Speaking Spanish Helpful? - page 2

Do you find that speaking Spanish is helpful in your job? I am considering starting to learn it on my own (have been for quite awhile) and was wondering if all of you here think it would be useful... Read More

  1. by   nekhismom
    absolutely. In my community, everyone speaks spanish, and some speak english. I can kind of go around and around to get to where I need to be, but I don't always understand what the patients are trying to tell me. FOrtunately, there are always people around who are willing to translate when I'm in a pinch.

    I need a spanish for healthcare professionals course, though. I mean, I know how to say average words, but have you ever tried to obtain consent in spanish for a procedure that you have NO idea how to even begin to translate??? Absolutely horrible.
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from sharann
    They say "no Spanish!" as if we are retarded and have no business working in California, America, and NOT knowing it.
    Even though I am trying to learn Spanish, this also gets on my nerves.

    In California, everything from grocery items to the DMV to customer service phone lines are presented in both languages. It gets to the point where it almost encourages Hispanics to never learn English.

    I mean, they did come to AMERICA, where English IS the primary language (at least for now ... LOL).

    Like, maybe they should try to learn the language of their adopted country too? Or, at least, don't get mad at us for only being able to speak the language of our native country.

    I want to learn Spanish, but it would be nice if more Hispanics would want to learn English too.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 24, '04
  3. by   prmenrs
    A lot of the pts I work with actually are not immigrants, legal or otherwise; since the hospital is ~ 15 miles from the border, they want to have their babies in this country, and come, cash in hand to pay for it.
  4. by   FROGGYLEGS
    My husband learned Spanish on his own. I don't know that he would be considered fluent, but I'm impressed. He has spent a lot of time working on it. At his job there are many non-English speaking immigrants so it is a near necessity for him. He speaks well enough to get by.

    I took Spanish for 3 years in high school. I never was good at speaking it but I could understand what Spanish speaking people were saying for the most part. I think it is true that you lose what you don't use....I can only recongnize the simplest of Spanish phrases now.

    The Vocational school here offers Spanish for the workplace.
  5. by   Rustyhammer
    I'm pretty fluent in Spanish but I can't read or write.
    -R
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I excelled in Spanish and French in school and fortunately most of the Spanish stuck with me. I love using it (and yes I do get it wrong sometimes) and really find people grateful for my trying. It really opens up lines of communication and paves the way fora great patient-nurse interaction for me. And it seems to increase trust among my Spanish-speaking patients and family members. Yes I sound funny to them at times I am sure, but they are ALWAYS gracious and more than happy to help me along over my errors! I find talking with them delightful almost every time I try!

    I was on maternity leave at a prior hospital when I was asked if I would write their patient teaching handouts in Spanish. They paid me by the hour to do it at the rate I would be earning at the hospital on the unit functioning a s a nurse. I found this challenging and fun and felt VERY useful in so doing. I understand my translation worked out very well for the Spanish-speaking people needing these materials for their discharge teaching. I recommend ALL people taking up a language not native to them. It really does open up eyes and worlds we other wise would miss out on!

    Here in Seattle, my self-challenge is to learn some Korean and Tagalog and I am slowly doing it. (oh so slowly). Many Korean and Philippino (as well as Vietnamese) residents transplanted here and wow, are they happy to help. They never laugh at my feeble attempts to speak their words. It really opens up doors and friendships like I did not believe. They love that I try even if I DO suck at it rofl!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 24, '04
  7. by   jnette
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I excelled in Spanish and French in school and fortunately most of the Spanish stuck with me. I love using it (and yes I do get it wrong sometimes) and really find people grateful for my trying. It really opens up lines of communication and paves the way fora great patient-nurse interaction for me. And it seems to increase trust among my Spanish-speaking patients and family members. Yes I sound funny to them at times I am sure, but they are ALWAYS gracious and more than happy to help me along over my errors! I find talking with them delightful almost every time I try!

    I was on maternity leave at a prior hospital when I was asked if I would write their patient teaching handouts in Spanish. They paid me by the hour to do it at the rate I would be earning at the hospital on the unit functioning a s a nurse. I found this challenging and fun and felt VERY useful in so doing. I understand my translation worked out very well for the Spanish-speaking people needing these materials for their discharge teaching. I recommend ALL people taking up a language not native to them. It really does open up eyes and worlds we other wise would miss out on!
    That's the spirit !!!

    Good for YOU !
  8. by   brinaa
    im really torn my cousin said that in nursing school in california it is a must that you learn spanish,no disrespect to anyone but i feel it is very unfair to tell me i have to learn so i can communicate with you. thats like me going to mexico and you having to learn english in order for you to have a job(sounds crazy)
  9. by   suzanne4
    Spanish comes in very handy for me, even over here. I can explain something to a tourist coming here when no one else is able to.

    Also a litle tip, if you have patients coming to your facility from Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam and none of you speak those languages, many also speak FRENCH as there countries were French colonies at some point. This came in very handy for me when I was still living in the US. French is the second language in these countries.

    Hope that it helps.....................
  10. by   fergus51
    I wish I spoke Spanish. Unfortunately, our second language is French, so that's what I took in school (not that French is bad, but it Spanish would sure be a lot more useful).
  11. by   camay1221_RN
    The hospital I used to work for had a large hispanic population that came through the clinic. I had four years of Spanish in high school, and though I am far from fluent, I remembered enough to be able to get the normal questions answered.

    We had many Hmong, but unfortunately, the only people we had to interpret for them was their family members, and you always prayed they understood.

    I plan on going back to school someday, probably when the youngest starts school, and I want to take Spanish classes again. Mainly because I enjoy it, but it's a definite bonus for work.
  12. by   heart1st
    I love languages. Love them. Even though I only speak "American."
    I've taken classes in Spanish, German, Hebrew and Russian.

    My neighborhood is one of the most ethnically diverse zipcodes in San Jose, California -- which is no slouch when it comes to cultural diversity. My next door neighbors are Vietnamese, as are the owners of the 7-11 I frequent. I have several neighbors who are (what's the pc term?) Hispanic.

    I grew up in So Cal and only remember 1 Hispanic in my elementry school (in the 50s). Now, I go into local stores and frequently the clerks are unable to speak English. Would I like it to be different? Well--I think that the fact that most Americans can only speak one language where most of the world speaks at least two is a bit embarrassing, and makes us less culturally sensitive. Let's face it, whether we like it or not, the influx of Spanish-only speaking folks is not going to subside any time soon, so, uinless you are going to be politically active and fight against it that way, why waste time being upset?

    In my nursing class of 29 we are extremely ethnically and culturally diverse. I've been learning from many my classmates how to say hello in other languages. I love it!

    heart
  13. by   Havin' A Party!
    Extremely useful / valuable. Use it almost daily at the hospital. Took four years of it in high school, with the last two being in special, concentrated learning classes with native speakers from different countries.

    Spain, Mexico, all the countries of Central America, nearly all of South America, and several Caribbean Islands all have Spanish as their mother tongue.

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