Bilingual nurses? - page 2

Is anybody taking classes in a foreign language to prepare themselves for nursing? Does anyones school curriculum include foreign language as a requirement? I have been thinking that learning... Read More

  1. by   Motivated, SN
    Spanish is a good language to learn. I am bilingual; but my ADN program has a class "Spanish for Nurses" and I am taking it this semester. Spanish is my second language, so I'm sure there are still things I can learn. I love languages and speak a little of many. One of my goals besides being an RN is to be TRILINGUAL
    before I die. I also did learn some sign language too and it also is very important. There aren't enough people that know ASL.
    I also feel that because many hospitals use other staff, from housekeeping, etc. that have little medical experience; patient care can be compromised.
  2. by   jennyej
    I am taking Spanish. My step-mom works in one if the er's around here and she says that most places would love to have people that can speak Spanish. They have iterptors (ms) but they usually don't have a medical background so both is a big plus.
    Jennifer
  3. by   Love-A-Nurse
    whew! i could use a refresher course as it has been twenty-four years and two months since i took spanish i, ii, and iii in high school. no, it is not a requirement at the school i attend.
  4. by   Mkue
    I would love to take a conversational spanish course !! I'm going to check into it !! Thanks
  5. by   nursing 101
    In my area the need is both for French (creole) and Spanish. I know both French and Creole but I'm not familiar with Spanish a;though I took classes in High school. For some reason learning another language was not my thing back then. But there is a great need for Spanish speaking people in every profession I think I might have to consider it. I also use to volunteer in a hospital to interpret and translate for the doctors and patients using french and creole, actually it was a class but voluntering was part of it. I really enjoyed it. I also think that it might become an asset in the near future to know spanish...
  6. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by brandybsn
    i took 3 years of french in high school, and 2 semesters of french in college. its a requirement here, unless you can test out at intermediate level (which i couldnt). i live in missouri, lots of spanish immigrants in the area (pork processing plant 40 miles away), so spanish would be wonderful, and french here is pretty useless. and if you dont use it, your lose it. i wish i would have done spanish, but they didnt offer anything except french at my high school.

    consider taking an american sign language class? that has been the best "foreign language" class i have ever taken. i use it about every day too! (besides, it looks pretty)

    brandybsn
    brandy, has the wedding taken place yet? do we get to see pictures? how is the job going? how are you? how is the puppy? how is your husband/husband to be? okay, i am finished!
  7. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by kimtab
    is anybody taking classes in a foreign language to prepare themselves for nursing? does anyones school curriculum include foreign language as a requirement? i have been thinking that learning spanish would be a very good thing to do. i wonder if there are spanish courses geared specifically toward those in the medical field?

    kim
    i just realized this thread was started nearly a year ago. time does go by fast!
  8. by   Booksmythe
    I publish several books that allow medical professionals to communicate with non-English-speakers. As a result I get calls from everywhere in the United States. Without a doubt, Spanish training will be the most important language to pick up first. As some pointed out, the sound structure is easier to pick up then something like French or Russian. Also, there are Spanish speakers wherever there are people who work--every state!

    If you live in an area with a lot of patients that speak a specific language, like Punjabi or Vietnamese, you might consider learning a few phrases in that language to cover some problems. However, those languages will be considerably more difficult for the average English-speaker than learning Spanish first.

    There are a number of classes available to improve your language abilities. Again, Spanish classes are the most common. If you can afford it, try an immersion class. If not, any opportunity to use the phrases over and over will dramatically improve your ability to speak a language.

    Remember how you learned English? You said a phrase over and over and mommy or daddy repeated it the correct way. Most people learn to speak fluently long before they go to school.

    Russ Dollinger
  9. by   zacarias
    Originally posted by Motivated, SN
    Spanish is a good language to learn. I am bilingual; but my ADN program has a class "Spanish for Nurses" and I am taking it this semester. Spanish is my second language, so I'm sure there are still things I can learn. I love languages and speak a little of many. One of my goals besides being an RN is to be TRILINGUAL
    before I die. I
    This thread is awesome!! I am a ADN student with one year to go and bilingual. I am multicultural, multilingual nursing's biggest proponent. I'm really pumped about seeing all these posts about people wanting to assist their community even further by learning another language.
    I too have the goal to be trilingual! I know a smattering in other languages besides English and Spanish but just imagine all the patients you could reach with multilingual capabilities.
    I have to say, over the summer, I went down with a group of nursing students to Mexico and worked in a poor community doing diabetic screening. Man, what an experience!!! I was the only one from my school who spoke Spanish so I was interpreting all over the place. It was so exciting being in such a different culture and dealing with such different issues that affect the Mexican community.
    Besides being able to help more people, multilingual capabilities allow one's worldview to expand greatly and the joy I have experienced in my life because of meeting fascinating people who spoke no English...ahh it's the best!!
    I recommend everyone should learn either Spanish or ASL or both. If you are know those two, I suggest pick the next most common one you run across. For me it would be Russian.
    Immersion is the key. Grammar in a night class or private study is OK but it will still be VERY difficult communicating effectively with patients. If you seek out immersion opportunities in your city or in other locations, even ones that last a little while, you will feel much more confident speaking with patients.
    Thanks for starting this thread guys.


    Zach

    PS I always agree with the poster who said every nurse should speak Spanish in the US.
  10. by   globalRN
    Three of the most rapidly growing languages in terms of language usage/population are: English, Spanish and Mandarin.

    If I was in the US, I would learn Spanish to help in my nursing.
    Some states will let you include Spanish for health professionals as a CE.
    I am currently in Hong Kong so I did try learning Mandarin to communicate with patients.

    Learn all three and you will be able to communicate with most of the rest of the world!
  11. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by globalRN
    Three of the most rapidly growing languages in terms of language usage/population are: English, Spanish and Mandarin.

    If I was in the US, I would learn Spanish to help in my nursing.
    Some states will let you include Spanish for health professionals as a CE.
    I am currently in Hong Kong so I did try learning Mandarin to communicate with patients.

    Learn all three and you will be able to communicate with most of the rest of the world!
    Thanks globalRN
  12. by   globalRN
    You are welcome, mkue
  13. by   adrienurse
    I am french-canadian, and I used to work in a francophone facility. The working language, charting etc was in English, but many of the residents preferred to be spoken to in french. My french got pretty good while I was there, but has definately deteriorated since. The facility used to offer oral french courses to employees free of charge.

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