Turned Down and My Position Given to a "Me Speaka No"

Nurses General Nursing

Published

  • Specializes in Geriatrics, Cath Lab, Cardiology,Neuro.

Hi Everyone,

I am trying not to offend those who come to this country to work hard and learn the English language. Please tell me if this is borderline discrimination or something else!

I am a CNA/HHA/Medical Assistant and I attended a job fair 2 weeks ago at a very reputable skilled nursing hospital. I am not being biased but I was the only English speaking person there. There were applicants, internal and external who BROUGHT INTERPRETERS to help fill out the application, and I-9 form, one had her son, who had to be all of 10 years old, interpret during the interview. First of all, how could the internal applicants work there if they told me, when I asked where the elevators were "Me Speaka No English". Second, this company should have seen the red flags if these people had interpreters. HELLO! Are these people going to bring their interpreters on the floor? No way because of HIPAA! Well I got interviewed and they didnt like my gap in employment (I had a medical reasons that are resolved now). I got a rejection letter the other day saying how they are going to look for other qualified candidates. I am a CNA going on 3 years with Alzheimers, LTC, Skilled, Acute care under my belt. Well I am glad I didnt get hired cuz I would have had a hell of time with the language barrier.

Please give me your feedback, I dunno if I should report this to the higher ups of this place.

Thanks!

Specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

Yes you should complain to the higher ups!

Just don't be surprised when they say, "You worka no consistently."

WoofyMutt80

158 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Cath Lab, Cardiology,Neuro.

I should reply "Me Speaka No (insert foreign language)"

on eagles wings, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,035 Posts

Specializes in SDU, Tele.

I live in Miami, FL where sadly most people you meet don't know English(or at least are not that fluent at it)--including nurses and doctors! My friend who works in a hospital tells me her nurse friends don't speak English yet they passed the NCLEX... weird. My heart goes out to those people who come here not knowing English(my whole family) but honestly.... it is so dangerous to work in a hospital not knowing English. I don't know how people pass exams or communicate with pts who aren't bilingual. I am sorry you had to see this yourself. It must be real frustrating and I would hate to see someone who doesn't speak English get the spot I applied for lol. :(

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

What is there to report? ... That you wanted a job but didn't get it? .... That many of the people at the job fair had problems with English?

In reality, you have no idea who was hired and who was not. Perhaps no one who you saw was hired. Perhaps there were other applicants you did not see. Perhaps they prefer to hire bilingual staff because that matches their patient population. Perhaps ... a lot of things.

All you really know is that you didn't get the job. You don't know who DID get the job and you don't the qualifications of anyone who was hired. So ... what is there to report?

asimps13

18 Posts

well, i do not know where you live but i live in miami florida and i know exactly how you feel! i am currently a full time nursing student, english speaking (only language i know....born n raised n america...go figure) and i currently do my clinicals in miami. now the place i do my clinicals is horrible (for me at leats)....for the past 7 monthes, now i am serious about this, i have not had ONE english speaking patient and the nurses that work there BARELY get by with english because they never speak it and forget about the CNA's....none of them know english.....most of the nurses down here go to school down here and all the professors down here speak spanish so it is pretty easy to pass nursing school down here with barely knowing the english language. well my point is that it makes me really upset at times because, of coarse, everyone of the other clinical students speak spanish and they learn and experience more and get to at least interact with their patients.........but i def. think you should look into higher authority about this situation.......if i had the chance i would....but seriously what would i do??? sue the american hospital cuz no one speaks the american language....never that in miami....good luck!!

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

That's right, you speaka no (insert language), and that is why you don't want to work there. Why would you? I have worked in places like that and I can tell you they are not heaven. As hard as it may be, try to find a place of employment where speaking English is not a trait to be discriminated against.

ybq2008

177 Posts

Specializes in ER/Acute Care.

I want to start off by saying that I understand your frustration, and I'm sorry you're having a hard time finding a job. I had similar issues earlier this year, so I can definitely empathize.

Your reference to Spanish-only speaking applicants as a "Me Speaka No's" is highly offensive. I personally got the impression that you were being arrogant about their lack of spoken English and making assumptions about their status as citizens that you may have no clue about. Many immigrants to this country choose not to learn English so that they don't become swept up in American culture and loose a sense of where they came from. I am of Nigerian decent and most of my culture has been lost within my immediate family, so I empathize with the concept.

I understand you may have been frustrated by the situation, but posting something like that here shows me that you have a lack of sensitivity to cultures outside of your own. As a health professional, one of our duties is to respect cultural differences. I really hope that you can work on this for the sake of your future patients.

If the patient population at the facility you were applying to has a high rate of Spanish-only speaking patrons, the Spanish speaking candidates may have been more sought after. You are right, it is unfair to solicit one race/ethnicity for a position. But from what you've posted, you can't be sure that the employer did that. They may have been seeking Spanish speakers. They may have been targetting applicants that are idigenous to the population they serve to improve patient care and communication. Who knows? But honestly, the only way you'll find out is to send a polite thank you card for the consideration and ask them if they could give you some feedback to strengthen your application.

I wish you the best of luck :)

asimps13

18 Posts

oh....sorry i dont mean to vent..but i forgot to mention that my patients talk crap about me when they think i dont understand (i may not know spanish language but i know certain words!) and do not like me on purpose just because i dont speak their language...so i def. feel your pain but try not to get discouraged!!! keep your head up!!

Sun_danc3rRN

88 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Dear Turned down..your title of your message interests me."turned down and my position given to a "me speaka no". First of all were you offered the job? I see that you were not due to a gap in your work history, so the people you were referring to took their OWN position, not yours. Second of all, I work in a border state and speak rudimentary spanish at best, however, between my patients and myself, we manage to communicate just fine. I think you need to look else where for the reason for your sour grapes at not being hired. I would say first and foremost, work on your job history and stop worrying about everyone else..concentrate on being a better person. JMHO..

WoofyMutt80

158 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Cath Lab, Cardiology,Neuro.
What is there to report? ... That you wanted a job but didn't get it? .... That many of the people at the job fair had problems with English?

In reality, you have no idea who was hired and who was not. Perhaps no one who you saw was hired. Perhaps there were other applicants you did not see. Perhaps they prefer to hire bilingual staff because that matches their patient population. Perhaps ... a lot of things.

All you really know is that you didn't get the job. You don't know who DID get the job and you don't the qualifications of anyone who was hired. So ... what is there to report?

True and keep in mind a majority of the people there were INTERNAL applicants. After doing research if you are a Nurse Aide, you can work there and once you get your CNA then you can then apply internally for the CNA position. My question is how the heck did they pass the written portion of the exam (Here in Mass we have a written and clinical part, and to get into the CNA program at the Red Cross you MUST pass a basic math and English portion of the entrance exam) I dont know what the requirements are for other CNA programs but to be certified in Mass. the State test has a written and clinical portion, where you must know the English language. I has a CNA when I had my gallbladder out, and I had complications, and when I asked for chicken broth (I was on clear liquids) she went to shut the light off!:banghead::banghead:

Specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

By the way, if you didn't get the sarcasm of my post, I will spell it out for you. Do not complain to any higher ups. Your ability to speak English, which you seem to think was a unique ability to you alone in this pool, was not the shining attribute above all other applicants.

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