Outside of South America, the US has the largest Latino population at 17% of the total population. Around 16 million people in the US speak Spanish at home. Most have limited English proficiency, speaking English less than “very well,” with approximately 9 million reporting that they speak English “not at all” or “not well,” according to the Language Data from the American Census Bureau. With this being said, it can often be hard for them to navigate the health care system where communication with doctors and clinicians is crucial. These language barriers can invoke dread in clinicians. That is why having clinicians who can speak Spanish is vital to our health care system.
Many medical schools are moving in the right direction by offering a Spanish curriculum. A study done by JGIM says that around 75% of medical schools either offer or plan to provide a Spanish curriculum for their medical students. Currently, there isn’t a uniform way of testing proficiency in the language, and this can lead to significant deficiencies. Many healthcare facilities are working towards fixing the insufficient testing methods.
One way that healthcare facilities are working towards changing this is by ensuring that they test all of their bilingual speaking professionals yearly. This sort of testing will help to ensure that not only are Spanish speaking professionals certified but that they can communicate effectively with their patients.
Being able to speak to a patient in their native language can mean the difference between receiving quality care and care that fails to meet the standards. This also helps to ensure that not only the patient understands their diagnosis and treatment options, but that their family understands as well. Those who can effectively communicate with their patients in their native tongue could connect with non-English speaking patients in a more meaningful way than they could if they utilized a translator. The importance of being able to speak and understand Spanish also helps to ensure that you can understand your patient’s needs.
Not only can adding another language aid in improving communication and patient care in your current role, but it can also help to expand the scope of opportunities for your career. Bilingual healthcare professionals are in growing command, even in locum tenens positions. Knowing a second language, mainly Spanish, is an invaluable asset today and can help set you apart from the crowd.
If you are fluent and capable in the Spanish language, there are a multitude of locum tenens positions open to you. Working as a Spanish-speaking locum tenens physician can help to expand the number of opportunities and locations that are offered to you. Feel free to contact us here at MedCare Staffing to find a place where your skills will be put to good use!
Who are we? MedCare Staffing is a small, veteran-owned, family-oriented team. We start every day with gratitude because we LOVE what we do! We are a team on a mission to make a positive difference in the lives of our clients and providers.
What we do: We place Physicians, Dentists & Advanced Practitioners in Locum Tenens, Contract Positions and Permanent Jobs