Believe it or not, having knowledge of foreign languages can make your resume look a lot more impressive. After all, not all nurses can speak another language.
Apart from that, knowing the basics of a foreign language can help you survive a really stressful situation, too. It can even help save lives. Just imagine needing to talk to a patient who doesn’t know how to speak English in an emergency situation and you’ll get the idea.
Now, which language should you consider learning first?
In 2015, there were about 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US and that number should greatly increase by today.
To help you prepare, here are some basic Spanish phrases that you should know:
Spanish Phrases For Nurses To Introduce Yourself
Hello, my name is ____________ and I’ll be your nurse
Hola, me llamo __________________ y soy su enfermera (o).
What is your name?
Como se llama?
How old are you?
Cuántos años tiene usted?
How are you today?
Como esta hoy?
I don’t speak Spanish very well.
No hablo español muy bien.
Do you speak English?
Spanish Phrases For Examination And Admission
Sit down please.
Sientese por favor.
Please stand up.
Parese por favor.
Sit up, please.
Siéntese, por favor.
Inclínese hacia adelante.
Are you in pain?
I am going to take your temperature.
Le voy a tomar su temperatura.
Don’t throw away urine/ stool.
No tire la orina / popo.
Do you feel lightheaded/ dizzy?
Se siente mareado?
Are you pregnant?
Have you been in the hospital before?
Ha estado en el hospital antes?
What diseases or medical conditions do you have that you know about? (a) None (b) Diabetes (c) Heart (d) Lungs (e) Kidneys (f) Ulcer (g) High blood pressure (h) Seizures (i) Arthritis
Qué enfermedades o síntomas tiene, de que sepa usted? (a) Ninguna (b) Diabetes (c) Del corazón (d) De los pulmones (e) De los riñones (f)úlceras (g) Presión alta (h) Convulsiones (i) Artritis
What medicines are your allergic to? (a) None (b) Penicillin (c) Tetanus (d) Sulfas (e) Aspirin
A qué medicinas tiene usted alergia? (a) A ninguna (b) A la penicilina (c) A la vacuna contra el tétano (d) A las sulfas (e) la aspirina
What medicines do you take?
Qué medicinas toma?
Where does it hurt? Here?
Dónde le duele? Aqui?
Is it constant pain or does it come and go?
Es un dolor constante o viene y se va?
How long have you had it?
Désde cuándo lo tiene?
Has the pain increased or decreased?
Ha aumentado o disminuído el dolor?
Other Spanish Phrases That Should Be Useful For Nurses
Speak slowly, please.
Hable despacio por favor.
Repita, por favor.
I don’t understand.
I’ll be back in a moment.
Regreso en un momento.
Use the call light if you need help.
Use el botón para ayuda.
Ask for help before you get up.
Llame antes de levantarse.
Do you want to use the restroom?
Quiere ir al baño?
Do you want to take a shower?
I am going to give you an injection.
Le voy a poner una inyección.
I am going to place an intravenous needle in your arm.
Le voy a poner una agúja intravenosa en el brazo.
Do you have questions?
Of course, it’s not enough to just know these questions in Spanish. It’s also important to know the possible answers to these questions so you’ll have to study a bit.
Tips On How To Learn Spanish
1Find an app for your mobile phone
Nowadays, if you need anything, you can bet that there’s an app for that. For basic Spanish, there’s Learn Spanish by busuu Limited and Learn Spanish with SpeakTribe. To learn Spanish for nurses, check out Medical Spanish Guide & Quiz and Medical Spanish (AUDIO).
There are many other Spanish language apps in the app store so have fun finding the perfect one for you.
2Enlist the help of a Spanish-speaking colleague or friend
An app or a book isn’t enough to get you to learn Spanish for real. It has to be used and practiced every day. Ask for help from your Spanish-speaking colleagues and friends so they’ll talk the language with you. Sure you’ll struggle at first. It will probably sound quite funny, but every little step is a step forward in the right direction.
And don’t be shy to try out the introductory phrases on your Hispanic patients. They’ll appreciate it!
There are websites on the Internet that teach Spanish for Nurses. You can visit PracticingSpanish.com and Homesteadschools.com. The latter has a ghastly blue background which almost made our eyes bleed but the content is great.
4Get a book
If you’re the type who learns the traditional way, purchase an eBook or a physical book. If possible, choose one with cd’s and flashcards for supplemental learning. Check out Workplace Spanish.
5Keep a handy Spanish/English dictionary on you
Or you can do quick Google translate on your mobile phone.
6Sign up for a CE course
While you’re at it, might as well earn a few points for your Continuing Education. Find out where you can earn hours for a course on Spanish for healthcare professionals.
Read Also: An Ultimate Guide to Free Nursing CEUs
If you take the time and effort to learn Spanish for your Hispanic patients, they will definitely appreciate your gesture. It shows them that you care for them enough to make the effort to learn a whole new language.
And if you ever decide to become a travel nurse, a second language will definitely be an advantage!
Do you know of other medical phrases in Spanish? Did we miss other good or free resources? Do tell us if we missed any!