NIHSS With a Spanish Speaking Patient

  1. 0
    Hello All,

    I'm an RN on a floor that is becoming designated our hospital's stroke floor. We have received extensive training in preparation for the transition however there is something that I believe would be of great benefit to us. I was hoping to get my hands on a NIHSS english to spanish script. We have access to a language line, but I would prefer to have a script that our whole floor could use rather than go through a translater each and every time. It would save time and keep our assessments more consistent. I did a quick google search, and a search of the AHA website with no success.

    Anyone have a script? Hopefully something that has been in a research study or that has been field tested in some way.


    Thanks for any responses
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    If you're in the US, there are new Federal (CMS) regulations that require the use of certified medical interpreters for any 'significant' communications with non-English speaking patients. Using casual translators (not certified) or other methods is "verboten" in those circumstances. So be sure to check with the organizational policies to make sure you aren't accidentally violating policy -- don't want your well-meaning efforts to go awry.

    If you're not in the US - good thinking! LOL
    Nccity2002 and MatRNstudent like this.
  5. 0
    I am practicing in the U.S., so your advice is appreciated. I am also in communication with the hospital's stroke coordinator, so I will be sure that I'm in line with organizational policies. I have rudimentary spanish communication skills that I use with my spanish speaking patients, so it is a bit of a grey area as to when I must use a language line and when it is okay for me to communicate with them. I have seen a spanish version of the NIHSS mentioned in a research study, but it didnt provide what they used. This is why i reached out to everyone here at Allnurses...I'm figuring someone in Neuro has used something other than a language line.
  6. 1
    Its not a bad idea to increase your fluency, but, honestly, given the NIHSS' rating demands you should ideally get the hospital to get one or two translators who will do those for you exclusively.

    There is an app for it...
    App Store - NIHSS in Spanish
    MatRNstudent likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from MatRNstudent
    Hello All,

    I'm an RN on a floor that is becoming designated our hospital's stroke floor. We have received extensive training in preparation for the transition however there is something that I believe would be of great benefit to us. I was hoping to get my hands on a NIHSS english to spanish script. We have access to a language line, but I would prefer to have a script that our whole floor could use rather than go through a translater each and every time. It would save time and keep our assessments more consistent. I did a quick google search, and a search of the AHA website with no success.

    Anyone have a script? Hopefully something that has been in a research study or that has been field tested in some way.




    Thanks for any responses
    I agree with the others, you should definitely have a translator for the NIHSS scale..in fact our docs do it on admit We have a large spanish speaking population here and i can help you with the neuro assessment in spanish! ALmost all of our nurses can perform a basic assessment in english and spanish. For things like the admit NIHSS scale and histories we always obtain a medical translator


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