Cultural Differences

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.


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