One of the clinical facilities I am doing my internship at caters 80% of patients who speak Spanish, 20% are fluent in English. The language needs of the patients who speak Spanish are significantly high. Care can be more effective if the practitioner who takes care of them also speak or understand the language they are using to communicate. Fortunately speaking, the clinic I am interning at has staffs who speak and understand the Spanish language. These Spanish-speaking staffs can be so valuable to the patient who they serve. Though they also have providers who do not speak Spanish, they can make up and utilize the Spanish speaking staffs in translating for the patient, giving attention not to be biased or to change patient’s statements while doing the translation. In addition, each of the providers who are not 100% fluent in speaking Spanish has their own apps on their phone that they can utilize if the translator is not readily available. I can say that the resources available and system in placed, such as the Spanish-speaking staffs or using the app for translation, allow patients with language barriers to experience the same level and continuity of care as English-speaking patients. The benefit of the system in placed facilitates increased delivery of health care to patients. On the contrary, utilizing one of the staffs in the clinic as a translator not only produces waste of time on the part of the staff (who supposed to be doing his/her assigned job responsibilities than translating for the patient) but also may result in a “biased” translation of words from the patient to the medical provider. This will cause ineffective communication or worse, ineffective treatment and management of the medical problem of the patient. The recommended ways to better serve the patients who are not English proficient is to provide interpreter services to the patient in the clinic. Though it may cost them few more bucks in their expenses, interpreter services will provide an unbiased translation of words. I would say that though it is another expense in their budget, interpreter service is a financially feasible method that will benefit 80% of the clinic’s non-English speaking patients.
Practice inquiry is conducted at two of my clinical facilities by bouncing each of the practitioner’s idea to one other. One example I can cite is a patient who came in the urgent care setting after coming back from a weekend snowboarding. The patient fell when he was snowboarding and hurt his left ankle. X-ray was done to rule out the problem from a very painful and swollen ankle. Initially, the physician assistant (PA) was the one seeing the patient, but the PA was uncertain of the right diagnosis to make based on the x-ray films that was obtained. The PA then called and asked for help from the medical director who has fair experience with sports medicine. In this example, practice inquiry was conducted in a way that each of the practitioners exchanged ideas to articulate a plan of care and to solve the problem. In my opinion, discussion of practice inquiry through exchanging ideas to another colleague is a way to be certain that the diagnosis given to the patient is precise. Precision will produce a provision of an appropriate management for the problem. Furthermore, before PA called the medical doctor, she stated that she used UpToDate application. Based on my personal experience, UpToDate is one of the most reliable apps I used when I am in the clinical setting especially if I have some reconsideration about patient’s health problems. I believe that the use of this kind of electronic resource can improve practice inquiry at the clinical site in a way that it does not only provide accessibility on the part of the practitioners but also provides evidence based and peer reviewed source that can be applied to the appropriate population group.