Advantage for Speaking Spanish? - page 3

I'm going to graduate in a few months. I'm wondering how much of an advantage it is to speak Spanish, especially in the competitive environment for landing new grad jobs. What do you all think? ... Read More

  1. by   goodgrief
    I'm bilingual and the jobs I applied for told me that it wasn't a big deal either way r/t the area I want to work in, which is cardiovascular ICU. They say that there isn't much of a need for spanish in my specialty area, but if you work in the ER or other areas where spanish is needed, then yes, it would help you. do anything you can to help yourself become more educated and thus more marketable
  2. by   riquezada
    I am a Spanish /English medical interpreter at a small midwest 300 or so bed hospital. I have been interpreting there four years now. I think the ER has about 12-14 beds. I think we have about 300+ patients contacts a year. We are certified through some agency in Washington State or somewhere out there. I thought the certification process was rather easy, but my Spanish-English interpreting is pretty good. I also am a KY Court interpreter. I am only working an on-call position so I decided to go into nursing.

    I have previous high school Spanish teaching experience with a Master's in Education. I just couldn't put up with a bunch of lazy disrespectful 14-15 yr olds. It was heartbreaking. Anyways, speaking Spanish, 3.8 GPA, all general ed (non-nursing) classes completed and my current position had absolutely NO effect in getting into the RN program. I didn't get selected this last time. I have inquired why but after 3 weeks I still don't have an answer.

    Here's how I sum it up. All I hear when I mention that I am bilingual is how great that is and how great it would be to have someone like that working with us. Thats about the last I ever hear of it. I think other places (I used to live in south Miami) it is not a big issue, practically everyone (in some sense) is bilingual. They post bilingual requirements for the jobs and obviously get enough applicants.

    As for going out and learning Spanish... I think it would be a very good idea. Going out and learning Spanish to communicate with patients ...I think is a very bad idea. When it comes to something medical, I think you need to be dang sure (99.9%+) what you hear and dang sure what you say.
  3. by   Lisa From Maui
    will you be more marketable? that really depends!!!!!

    if you are working at county hospital, 24th street & van buren, in any department at all, then yes! it's a benefit. if you are working at maryvale hospital, 51st ave & indian school, in any dept, then yes! it's a benefit.
    if there is another hospital that is in a neighborhood full of spanish-speaking people... then yes!

    question is... do you want to work at those hospitals?

    if you apply for a job at the mayo clinic, or at scottsdale healthcare north, then no. speaking spanish isn't gonna help you. (maybe if you're working in the er, but that's about it.) they don't have a whole lot of spanish-speaking patients.

    i speak spanish fluently. i can have an hour-long conversation in spanish, just talking to a friend. how are you? what did you do today? how is your family? etc. my vocabulary is limited, and there's alot of words i don't know, like car engine, wallpaper, chair cushion, ceiling fan... but i'm still fluent.

    there are times when i need the other person to slow down a little, to speak slower, so i can understand him/her. i've found, over - and over - and over - and over - and over - and over - and over again... that when i ask a mexican lady to slow down, she will. when i ask a mexican man to slow down, he won't. the men just don't seem to care.

    this has been my own personal experience with the mexican culture. i grew up in a "white" family, went out of my way to learn spanish in college, went out of my way to learn spanish, working different jobs after college. i've put a whole lot of time and effort and energy to learn a different language. there are many men i've met, men from mexico, that have been living in the us for 2 - 3 - 5 years. living in this country, surrounded by people who speak english. they have not put effort and energy into learning the language.

    when i was talking to the men who grew up in mexico... i wasn't asking them to learn english. all i was asking them to do was... slow down speaking so i can understand them. that was it. i wasn't asking them to meet me half-way. i was trying to meet them 90% of the way, asking them to meet me 10% of the way. did they do it? nope. no. not at all. not interested. no thanks. nil.

    there were some mexican men that were courteous, and respectful, and kind. there were some men that slowed down, and met me 10% of the way. some. i finally got to the point where... those few men who were courteous, respectful, kind... i slowed down, was patient, tried to help them. i tried to understand them. the men who did not slow down their speaking, and had no intention of meeting me 10% of the way, i just didn't care any more.

    on a side note... my old neighbor in phoenix... a mexican man... if he was my patient, i would go out of my way to take care of him. he has always been respectful, and kind, and trustworthy, and pleasant. he's lived in phoenix for 10-15 years. (by the way, he has taken time to learn english. he speaks english better than i speak spanish.) if we went on vacation, i would give him the keys to our house, and totally trust him with all our stuff. him, personally, i like. it's the other people i have no patience for.

    i am at the point in my life where i do not want to speak spanish. i do not want to deal with it anymore. if i have spanish-speaking clients, i will speak small talk. do you need to go to the bathroom? want to call your family? are you having problems breathing? i am going to draw blood. the doctor will be here in an hour. please take your pills. when i learn small-talk, it makes my job easier. it is much easier on me when i speak a little spanish.

    if they need more of an explanation, if they want to talk, if they have questions about anything medical, then i do the smart thing. i tell the patient, "i'll call the interpreter. you can talk to them."

    someone reading this post might think i'm rude. i went out of my way to learn the spanish language, i ask the men to speak slower, they don't, i get impatient, i give up, and i don't care anymore. if someone considers that rude, then so be it!

    that's my own personal experience. -- lisa ;-)