Today, as immigration increases and with the nursing shortage in full swing, the demand for bilingual healthcare workers is growing. The greatest need appears to be for Spanish-speaking nurses.
According to the 2008 National Sample of Registered Nurses, only 3.6 percent of all US registered nurses identify themselves as Hispanic/Latino. While a higher percentage of nurses may be Spanish-speaking, non-Hispanics/Latinos may not be aware of cultural differences. Anita Holt, RN, MSN, and a professor of human services at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, cites several reasons Hispanics/Latinos may not consider a career in nursing, including limited knowledge of opportunities and lack of fluency in English.
Why Bilingualism Is Important
Holt says bilingualism is critical -- not just in nursing, but throughout the healthcare system. "Patients feel more comfortable if they can talk to someone who understands their language, as well as the beliefs and values of their culture," she says. "For example, it is important for a hospital patient to not only have his wife and children at his bedside, but also his compadres and comadres, his tios and tias. If the nurse, lab technician or doctor does not understand the concept of familia, the integrity of his care could be compromised.
Sam Romero, founder and president of a Massachusetts-based healthcare recruiter specializing in bilingual and bicultural professionals, agrees. "Physicians' assistants, nurses' aides, orderlies, mental health technicians, food service personnel, people who work in nursing homes -- anyone who understands a different culture and service can make a healthcare organization more efficient and effective," he says. "That understanding helps the organization, too, by cutting down errors, slashing turnover and serving broader populations."
It's the Law
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandates that every organization receiving federal money employ bilingual staff. "That's particularly important in the emergency room, where people use medical terminology," Romero says. "People are discussing delicate, sensitive matters, so you shouldn't have a 10-year-old boy interpreting for an OB/GYN. But it happens. I've seen a housekeeper called in, and she told the patient something the doctor wasn't saying. It's much better for a doctor or nurse to provide information." Source
Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and HHA Programs with Bilingual Instruction
South Florida is a good place to be if you know more than one language. There is a bigger demand for workers who speak more than one language. Being bilingual is certainly an advantage. You can increase your chances of being gainfully employed if choose a profession that is currently in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants are in high demand, and that demand is expected to keep growing (source bls.gov). These talented professionals are the backbone of medical facilities across the country. They work hard to ensure the business side of a medical practice runs smoothly, and that patients receive the best possible care.
There are many reasons to enter this great profession including a relatively short training period, great working hours, a professional environment, and a nice salary. Those looking for a good career that will provide a decent living may find medical assisting to be the perfect job.
There are close to 400 schools in the US that offer Diploma and Certificate programs in Medical Assisting and or Pharmacy Technician programs. Each program is designed to prepare students for the medical field program of their choice and provides an industry setting to get your experience.
As with most things, the more qualifications and the more experience you have the more competitive you can be in your profession and therefore potential to earn more money. To get your foot in at the entry level, you can earn a medical assisting diploma also called a medical assisting certificate. You don't earn a degree, but you do get the credentials that can get you started.
Medical Institute of Palm Beach Inc. in Lake Worth FL is offering Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and HHA programs during the day and evening time with bilingual instruction available. Contact Us to get details about each program and how you can enroll.