Speaking native languages at work... - page 6

A Sacramento hospital this week passed around a questionare to its nurses. Here is the question... Diversity Council Needs You! To give us input on the question of staff members using their... Read More

  1. by   jnette
    P>S> But as for NURSES discussing patients, Heather, you are right. That's a no-no. And if that was your point (as I re-read your post), I must agree wholeheartedly. No argument there!
    Originally posted by jnette
    P>S> But as for NURSES discussing patients, Heather, you are right. That's a no-no.
    But it's OK for any other hospital staff?

  3. by   mario_ragucci
    But no matter what those elevator women said, the ONLY things you can say around a newborn baby are welcome. No matter what, love should be in a babies presence. You know how some people get off thinking they are better, or enjoy thinking they can talk down about other people.
    The langauge of LOVE encompasses ALL senses, not just langauage. Heather - it was wrong what the women said, and would cheapen them in my eyes. :-)
  4. by   Mama Val
    I feel as though I am going to be on the short end of the stick for this one but I am in agreement with RNin ICU and jnette.
    If this is a private conversation then its PRIVATE, if they want to include you then they'll switch languages and invite you over. I am fluent in sign language and we have a few deaf inmates and some staff that sign. The staff will try to help the inmates get their basic needs met but it goes a lot faster when one of us (signers) can translate. The admin wants these inmates just to write eveything down so nobody is left out. "Its to distracting for us when your waving your arms around like that", their reasoning. A few of us (staff) will sign to each other but its easier than yelling across the room, and I wasn't talking to those other people anyway. I have no problem what you do on your personal time but when you are working then we are a team and we need to understand each other, no matter what language WE speak.
    Sorry so long winded.
    Nanna Nurse thats a little rough, has anyone gone to admin and complained about housekeeping. You can't keep pointing at the problem and not say something to someone. Have these ladies had classes in English, hospital cleaning techniques, or given a job description that outlines their duties/breaktimes. Don't mean to sound like a bytch.
  5. by   semstr

    Sorry, but your comment about these ladies from Bosnia being lazy and so on, got stuck in my (already sick from streps) throat.
    Has anyone of you tried to communicate with this women?
    What hell they've been through, before they were allowed into the US?
    Why isn't they talk English? Did they have the possibilities to learn it? (at home in Tito's Yugoslawia they didn't learn English that's for sure, they learned Russian as 2. language)
    I guess they were refugees from former Yugoslawia, o my, these poor women, must have been through a lot. (What about their families? are their husbands with them? or are the widows? were they raped? were they in a refugeecamp?)
    You saw all the things Jnette wrote here, and this is so typical: this is ignorance for me, even when I offend you and your collegues with my statement, so be it, I can live with that.
    Don't point at them like that, and complain, try to understand them, get some background information and try to communicate, there is always a possibility when you want it.
    We have a lot of refugees here from Bosnia and other former Yugoslawian countries, because we are practical neighbours of them, and my, even though it is calm and no more fighting over there, we still have 5 families we take care of.
    They still have no housing, no jobs, so no money. The promised international help................. they're still waiting for it!!
    Ok, enough, I could go on for hours on this subject and others similar to this, but I call it quits now. Renee
  6. by   CaliNurse
    I think I missed something here !#$*%$$%

    Isn't the elevator a PUBLIC place? How can you have a private conversation in a public place?

    Why do some feel this is limited to nursing? It is hospital wide.

    That was one of the first things we learned in nursing school - Etiquette while you are present in the hospital. We were warned about the elevators due to family members who you may not know were standing next to you.

    I can't believe that they had the nerve to speak of the new mother right infront of her! If they had the nerve to say it why couldn't they say it in english?????

    Aren't we discussing our conduct while in the hospital or our place of work?

    Part of the problem is we are all so used to it. It doesn't seem like a big deal anymore.

    Another question - Why are we at work? Do we provide a service to the public????? Get it PUBLIC! Shouldn't we be professional at work? Shouldn't we ACT or CONDUCT ourselves as professionals?

    In our own lives, away from work, no matter what country you are in, ~~~ who cares!

    There are post here that mentions a preception of americans and an influx of foreign populations. I can tell you that here in California we have always had a great mix of ethnicities. That is nothing new for us. I don't feel any different from anyone else.

    My concern is work conduct. As I stated in a prior post this is verbal abuse. That is the Policy of my facility also. I am glad it is addressed in the facility.

    I agree with Heather!

    One last thought ~~~~Passive Acceptance is Encouragement!
  7. by   CaliNurse
    Sorry I have a few more questions?

    We all have problems in our personal life. Why would you expect anyone to change your position expectations because of it? If we could flex our responsibilities in comparison to our personal problems our patients would be caring for themselves.

    Why would anyone be sitting around talking at work? That is not what they are hired for. The other staff in their department will have to pick up the slack for them. How is that fair?

    Are we professionals or are we still practicing to be professionals?

    More brain food for you - ~~~ If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

    Nothing changes without effort. If you notice others are out of line and don't say anything why would they ever stop. Aren't we the patient's advocate??? I am not saying to speak down to anyone. There is always a tactful way to have a conversation regarding the topic.

    The issue of the inmates speaking sign language ... boy that is a hard one. But that relates to a need of the patient. I don't know how jails rule on that in reference to the policies and regulations they must follow.

    This is a hot topic but it seems some are emotional about it. Take a professional look at it. Take out the personal life of the employee, we are judge on our work performance not our personal life.

    Originally posted by CaliNurse
    Isn't the elevator a PUBLIC place? How can you have a private conversation in a public place?

    That was one of the first things we learned in nursing school - Etiquette while you are present in the hospital. We were warned about the elevators due to family members who you may not know were standing next to you.

  9. by   mark_LD_RN
    I find it very rude, i work with severalphilipino nurses and they usually only switch to their native tongue if they are talking about you are a patient. while this may not be the case with all of them it is with the ones i have worked with.and i do understand some of what they say so when i confronted them about it and they denied it,imagine their suprise when i interpreted back to them in english most of what they had said,

    I do not find it rude or annoying for visitors from other countries to talk their language when here or people new to this country. But i do believe that no matter where you move you should learn the language of the land. especially at work.
  10. by   Aussienurse2
    Well the language thing doesn't bother me. Heather, no-one talks about a patient any where near me without getting six feet of purple haired b#*^h rammed right down their throat.
    What did, and still does, bother me is the Vietnam and Korean vets who go in for ECT and wake up in restraints because if they wake up and see a roomful of asian nurses they will in all probability kill them. However we can't arrange for these poor blokes to have european nurses in attendance on these days because of it being racist. It does increase their trauma and reduces the effectiveness of a realy good tool.
  11. by   jnette
    It's NEVER right, proper, or kind to talk about someone else within earshot of that person... in ANY language. I see your point, Heather, about the women in the elevator being hospital staff and representing the hospital and the people working there.

    However, I still am of the firm conviction that to deny even staff in the workplace their right to communicate in whatever language they choose smacks way too much of "big brother" for me! It is the total antithesis of what we stand for and value in this country and what we are always proclaiming to the rest of the world...
    "freedom". Freedom of speech, freedom to choose, tolerance. Are they merely empty words? Why do we feel so threatened when faced with a language we don't understand..ASSUMING the worst. Other countries don't feel this way or take this point of view.
    I, for one, (and I see I'm in the minority here and that's ok, too)
    would be appalled, horrified, outraged, and even sickened if I were to have DICTATED to me what language I was to speak and when. This is not the American way. My language is as PERSONAL to me as my choice of food, my faith, and anything else that's personal and dear to me. We have no right to tell anyone what tongue to speak in. Can we not find a reasonable compromise?

    What if the employers were to advise all employees that if when speaking the language of their choice they were to offend, be rude, or found to be "gossiping" about and/or around patients or staff, they would be called on it. Make them aware that others may just happen to understand their language and while at the workplace to act professionally at all times, just as would be expected of them at their place of employment in their home country. Inservices on ethics and professional conduct to be adhered to by ALL employees, regardless of nationality. If they screw up... there's the door!

    This would seem to be a far wiser direction to move in than the inflexible intolerance of "ENGLISH ONLY OR ELSE". And no, to a previous poster.. English is no longer the "universal language". It was years ago, but that, too, has changed. Nor is it still mandatory in most European schools, and certainly not in many other schools across the pond.

    I believe we can resolve this in a more civil and tolerant manner.

    Last edit by jnette on Oct 10, '02
  12. by   rebelwaclause
    I have to agree with Heather....If they where bold enough to look that woman in the face and comment IN ENGLISH how beautiful the child was, then why the coward BS of talking shyt about her in a language they obviously assumed they had an advantage with? What a$$es!

    And YES...I think they where cowards to start speaking in Spanish. They knew they where wrong in the first place, that's why they hid behind a language they assumed Heather or her patient didn't know.

    Perfect example of The negative aspect of people speaking in native languages. Though I still believe for the most part people use their language without malice - This proves that sometimes PEOPLE DO.
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    Blessed are the cowards and cryptic-talkers, for they shall truely inherit the earth !

    Let he/she who has never jeered or badmouthed anyone...at any time...cast the first self-rightous brick!