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Nurses not speaking english at work

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by Mercy65 Mercy65 (New Member) New Member

Mercy65 has 7 years experience and specializes in oncology/hospice/medsurg.

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Mercy65 has 7 years experience and specializes in oncology/hospice/medsurg.

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All the ones I work with are US citizens, they were educated in the Phillipiens and came to live here.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and specializes in peds//ambulatory care/HH-private duty.

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I have a coworker who is a native ojibwe speaker. She has taught me a lot of the cultural rules ad I hope someday that she will teach me a bit of her language.

That's really interesting-- and pretty rare to hear these days. My great-great-grandfather was a scholar of the Sioux(Lakota) language (or dialect) memorializing their traditions and language in several books of poetry. The preface to one of his later books laments "the Lakota are no more". He meant the entire culture. Very sad.:crying2:

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BECAUSE AMERICA DOESN'T HAVE AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE!!!!!!!!!!

You can speak whatever language you damn well please!

How about the massive population of Polish people in the Chicago area who speak Polish as a first language and English as a second?

Bosnians?

Arabs?

Somalis?

First Nation Tribespeople?

America is a land of many people and many cultures. They all have a right to their language first and foremost and then speaking English as the "Common" language in America; NOT the "Official" language. Learn the difference.

Agreed. The exception being when your employer asks you to speak English with your co-workers.

The number of languages in this world amazes me. Their variety and color are astounding. I certainly don't want to eliminate this kind of linguistic music and muscle from our lives. But in the interest of being able to connect safely and effectively on the job, English should be the common denominator in health care as it is in aviation.

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Unfortunately, I don't see that coming in the very near future. The capitalists of America cater to those who speak very little English, or don't speak English at all. When you call up your credit card company, they ask you to Press 1 for English and 2 for another language; when you are in the hospital, they pay a translator; when you are shopping, there is a translation in another language. Many immigrants don't speak any English at all, yet, they work and survive in the USA. But going back to the original topic, there is no official US language. If a nurse who speaks in another language figures out that you don't speak her native language, she'll obviously talk to you and give the report regarding the patient in English. She only uses her native language to communicate and convey her message in her mother tongue when she knows that the other person understands her.

Which is based on the population they serve. It doesn't change my view that people who are living here need to learn enough English to survive. You need to make the effort; we shouldn't be catering to everyone while at the same time people need to be taken care of while they're learning.

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Also shows that we can't force immigrants/folks in the US to speak only in the English language.

Seeking to hire bilingual nurses is an acknowledgment of the fact that we can't mandate the language of our patients.

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Agreed. The exception being when your employer asks you to speak English with your co-workers.

The number of languages in this world amazes me. Their variety and color are astounding. I certainly don't want to eliminate this kind of linguistic music and muscle from our lives. But in the interest of being able to connect safely and effectively on the job, English should be the common denominator in health care as it is in aviation.

English is the common denominator in health care around the world, only majority US healthcare workers had not had the chance or opportunity to expirance that. If you are on the international team, traveling anywhere in the world all the people expect and are communicating in english, sure they have few people who speak the native language for trnslating purposes but majority of doc's, nurses and stuff speaks english.No matter what the language that predominates the are is - english is and will be the language used in documentation, charting and communication among healthcare proffesionals - and that's the common desire,even the spanish speaking people,lol! :smokin:

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OR RN Ramone has 18 years experience and specializes in Surgery.

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WOW! This is a pretty well debated topic!

I thought I might toss my hat into the ring just because I have a unique perspective. After leaving the Army back in 1991 I decided to stay in Europe, Germany to be exact. I had taken German as my foreign language requirement in high school and became more fluent while working on fishing boats on the North Sea. I was also exposed to the languages of many other immigrant seafarers/fishworkers including Poles, Serbs, Croats, Portugese, and Spaniards. The ports of Europe are very diverse! Eventually I realized that a life of fishing wasn't for me. So, I used the opportunities that the german social government system provided, and went to nursing school. Not an american school in Germany, but a real, live German school;). I was actually accepted to two schools, and was asked at my first interview in very condescending and heavily accented English " Mr. Keener, we would consider having you attend our school, but do you understand German at all? " To which I answered in perfect North Sea dialect that yes I understood perfectly and that I was also no longer interested in attending their school! I studied at the Krankenpflegeschule Zentralkrankenhaus Reinkenheide in Bremerhaven, Germany for three FULL years, no spring break, no summer off, no trips to Panama City ( that would have been awesome! ) During which time I was required not only to speak and write the German I already knew, but to also learn medical/nursing German as well. My English knowledge was considered an asset at my work place, and many of my colleagues and patients enjoyed practicing with me, but in all professional situations I always spoke German out of common courtesy and mostly just to avoid plain old confusion!

About nine years ago I decided to return to the U.S. As a nurse educated in a foreign country I was required to follow the procedures needed to attain my licensing here, including the TOEFL! I worked as a PCA for nearly two years while the wonders of american beauracracy ( AKA CGFNS ) continually misplaced paperwork, changed procedure, and made my life a living nightmare! That would have never happened in Germany! :D Those guys are crazy about being organized! But I survived, passed the CGFNS, and the N-CLEX ( 76 questions in 1.5 hours, I thought I failed horribly at first! HAHA guess my german education was pretty damned good even after being out of school for almost six years! )

As someone who's been out and about, my only advice would be to step back take a deep breath and roll with whatever comes your way. Yeah, it sucks to be left out of a group, and that group shouldn't just be leaving you to fend for yourself! But I think it was some smart guy like Ghandi who said if you want to change something, start with yourself. I'm not saying learn the language, unless you really want to, but you can use the language that you share to make a friend, and become a member of the group maybe. Use your strengths and knowledge to create the environement that you want instead of reacting to the environment that you're being confronted with. Since I got out of the Army ( where I served proudly as a tank driver in Iraq! HUA! ) I always say to myself every day is a good day as long as no one is shooting at me!

I'm proud to be an American, but I'm fully aware of how small the world is becoming and how harmful it will be for us all if we are unable to work outside the confines of our own invisible borders.

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As for the original post, these folks leaving you by yourself on the floor to feast is wrong. First you ask who is going to be answering the call bell, especially if its their patient. Second, sit down and eat yourself, knowing that you would be available for your patients of course. Don't let them take advantage of you.

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sailornurse has 39 years experience and specializes in ER/Tele, Med-Surg, Faculty, Urgent Care.

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there wouldn't be a need for you to translate if they had learned english in the first place.

but it does not change the fact that immigrants in america may be in the process of learning in english or have not mastered it enought to assure correct understanding of medical procedure, .your attitude of "they should have learned english in the first place" is unprofessional and does not help the situation presented.

 

most:twocents: of you have to look back at where your ancestors emmigrated, somewhere/at some point one of your ancestors was at this point where they spoke little to no english.

 

during my time as a navy nurse, (stationed at bethesday naval hospital) i was asked to translate for the chilean ambassodor's wife, who did not speak english fluently, another time to do diabetic teaching to a an active duty sailor's puerto-rican mother in law who spoke only spanish. i also had corpsman from panama and mexico, both were in the process of becoming american citizens and for both, spanish was also first language.

 

the housekeeping staff were refugees from el salvador and also spoke only spanish, so i was the one that called them, left notes for them, many of them were learning english and would love to come practice what they had learned in their classes with me.;)

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sailornurse has 39 years experience and specializes in ER/Tele, Med-Surg, Faculty, Urgent Care.

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it's strange to me that you see your interpreter duties

i was not hired as an interpreter, i am hired as a nurse. intrepreting takes time away from my patient load.:nurse:

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A few points:

1) Any nurse who wants to work in the United States had better be proficient in English. (Period.) Sorry if anybody feels this is racist or unfair, I simply do not care. With that, the foreign nurses I have worked with have been. Therefore, the language issue is a non issue.

2) Who cares if somebody speaks in a different language to a friend while on break. This country is a melting pot full of different languages, you had best get over it sooner than later IMHO.

3) That really only leaves one concept and the core problem of the OP's situation. The OP's co-workers are bailing out and leaving the OP alone with all the work while the said co-workers take a break. This is unacceptable and the root of the problem in this situation. This is the issue that should be dealt with.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and specializes in peds//ambulatory care/HH-private duty.

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inexplicably posted twice

Edited by nursel56
double post

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