Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
By Russo Mutuc
In the USA, working or participating in the medical field, many professionals and students have come across plenty of Spanish speaking patients. Generally in this industry, there already many challenges when providing patient care or services, it is critical that the health care providers be able to communicate effectively and relay the information accordingly to the patients. Because of the complexity of the medical industry, communication barrier is one challenge that many professionals and students are being faced with. The reality is miscommunication leads to many problems, especially, when dealing with health issues. To tackle the situation, students at their early phases of training, have been encouraged by their universities to participate in classes with Medical Spanish.
Medical Spanish has grown in popularity in the last few years. One in particular contributing to the growth is the programs abroad. Language Spanish programs, which traditionally offer general type Spanish classes, have incorporated more of a technical, observation, volunteer, communication based Spanish for Medical courses. Living and learning abroad enhances the communication skills of the language student in a shorter period of time. Many of the Universities encourage training students to take an elective abroad as a means of acquiring more skills in Spanish, and to hone in the main terminologies and practices of Medical Spanish. Some universities have also started to offer their in-house programs.
To further help assist health care professionals in learning the terminologies of Medical Spanish, new technology has been incorporated. Gadgets like PDA’s are a quick access for information and references.
Overall the benefits of learning Medical Spanish are very rewarding to the health care industry, when dealing with Spanish speaking patients. It saves time, cost effective for the hospitals, plus communication is clear and concise, and less legal issues.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Learning A New Language Other Than Our Native One
Learning a new language other than our native one is so much fun. Yet, it requires time to know first the basics and eventually the full course, determination to learn and comprehend the words being studied and motivation to really learn it fully amidst the difficulties that arises from being totally estrange from it.
Wherever we are, English is the only language that can bridge communication gaps between two groups of people who have different native languages. But perhaps in my mind, is it not possible for the native English speakers to learn another language aside from English? Actually they can, if they have the time, the eagerness to learn and the goal to pursue careers other than their native place. Learning Spanish for example can benefit an American guy who wishes to teach Medical Spanish in nursing field or study medical Spanish course. How can you possibly understand what the patient would be complaining if you don’t know even a simple Spanish word? It can promote safety within the hospital premises because you would understand each other better and you can communicate well enough to their significant others. And the time that you will be dealing with the patients will be shorten and much more anticipated knowing one way or another you both learn to comprehend. Learning a language like Spanish too can provide greater opportunities. To be a tourist guide for places like Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, and Spain is a very rewarding job since you will be dealing with people on tour who have high regards on you to be able to share your fun and experiences of the places you’ve been. Basically, it can promote better communication between Spanish and English speaking people and provide broader opportunities.
So perhaps like for Asians who made it on top and globally competitive with any other countries as call center agents because you will never know if they are Asian or not through the way they speak. Learning Spanish too can have a greater chance of making it as an important aspect of the life of some native English speakers.
Written by: Junabel C. Bustamante
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Today's medical professionals must adapt to meet the challenges that come with the growing diversity in the health care population demographic. Some of these challenges are not only linguistic but also cultural at their root. This often necessitates that health care providers learn to clearly and effectively communicate with patients and their relatives in a second language.
The reality for many health care professionals is that Spanish is the first language of a large percentage of the population served. Miscommunication and misunderstanding of critical information can have a negative impact on every day patient care, not to mention situations where matters of life and death are at stake. Possessing the ability to speak basic Spanish will reduce the need for providers to enlist the services of an interpreter for common everyday communication tasks.
We at Spanish for Medical are in agreement with traditional academic institutions that one needs to study the basic rules of grammar, vocabulary and other key fundamentals of Spanish to learn the language. However, much of the traditional curriculum in high school and college is based on rote memorization. We believe a key component is missing - namely an emphasis on verbal communication and in addition to that a practical understanding of cultural values and assumptions.
Our Study Abroad program emphasizes and integrates both components via classroom exercises and the Immersion Method. Immersion Method is when a student is surrounded by nothing but the culture and are constantly speaking Spanish in places such as local shops, markets, gyms, bars, restaurants, school, and with their host families. Students find themselves applying their newly acquired skills on an everyday basis with appropriate feedback from their professors as well as the people around them. This method allows the student to hone their abilities in a supportive and relaxed environment.
Why Study Medical Spanish Abroad?
1) The student finds himself or herself immersed in the language and the culture.
2) Classes are on a smaller scale (max of 6 students per class) which lowers the teacher to student ratio and allows the instructor to give greater personalized attention to each student.
3) Classes are 4 hours a day. Since classes are covering a single subject, more hours do not necessarily translate into more effective learning. Students need time to absorb and integrate what they have studied.
4) Each student has the option to stay with host families and thus gain insights into everyday life, values and assumptions Latino culture. These are, in some ways, just as important to learning as understanding the technical details of the language itself.
5) There are plenty of enjoyable activities such as biking, hiking, swimming, running, aerobics, yoga, dance classes, cooking classes, white water rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, horseback riding, surfing, etc... available through the program.
6) Classes taken with language programs can be transferred for credit depending on your schools requirements.
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