One thing i dont understand(at the nurses' station)

  1. There is one thing I can never understand being at the nurses' station(sorry if I offend anyone but here goes):

    I know that the nursing realm is full of people from different walks of life and culture and that is normal bc it is like that with other professions as well. And I do know that with the nursing profession, there are a lot of American-Filipinos. But the thing that I notice, in all of my work places... is that the Filipino nurses speak their language all the time with each other in front of non-Filipino coworkers and non-Filipino patients. Isn't this rude? I believe in the employee handbook of most facilities mention about speaking the universal language in front of everyone, instead of a particular language, this is only polite, especially if your coworkers next to you doesn't understand the language you speak or your patients. I see this happening a lot and the nurses always leave me "hanging" and "wondering" what they are talking about. Wouldn't you agree that this is just rude and disrespectful.

    There's nothing wrong with having Chinese nurses, Filipino nurses, Russian nurses... but I think it'll be respectful and polite to speak the universal language that everyone can understand. Unfortunately, this will always happen at the nurses' station... and I just don't understand it. It's RUDE. Gotta open up those employee handbooks and read.

    I am not a troll.. I just wanted to share this perspective of mine on here. Sorry if it's offensive... but if you turn the table around, you would know how it feels.
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  2. 86 Comments

  3. by   CelticGoddess
    First off; what is a "universal" language? Doesn't that depend on where you are?

    Second: perhaps they are talking about something that has NOTHING to do with you. I do have to wonder why you are so concerned about their conversations. Do you believe that you should be privy to everyones conversations? It's not rude, what is rude is eavesdropping. Unless they are directly addressing you, I don't think it's rude. Don't concern yourself with the affairs of others.

    And I do know that my facility has NOTHING about only speaking a "universal" language at the nurses station.
  4. by   BellaCat
    I knew ill be getting something like this.
    Universal language in the nurses' stations means the English language, if you don't already know what that means...
    No, I am not concern about what any nurses talk about in their own language to each other.. but if they speak loudly for everyone at the station to hear... it'd be nice to speak in English.
    That's called common courtesy.
  5. by   NICUismylife
    I bet it is a relief to them to be able to speak their native language with someone. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to always have to speak a second/unfamiliar language all the time....just sayin'
  6. by   Here.I.Stand
    I did work in a facility with the policy only English is to be spoken among employees (yes, I'm in the US). Not "universal language"...that ceased to exist in Genesis 11 . "English."

    Honestly though, I have so much bigger fish to fry than the hearing of Tagalog or Somali or Nepali at the desk.
  7. by   BellaCat
    Quote from jgardner
    I bet it is a relief to them to be able to speak their native language with someone. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to always have to speak a second/unfamiliar language all the time....just sayin'

    I understand your perspective.. but they are BSN/RN/LVN nurses already, that means they are very well with the English language hence they all got the nursing licenses. I mean, i'm only asking to speak English in public(at the nurses' station while there are other nurses there). Whatever language they speak personally with other nurses in private is their business. I think that's not really asking for too much, am I right.

    For me, I always speak English at the nurses' stations or when there's another coworker or patient around.
  8. by   BellaCat
    haha, that's true. i post this not bc i am racist about anyone's languages. i just feel uncomfortable and left out. and again, not that i crave to understand what they are talking about... but it's just an uncomfortable feeling to hear people talk back and forth loudly but i understand nothing about. that is why i would never speak in my original language in front of others who does not understand, i don't want them to be uncomfortable, unless i am translating.
  9. by   Cat365
    I see both sides. It probably is rude, but as a person who tried to learn another language and failed, I'm sure it is easier to revert back to your native language. No matter how well you know a second one unless you grew up truly bilingual it would be easier and more comfortable to use your native tongue.
  10. by   BellaCat
    haha, that's true. i post this not bc i am racist about anyone's languages. i just feel uncomfortable and left out. and again, not that i crave to understand what they are talking about... but it's just an uncomfortable feeling to hear people talk back and forth loudly but i understand nothing about. that is why i would never speak in my original language in front of others who does not understand, i don't want them to be uncomfortable, unless i am translating...
  11. by   nursej22
    Have you spoken the staff who are conversing in the other language? Have you told them that you feel left out? I can't think of a single person I know from the Philippines who has not been friendly and gracious. I doubt they are trying to shut you out. As a previous poster said, it's is probably easy and familiar for them to speak their first language.
  12. by   BellaCat
    yes, the majority of Filipino nurses are very kind and helpful. I've had a lot of good Filipino buddies, my extended family are Filipinos. I've told them once that i didn't feel comfortable or i felt left out, but i said it in a nice joking way... not sure if they thought i was joking or for real. i think they are aware of that now, as our employees' handbook do mention this as well, but sometimes it still slips. :/
  13. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    Our facility makes it clear that everyone communicate in a universally understood language - that is, English. you filled an application form in English to work there, so it is presumed that you speak English, and everyone did that, therefore that is the language that is understood by all. while it may be comfortable for people to speak their native languages, it is unfair to anybody outside of that. it's just unprofessional behavior.

    whether or not they are speaking about someone is an irrelevant argument. the place of employment is a professional setting and everyone deserves respect and not to be excluded.
  14. by   mkk99
    You could always learn Tagalog if you feel uncomfortable and left out of their PRIVATE conversations.

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