illegal immigrant, when that person came to this country of his own free will, and refuses to learn the language and assimilate...My grandfather emigrated to the USA legally from Ireland, and didn't allow Gaelic to be spoken in the home until English was learned (and he had a basic understanding of English before coming over), anyway

    besides, what if a translator calls in sick? Do we get slapped w/ a federal fine each time??
  3. by   hogan4736
    Originally posted by kittyw
    Just because it happens doesn't make it the right thing to do. Also I have a really hard time believing that the use of janitorial staff is a regular occurance for the ENTIRE city of Phoenix. If someone hasn't sued by now, it is prime time for them to do so.
    First of all, you are in the mood to pile on me kitty...

    second, unless you have worked in Phoenix recently, you have no idea...And I'm just talking about the hospitals, not speaking to the hundreds of offices. I've been a patient in this valley for 20+ years, and have seen docs and nurses ask housekeeping, and OTHER patients' family members.

    You may not agree w/ my beliefs, but I'm not making this up guys.

    some docs muddle through, but some things get lost...is that a better plan? I'm not just trying to get a rise out of the board here...I know what I'm talking about...And I worked UCSD trauma for a year, and it was the same way on some nights.

    And there is an Hispanic nursing shortage in Phoenix...We have a school RN (white guy) trying to recruit Hispanic males/females to go into nursing rught out of school

    thanks for the time, sorry to ruffle feathers, or lead you to believe I am making this up?!

    sean
  4. by   kittyw
    I have been nothing but kind to you Sean.

    If I am in disbelief, it is because the action you mentioned is NOT an occurance at any hospital I've been in. I never said you were making this up - now did I? It's just hard to believe that an ENTIRE city would operate where they rely on JANITORS ALL the time. And where I am now would much rather pay for the translation service than for any fines it may accure. Plus they offer medical Spanish classes for free to all employees and have established a list of people that donate their time to translate. And for you to say it is common in all hospitals when you have only worked in 4 - how do you know? You're not in all of them. As I can only talk for the ones I've been in - not the entire city.
    Last edit by kittyw on Feb 27, '03
  5. by   hogan4736
    medical Spanish doesn't cut it kitty...it's a good idea, and I've taught it at several hospitals (yes I have been a Spanish teacher, and FYI am married to a Mexican National) much get's lost, and if you break out w/ the terms you've just learned in you medical spanish class, you'll likely get a whirlwind of Spanish back at you, above the level of any introductory class...

    bottom line: Families need to bring in a translator w/ them. Might not be a "PC" solution, but it is the most realistic (esta de acuerdo mi esposa...my wife agrees)

    sean


    p.s. there is no "outside entity" that will police the 24/7 providing of a translator...

    and what about french and other languages that come in...not to be a smart aleck, but I would guess the same federal laws apply to ALL languages? where is the line drawn...sign language too
  6. by   kittyw
    Last time I looked the AT&T line did a ton of languages. We're required to have signage in many (forget the exact number but it's like 24) languages telling patients of the availablity of translators. So yes - we provide services for many different languages not just Spanish (but that's what you used in your example.)

    How your entire city got away with not providing these services - I have no clue. And again... just cause it happens doesn't make it right.
  7. by   hogan4736
    kitty, with all due respect, if you read a previous post of mine from page 4, I mentioned the language line...I also stated, in my experience, most would rather use housekeeping, or muddle through...that's just reality...I never said it was right or wrong, just that's what's happening...There's a lot of resentment against Spanish speakers (only) in the hospitals here. That's a reality. And I have seen an occasional memo asking the docs to cut down on the use of (Spanish) AT&T lines, as "they are expensive, and there are in house people to use"


    sean
  8. by   kids
    In WA Medical Assistants can perform certain duties in certain clinical situations.

    Just because MAs are practicing outside their scope of practice (in AZ) and hospitals are not providing translatators "all of the time" doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it legal. Personally I believe that any nurse who observes the activities happening has an obligation to report them. I certainly wouldn't put my license on the line by failing to report illegal activities.
    Last edit by kids on Mar 1, '03
  9. by   kittyw
    Originally posted by hogan4736
    kitty, with all due respect, if you read a previous post of mine from page 4, I mentioned the language line...I also stated, in my experience, most would rather use housekeeping, or muddle through...that's just reality...I never said it was right or wrong, just that's what's happening...There's a lot of resentment against Spanish speakers (only) in the hospitals here. That's a reality. And I have seen an occasional memo asking the docs to cut down on the use of (Spanish) AT&T lines, as "they are expensive, and there are in house people to use"


    sean
    My disbelief is not that you are lying, but I can't believe that the entire city allows this practice.... maybe disbelief isn't the right word to get across my meaning. Surely this concept is understandable. Let's say you tell me you just inherited 50 million dollars - I would be in disbelief... yes it may be true but just hard to believe. Make sense? Maybe I just live in an area that a) has been fined to death previously so they are willing to pay the price or b) just is a wonderful place to work or c) is going to be bankrupt in 5 years. :chuckle

    As for your hospitals use of janitors to translate - that's just not good practice as kids-r-fun said.

    Anyways - this really isn't the original intent of this thread, but an interesting discussion nonetheless.
  10. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I also have worked in hospitals that used ancillary staff, such as dietary, to translate. In my experience, the patients appreciated the face to face translation, vs. the language line. IMHO, the language line is very awkward. I too agree, that non-english speaking patients really do need to bring a translator with them if one is available at all.... they surely have to know that they are coming to a place where it is most likely that noone speaks their language.
    Yes, I know we can't really expect this, as they too, probably know their rights, and are counting on a translator being provided for them.

    Ohh, if we only lived in a perfect world!
  11. by   KRVRN
    The window peon line caused all this?! Good lord, I've heard the "phone ho" line before and wanted something comparable for the person behind the window and that's the first thing I thought of...

    *a little amazed at how quick fires start around here...*
  12. by   kittyw
    Originally posted by henryguy79
    spam has been edited by the moderator.
    Thank you!
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by kids-r-fun

    Sorry but I feel your clinic is doing a huge disservice to the patients it serves. I feel your clinic has a duty to the community is serves to employ medical staff who speak the language. Given the high percentage of non-English speaking members in the community how can it be that none of them have any medical training.
    Uh........there is something called a nursing shortage......

    Recently, while reviewing my travel assignment options, I inquired about Atlanta. Interesting, hospital that paid the least (less than Florida - which says much) was a much detested inner city facility that required all travelors to speak fluent Spanish. Can we say that someone in staffing needs a serious reality check.

    It would be nice if all health care workers were fluent in Spanish, and French...and Russian.... and Arabic....and Yiddish.....and Creole (Haitian).... and Latin.....and Vietnamese......and Italian.... and Rap.....and Teenagese.....and Navaho.....and Chinese .....and Japanese.............

    It would also be cool if we all had Masters, perfect IV skills, were ACLS, and Chemo Certified and Med-Surg certified and ICU certified and Tele certified - guess what, at our pay skills and work load and work conditions - it isn't bloody well going to happen.

    As a "native" Floridian, you can learn all the book Spanish that you want, in Miami - you have Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Haitians, Columbians, Salvadorans all speaking different dialects.

    I love the translation line - I live for the language line.

    And as a note: I have a very specific autoimmune dysfunction that frequently requires very specific titrations of meds. And I am a travel nurse - in case of emergency - my MD has given me his home phone - I don't use it often - if I call the office to get an appt. - they fit me in immediately - I never call unless it's major.

close