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An eye opener

Posted
by Grinleaph Grinleaph (New) New

Hi all,

I am a nurse student, 1st semester.. And, I have an eastern european accent.. The other day one of the "classmates" made a remark about my accent..and it was an eye opener!! I started looking in to it.. And realised that I will probably never have a career.. That clear communication is the key, safety issue if you will.. And people do not like dealing with accents, especially if they are in a volnurable situation! Will I be better off doing something else? Rather than just killing 4 years at school and then realising that not a lot of people are willing to deal with me? Any thoughts?

I would appreciate your honesty, no matter how harsh it is..

I have worked with many nurses with different accents, some I could barely understand, but their accent had nothing to do with being a good or bad nurse. I have had several doctors that I have had to ask to repeat orders 4-5 times because I could not understand them initially (one of the reasons you read back the verbal order). Reading, writing and understanding English are more important than your accent.

If you really feel it is a hindrance to you, there are classes you can take to help with the accent.

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

Horse puckey. I work with nurses, and am going to school with people, who have accents of all kinds. From the wonderful Bosnian LPN and Polish CNA, to an African pair of sisters in my class who didn't specify which country, to the Indian RN, they all have very noticeable accents and they all get along just fine. I'm sorry prejudice has caused you to doubt yourself. If you wish you can look into accent-reduction classes, but don't stop pursuing nursing if it's what you want to do. Frankly, I enjoy the different accents I encounter. :) Concentrating a little to understand someone won't hurt me, or anyone else. And my ancestors would have had a Gaelic brogue and French accents, less than 100 years ago, so today's accents are just an extension of our history as an immigrant society.

FWIW, I particularly like Eastern Europeans. I find their native languages musical and beautiful when I hear them, and find that their accents bring some of that same quality to boring old English. :up:

Yes, thank you for support. But if to look at it from the patient's(family) perspective(and to be honest), the last thing I would probably want to deal with (when I hurt) is somebody's accent.. Client satisfaction rate drops... Hospitals are not happy..

Personally, I feel that if you're an awesome nurse it won't matter if you have an accent or not. Patients would probably be more satisfied with a skilled and friendly nurse with an accent than a lazy or grumpy nurse that spoke perfect english :D So just do your best to be that awesome nurse!

Personally, I feel that if you're an awesome nurse it won't matter if you have an accent or not. Patients would probably be more satisfied with a skilled and friendly nurse with an accent than a lazy or grumpy nurse that spoke perfect english :D So just do your best to be that awesome nurse!

Exactly.

While I have never been a patient, I have been on the receiving end of nursing with several different family members over the years. Never once did their accent affect my opinion of them.

Heck, the last time my wife was in the hospital she had a nurse that was from Poland. My wife could barely understand her (I did not have much of an issue, I have 2 Polish co-workers so I am used to it), yet she was my wifes favorite nurses. She was an excellent nurse and took great care in what she did. Yes my wife had to ask her to repeat what she said several times, but the nurse had no issue with repeating it till it was understood.

Her least favorite person, a PCA that spoke "perfect" English yet had a poor attitude and demeanor.

Don't know what the other student said to you, but I think they need to look at themselves before criticizing you for something that is not really an issue.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

Guess we all need to find something else by your standards OP. My southern accent is a ****** and I'm sure that northern,Boston, etc accent is a ****** for their pts also that are not from that area. I hope you get my point. If not, it's really not an issue. I've worked with lots of nurses and doc's with different accents and it's not that big of a deal.

portlandnp

Specializes in public health, corrections.

I disagree with you entirely. I am an NP and work with RNs from Thailand, Romania, and Africa. These individuals can be hard to understand at times, true, and on the phone with verbals it can be frustrating. I made a point of having a face-to-face discussion and telling these RNs that if I keep asking them to repeat or if I seem frustrated, please forgive me. I let them know I appreciate them and like working with them. This has helped when we do have times where communication is hindered. Also, these three RNs are some of the kindest and most skilled nurses I have ever met. I have enjoyed learning about their cultures and eating their native foods too!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I am in a large, diverse metro area in Texas. Most of my coworkers are not native English speakers and come from some other country such as Nigeria, Serbia, Bosnia, Kenya, the Philippines, Ukraine, and so forth.

While some narrow-minded patients will gripe and complain about nurses with heavy foreign accents, the complaints are usually not directed toward the eastern Europeans due to eurocentric cultural biases.

I know that accents are hard to understand sometimes but many folk in America have a superiority complex...instead of applauding people like yourself who can speak more than one language (can't say the same for most Americans), they demoralize you and relegate you to the status of verbal invalid. I hate it. I've had to ask people with accents to repeat things more than once but never would I expect them to be apologetic for my lack of ability to understand. Of course, I recognize you're working in an English speaking country so being able to understand you is important, and you having a command of written English is important as well. However, as others have said, please do not take that comment to heart. You can be a great great nurse with a terrific career. I also don't think people realize that we all have accents...if I went to eastern Europe I'd have an American accent...lol

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I also don't think people realize that we all have accents...if I went to eastern Europe I'd have an American accent...lol

Your point is very salient. I was born and raised in coastal southern CA and have been living in TX for the past 10 years. I cringe when the locals here remark, "Whew! You have an accent!"

The same locals who act so darned befuddled by my 'different' speech patterns typically have the heaviest, twangiest, country-sounding Texan drawls that would cause them to sound out of place anywhere else. So to these folks, I have an accent. But to me, they are the ones with the accents that prompt me to say "Whew!"

Accents are relative. We've all got one whether we realize it or not.

Same with me. Moved from NYC to Baltimore over 10 yrs ago and boy did I get it with the whole accent thing. :yawn: tehee

Edited by SweetPotatoes
double post

Sun0408, ASN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

That was my main point. We all have some sort of accent, that doesn't mean the OP should quit nursing because of it. Hospitals are diverse😊

I work in a very diverse medical center. I love hearing accents different than mine! My workplace offers accent reduction classes with a speech therapist for employees who feel a heavy accent hinders their professional growth.

Do not give up on being a nurse because of your accent! It's what makes you--you!

My Russian friend became an OR nurse. In that specialty the patients won't even know you exist.

vintagemother, ADN, CNA, LVN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele.

Yes, thank you for support. But if to look at it from the patient's(family) perspective(and to be honest), the last thing I would probably want to deal with (when I hurt) is somebody's accent.. Client satisfaction rate drops... Hospitals are not happy..

Some people are ignorant and believe people with accents aren't knowledgable. Where I live in CA, there are many different accents among my various colleagues, physicians, classmates and instructors. I'm sorry that someone felt the need to bring up your accent. Please don't let it get you down!

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

Am I the only one that finds the fact that this took place in Texas hilariously ironic? I mean, Texas, land of twang..... :rolleyes: