Language Barriers in Healthcare

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Language Barriers in Healthcare
Sarah Ehrlich
3/1/14
Abstract
Discussed in this paper are the problems arising with language barriers in healthcare. People of all nationalities deserve the best care from our hospitals. However, misunderstanding of different languages can put a restraint on patient care and can sometimes lead to unnecessary and life-threatening mistakes. It’s the job of teachers and employers to ensure future and current medical personnel have better resources and skills to communicate with a patient of a different language. Medical technology is growing very quickly, as should correct communication be growing with it. Keywords: language, barriers, healthcare

Language Barriers in Healthcare

Introduction
There are many intermixing cultures of the San Luis Valley, which makes living here truly a unique experience. Some people call the valley a “melting pot,” as different people come together to live and work. Living here has taught me the interesting principles of Spanish life including the food, music and history that they share. The people of the Spanish culture have made a large impact here in the valley, establishing their lifestyle quite well. The clashing of different people have brought us insight to how others live, but have also brought problems concerning the language barrier, especially in health.

The Issue of Language Barriers
In healthcare, communication is key. It’s the sole factor in helping people get well and it’s important that communication between the doctor and the patient is clear. The San Luis Valley has a lot of great opportunities in healthcare, as its outreach to the public as increased greatly over the years. People of all nationalities are welcomed in our hospitals, but the language barrier between English and a native language has made it difficult for physicians to do their job to its full potential. Common misconceptions of the language being spoken can have unnecessary consequences and can cause huge...
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