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language requirement

I mean no offense to any particular individual, race, group, or ethnicity. I was just curious how the rest of you feel regarding the language requirement when applying for jobs (i.e. Spanish/English, Chinese/English, etc. is required or must).

Isn't this some sort of discrimination in a way? Please correct me if I'm wrong. I know not all can speak or are comfortable speaking in English, but aren't they suppose to adapt instead of us feeling the need to learn another language. I am bilingual myself, and I honestly feel very uncomfortable speaking in English when I know that I am speaking to someone who share the language as mine -it's a cultural thing. I think the job requirement should be English is a must since this is the majority language of the nation, and Spanish/Chinese/etc. are a plus but NOT a requirement when applying for jobs.

Anyway, just a thought I wanna share and would like to hear opinions from others as well. Thanks!

P.S.

I mean no offense to ANYONE, or try to stir up an issue.

klone specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

1) There is no official language in the US. Until that happens, there will be no requirement for all people to speak or adapt to a specific language

2) The requirement or strong preference for staff to speak a certain language is out of cultural sensitivity to the clientele. It's only a GOOD thing if we can actually deliver healthcare and teaching to our pts in the language they understand.

brownbook has 35 years experience.

Thank you klone, I wish we could clone you. You have said it all, maybe we should close the discussion now!!!!!!

klone specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

Thank you klone, I wish we could clone you. You have said it all, maybe we should close the discussion now!!!!!!

Wow, thanks. :-)

We have a translator service that helps. You call the service and can put the pt/parent/client whatever on speaker phone. The interpretation is done for you.

We have a lot of Spanish speaking people in our area as well as others due to a University. I'm just too old to pick up a second language. I'm lucky to speak a few words of Spanish.

A lot of people, including physicians think it's a hassle to use the service, but when I want to get my point across or my teaching I do it.

I'm learning Spanish right now, as I feel I need it. I speak a couple of languages, but nothing useful in my area (other than English).

I guess I don't look at is as "whether they should learn the language or not" sort of situation. It's a *fact* that a lot of people in my area are Spanish speakers who don't speak adequate English for whatever reason. Just like it's a *fact* that a lot of my patients are chronic COPDers who smoke. Or are diabetics who don't manage their sugars well. *shrug* I continue to provide care for those people, who don't do some very simple modifications to alleviate or avoid their health problems, their choice. Why should I be angry about the Spanish speakers who, for whatever reason (choice or no) don't speak English?

The predominant language spoken by patient need, determines the predominant language requirement of the staff.

This is true worldwide.

What we are seeing here with this issue in the U.S., is a struggle of ethnic identity disguised as a communication issue.

1) There is no official language in the US. Until that happens, there will be no requirement for all people to speak or adapt to a specific language

.

My reply to this quote was in error

klone specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

Deleted, as the previous post was in error

:)

From my experience, with someone who speaks the language who works in the medical field, it also build trust with client. Clients are able to ask questions so they can fully understand what is going on, etc.

So you're arguing that English is, in fact, the official language of the US? It is not. There *is* no official language, regardless of whatever language the citizenship exam is in.

Several states have declared or even had public elections to make English the official language of the state. But, true, the U.S. as a country does not state English as the official language.

However, the USCIS states there is an English language requirement but there are exceptions made for the Civics test if one qualifies to test in their native language.

There are hospitals that openly advertise for bilingual health care providers of all types. They generally word it as "preferred" but given the area it is understood that means required. I have worked several shifts without speaking English to either staff or patients.

PatMac10,RN specializes in Nursing Education, CVICU, Float Pool.

To me it seems like facilities do this to limit confusion or deliver the most effective care. It is often so much safer and easier to communicate to someone in their native language. I am on my way to being bilingual. I am a little bit more than an intermediate Spanish student, but not neccessarily fluent yet. I think it is nice extra for a staff member to be bilingual, but I don't feel it should required, right now at least. Some places desire the bilingual trait more than others.

Many people feel that since foreigners are in our country they should learn our language. While that would be in their best interest it's not going to happen with all of them. Also some may take longer to come to an efficient understanding of enlgish. I enjoy taking the time to learn a different language myself.

MY personal thought is that learning to speak another language is a way of me reachin out to my patient/client. Not that not knowing another language means you don't care, because it doesn't.

I think it would be a good Idea for all healthcare professionals to learn a basic intro in one or two foreign languages taht are predominate in their area. Just showing a client you took the time to do that can reassure them if their is a langauge barrier and they are scared and confused.

Edited by PatMac10,RN

I just think it's strange that native, English speaking citizens are, in some cases, required to be bilingual in order to work in jobs that serve a population that refuses to learn the language of the country to which they have immigrated, regardless of wether or not English is the "official" language.

I just think it's strange that native, English speaking citizens are, in some cases, required to be bilingual in order to work in jobs that serve a population that refuses to learn the language of the country to which they have immigrated, regardless of wether or not English is the "official" language.

I think "refuse" is a little presumptuous. And, what is your argument, learn English before you seek healthcare?

I think "refuse" is a little presumptuous. And, what is your argument, learn English before you seek healthcare?

Please, I said absolutely nothing about healthcare. This prevails in all types of professions in certain areas of the country.

It's only presumptuous if you believe that every single person who is in this country, and who does not speak at least enough English to get around, is too stupid to learn English. But if you believe that non English-speaking people are intelligent, and they have been in this country for any length of time, then they are refusing to learn to speak it.

This is not the first thread on this topic so I've heard all the arguments; some are too busy, some are too old, English is too difficult, blah, blah, blah. It's all bullcrap! As long as they don't have some mental condition that prevents them from learning, anyone can learn AT LEAST ONE WORD PER DAY!

Oh he11, I was going to write more but I'm just tired of this argument. Think what you want. I'm done.

carolmaccas66 specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

I am surprised nurses can translate from what I have heard here. Nurses I work with - and the large teaching hospitals I have worked in - even if they speak a patient's language, are not allowed to officially translate for patients. They must have a qualified interpreter do it. Otherwise if anything is mis-translated by the staff member, this could lead to legal issues. I wouldn't be translating anything cos the patient can turn around and say you gave out the wrong info, and you would be in hot water (even though I can understand some words/phrases of some languages). You need to think of your license and it is legal to do this in the US?

Here in Australia I have seen advertisements for nurses who can preferably say speak Italian to work in an Italian nursing home for example. I don't think it's illegal at all; just a requirement for the job and it helps the residents.

Interesting point though poster.

classicdame specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I got sick in another country last year and was SO grateful that the MD could speak English.

We have translator phones in our facility. So helpful when doing assessments, getting consents, education, etc. Makes nurse and patient both feel more confident.

I am surprised nurses can translate from what I have heard here. Nurses I work with - and the large teaching hospitals I have worked in - even if they speak a patient's language, are not allowed to officially translate for patients. They must have a qualified interpreter do it. Otherwise if anything is mis-translated by the staff member, this could lead to legal issues. I wouldn't be translating anything cos the patient can turn around and say you gave out the wrong info, and you would be in hot water (even though I can understand some words/phrases of some languages). You need to think of your license and it is legal to do this in the US?

If you spoke the same language as the patient, would you refuse to talk to them during daily care?

When you are hired for a job especially in an area that has a large population that speaks something other than English, you can check a box that you are fluent in another language and the you want to be used as an interpreter. You are then given an evaluation for proficiency in that language by either your hospital or an outside agency. For legal translation, especially when it comes to signing documents, a certified staff interpreter is used if available before calling the interpreting service.

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