Is English required to be an RN? - page 9

I have noticed from day one in here that many RNs use some of the poorest English and grammar I have ever seen. I am sure that we were required to take English as a requirement to graduate from... Read More

  1. by   Rep
    Quote from Pedusc
    Fellow nurses and nurses-to-be, it is critically important that we embrace professionalism at all times, even when we think our conversations are casual and informal, and requires no allegiance to conventional use of the English language. And for those of you critical of foreign doctors and how they spell or write, it is imperative to realize that not all foreign doctors fall into this category, and generalizing can be stereotypical and dangerous. I am a foreigner myself and I know many speakers of English as a second language who would do better than most Americans in both written and spoken English-any day, any time. Be cautious in your choice of words to avoid sounding stereotipical of foreign doctos, most of whom would not be where they are if they are unqualified. Laughing at them does not help the matter either.
    Pedus C. E, RN, BSN, BA
    I agree with you. There is no such thing as an illiterate foreign doctors or foreign nurses for that matter.
  2. by   nerdse
    Folks, I and other military spouses who lived in foreign countries WERE NOT PERMITTED TO BE A NURSE THERE UNLESS COMPLETELY FLUENT IN THAT COUNTRY'S NATIVE LANGUAGE! Caps intentional for emphasis. Literacy tests in the country's language were administered and you could not work if you didn't pass. Then there were all the immigration hoops - for example, until they can't find one single nurse in all their affiliated countries that will take that position, you can't work there, and you have to go to classes - mostly at your own expense - in order to be permitted to take the job if you are accepted - contingent on your passing the courses and their version of nursing boards. All that for much less than what a nurse makes in the US (ever get the feeling that the lower health costs overseas are a result of underpaying nurses?). :angryfire

    Anyway, we certainly don't do the same here. I have to teach foreign nurses to use the computer system. Often they can't read or speak English well enough to do so, plus they can't even type and our system is not mouse or light pen driven. They feel they have a total right to complain, by the way, that they have to type and they get insulted if you try to show them how English is constructed and spoken. There is only one foreign group that I have had that do not get insulted but welcome the additional help. It is no wonder we have no trouble getting foreign nurses to come to the US - and the same goes for the doctors.

    Then there's the physicians - I had one years ago whose writing was illegible and whose accent was so bad that even I couldn't understand it (and believe me, that's bad; I can figure out just about any accent). I had to ask him to come down and clarify in writing. Well, although he couldn't seem to write a legible order in English or give an understandable verbal correction, he DID speak very clearly at one point when he decided to make a scene - everything was incomprehensible until the end when he called me a G-dd____ed fat, stupid, lazy b___h in front of a hallway full of patients & visitors :angryfire - at which point I turned to him and said very sweetly, "Pardon me, doctor, but could you repeat that? I can't understand your accent!" The entire hallway erupted into laughter & he retreated quickly down the stairs, carrying on the entire time. BTW my incident report on his unprofessional behavior was ripped up & never saw the light of day in the medical staff offices. I don't work there anymore nor would I.

    I don't mind multiculturalism - in fact, I welcome it - BUT since I was expected to adapt to the culture of my host country as a military family member stationed overseas, I expect the same courtesy from them when they're in my country! I think it's time we demand of foreign workers in ALL fields, but esp. in medicine & nursing, the same thing THEY demand of Americans living or working overseas.
  3. by   leslie :-D
    there are some who will always feel that sense of entitlement.
  4. by   lindarn
    Quote from nerdse
    Folks, I and other military spouses who lived in foreign countries WERE NOT PERMITTED TO BE A NURSE THERE UNLESS COMPLETELY FLUENT IN THAT COUNTRY'S NATIVE LANGUAGE! Caps intentional for emphasis. Literacy tests in the country's language were administered and you could not work if you didn't pass. Then there were all the immigration hoops - for example, until they can't find one single nurse in all their affiliated countries that will take that position, you can't work there, and you have to go to classes - mostly at your own expense - in order to be permitted to take the job if you are accepted - contingent on your passing the courses and their version of nursing boards. All that for much less than what a nurse makes in the US (ever get the feeling that the lower health costs overseas are a result of underpaying nurses?). :angryfire

    Anyway, we certainly don't do the same here. I have to teach foreign nurses to use the computer system. Often they can't read or speak English well enough to do so, plus they can't even type and our system is not mouse or light pen driven. They feel they have a total right to complain, by the way, that they have to type and they get insulted if you try to show them how English is constructed and spoken. There is only one foreign group that I have had that do not get insulted but welcome the additional help. It is no wonder we have no trouble getting foreign nurses to come to the US - and the same goes for the doctors.

    Then there's the physicians - I had one years ago whose writing was illegible and whose accent was so bad that even I couldn't understand it (and believe me, that's bad; I can figure out just about any accent). I had to ask him to come down and clarify in writing. Well, although he couldn't seem to write a legible order in English or give an understandable verbal correction, he DID speak very clearly at one point when he decided to make a scene - everything was incomprehensible until the end when he called me a G-dd____ed fat, stupid, lazy b___h in front of a hallway full of patients & visitors :angryfire - at which point I turned to him and said very sweetly, "Pardon me, doctor, but could you repeat that? I can't understand your accent!" The entire hallway erupted into laughter & he retreated quickly down the stairs, carrying on the entire time. BTW my incident report on his unprofessional behavior was ripped up & never saw the light of day in the medical staff offices. I don't work there anymore nor would I.

    I don't mind multiculturalism - in fact, I welcome it - BUT since I was expected to adapt to the culture of my host country as a military family member stationed overseas, I expect the same courtesy from them when they're in my country! I think it's time we demand of foreign workers in ALL fields, but esp. in medicine & nursing, the same thing THEY demand of Americans living or working overseas.
    I couldn't agree more. We are far too lenient, and bend over backwards for immigrants, and foreign workers. THIS IS OUR COUNTRY!!! WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO RUN IT AS WE SEE FIT, FOR OUR CONVENIENCE, NOT FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND THEIR PEOPLE. WE SHOULD ENACT LAWS TO BENEFITS AMERICANS, NOT FOREIGNERS!

    As for the incident report that you wrote regarding this doctor, I stand by my assertion that, and I don't care what your Risk Management people say,
    MAKE A COPY OF ALL OF THE INCIDENT REPORTS THAT YOU WRITE!! They WILL disapear when it is convenient for the hospital, or their favorites, ie, doctors. That will be your only proof. Take care of yourself. And get your own malpractice insurance policy.

    Linda, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  5. by   CHATSDALE
    Quote from nerdse
    Folks, I and other military spouses who lived in foreign countries WERE NOT PERMITTED TO BE A NURSE THERE UNLESS COMPLETELY FLUENT IN THAT COUNTRY'S NATIVE LANGUAGE! Caps intentional for emphasis. Literacy tests in the country's language were administered and you could not work if you didn't pass. Then there were all the immigration hoops - for example, until they can't find one single nurse in all their affiliated countries that will take that position, you can't work there, and you have to go to classes - mostly at your own expense - in order to be permitted to take the job if you are accepted - contingent on your passing the courses and their version of nursing boards. All that for much less than what a nurse makes in the US (ever get the feeling that the lower health costs overseas are a result of underpaying nurses?). :angryfire

    Anyway, we certainly don't do the same here. I have to teach foreign nurses to use the computer system. Often they can't read or speak English well enough to do so, plus they can't even type and our system is not mouse or light pen driven. They feel they have a total right to complain, by the way, that they have to type and they get insulted if you try to show them how English is constructed and spoken. There is only one foreign group that I have had that do not get insulted but welcome the additional help. It is no wonder we have no trouble getting foreign nurses to come to the US - and the same goes for the doctors.

    Then there's the physicians - I had one years ago whose writing was illegible and whose accent was so bad that even I couldn't understand it (and believe me, that's bad; I can figure out just about any accent). I had to ask him to come down and clarify in writing. Well, although he couldn't seem to write a legible order in English or give an understandable verbal correction, he DID speak very clearly at one point when he decided to make a scene - everything was incomprehensible until the end when he called me a G-dd____ed fat, stupid, lazy b___h in front of a hallway full of patients & visitors :angryfire - at which point I turned to him and said very sweetly, "Pardon me, doctor, but could you repeat that? I can't understand your accent!" The entire hallway erupted into laughter & he retreated quickly down the stairs, carrying on the entire time. BTW my incident report on his unprofessional behavior was ripped up & never saw the light of day in the medical staff offices. I don't work there anymore nor would I.

    I don't mind multiculturalism - in fact, I welcome it - BUT since I was expected to adapt to the culture of my host country as a military family member stationed overseas, I expect the same courtesy from them when they're in my country! I think it's time we demand of foreign workers in ALL fields, but esp. in medicine & nursing, the same thing THEY demand of Americans living or working overseas.

    I had a co-worker who held a license in canada but lived and worked in new york....when her aunt entered a hospice in canada she volunteered to work in hospice but was turned down due to government reg which was explained to her == if you volunteer you are taking a job from a canadian whom the hospice would other wise have to hire to do the job that you are volunteering for...when she became an American citizen she was discriminated against just as if she were native born...
  6. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from BORI-BSNRN
    :angryfire LINDARN YOU JUST ARE EXTREMELY @#$%
    Simma dawn na, Bori.

    No name-calling here.
    Last edit by canoehead on Aug 2, '04 : Reason: quoted personal attack
  7. by   BORI-BSNRN
    Quote from LarryG
    Simma dawn na, Bori.

    No name-calling here.
    :imbar SORRY, LARRYG, BUT WHAT'S SIMMA DAWN NA MEANS??? IT'S MEAN THAT I AM NOT ALLOWED WRITE LIKE THAT I FEEL SORRY AND I WON'T DO IT AGAIN, BUT I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT....I THINK THAT EVERYBODY DESERVE RESPECT AND I FELT BAD WHEN OUR COLLEAGUE EXPRESS HERSELF LIKE THAT ABOUT FOREIGNERS AND IMMIGRANTS, BY THE WAY,I AM AMERICAN, BUT JUST RESPECT FOR EVERYONE, PLEASE! :angryfire
  8. by   hypnotic_nurse
    But Bori, the rules are "no name calling".

    And besides, being a foreigner does not mean the person is of a different race. Different country, yes...
  9. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Guilty as charged. Guess I'm not a good nurse because I have poor spelling and grammar on a bulletin board.

    I did however make As when writing papers for my English courses in college.
    Funny thing, though, your post is one of the few I've read so far in this thread without a spelling error! I'm with you, if spelling and grammar errors here are an indication of my nursing skills, then I guess I chose the wrong line of work. I do make it a point to try to spell all words in my posts accurately, and the few that I miss here and there are just as likely to be typographical errors as they are to be the result of my not knowing how to spell the word. I check and double check anything I sign my name to at work, but I do think it only reasonable to cut people a little slack when it comes to a message board, and more than a little slack in the chatrooms, because it is hard to keep up with the conversation if you have to be worrying that people won't look beyond your typing skills to engage in the topic at hand.
  10. by   danu3
    Back to the title of this thread "Is English required to be an RN?"

    That depends. In China, obviously not.

    In the US, it depends where you are. If you are in an area that is 99% Hispanic, then probably not as important. Spanish is going to be more important.

    If you are in an area that is 99% English speaking, obviously yes.

    Where I live, we have so many different people from different culture and different languages, I would say yes to English. The reason is that English is the "linga-franca" between all the different cultures. Actually it is the "linga-franca" between Chinese who do not understand each other's dialect around here.

    Actually where I live, I would even say English is not the requirement, but the ability to speakk more than one language is instead (with English being one of the language as the "linga-franca").

    As for giving a professional image on this board, having perfect English is not one of the requirement. Having decent English is instead (good enough that I don't spend 1/2 my time trying to figure out what you are saying).

    Also our attitudes toward each other probably gives a better impression of what nurses are like than perfect professional English. How we treat each other when we disagree, how we support each other when one is going through some rough spots in life, how we go about solving problems and dealing with ethical issues probably far outweight professional English in terms of giving non-nurses who reads this board.

    -Dan
  11. by   leslie :-D
    in my summary of this thread, the "chatroomease" on this bb should not be compared to professional charting and documentation. this is a place we come and let our hair down.

    the next time i read my nurse practice act, i will see if english is required to be an rn. i do remember reading something about legibility.

    in order to be recognized with any credibility, then the way one presents him/herself is going to play into a part of the big picture. i would hope that anyone that works as a nurse in my country, would utilize the english language at a minimum of the high school level, whether it is speaking, charting or documentation. that is not an unreasonable expectation.
  12. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from BORI-BSNRN
    :imbar SORRY, LARRYG, BUT WHAT'S SIMMA DAWN NA MEANS?...
    It's from an old Saturday Night Live skit. (Dumb way to pronounce "simmer down now." Thought it was hilarious.)

    You got the idea I was trying to communicate though. Thanks!
  13. by   BORI-BSNRN
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    But Bori, the rules are "no name calling".

    And besides, being a foreigner does not mean the person is of a different race. Different country, yes...
    :angel2: Thanks Hypnotic nurse.. i got the idea...

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