Beginning Medical Spanish : Oral Proficiency and Cultural Humility book cover
1st Edition

Beginning Medical Spanish
Oral Proficiency and Cultural Humility

ISBN 9780367322434
Published December 17, 2019 by Routledge
222 Pages 93 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Beginning Medical Spanish. Oral Proficiency and Cultural Humility is designed for medical professionals and supporting staff with no prior knowledge of Spanish who need to develop oral language skills and cross-cultural sensitivity to establish relationship-building communication with their Spanish-speaking patients.

This hospital-tested program teaches how to connect with patients of limited English-speaking ability and offer them the quality care they seek. Role-play activities allow students to develop their oral proficiency in meaningful contexts and contribute to a creative and dynamic classroom environment. Written exercises provide opportunity for practice outside the classroom, and audio recordings are available online for use in class and at home. The cultural readings and extensive bibliographical references in each chapter provide students with information about Hispanic values, beliefs and health practices, while teaching them to consider how these may vary with the identity of each individual and the degree of acculturation to US "mainstream" culture.

Whether you are a student preparing to work in a medical environment, or a professional already working with Spanish-speaking patients, the innovative method of hands-on learning though role-playing practice provided in this program will give you the specific skills you need to communicate confidently and respectfully in Spanish.

Table of Contents

1. Greeting and addressing your patients 2. Creating a relationship with your patients: Getting to know them and their families 3. Identifying and describing people and places in the hospital 4. Giving directions to and at the hospital 5. Making appointments and describing weekly schedules 6. Completing hospital forms and requesting patient information 7. Is your patient active? Talking about seaonal activities 8. Discussing nutrition and healthy practices with your patients 9. Talking about future plans and obligations with patients 10. Establishing a rapport with a new patient 11. Conducting a physical examination 12. Taking past medical histories.

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Parizad T. Dejbord Sawan is Associate Professor of Spanish at The University of Akron, USA. Originally from Palma de Mallorca-Spain, she received a MA degree in French literature from the University of Akron and holds a PhD in Latin American Literature from the University of Michigan. In 2004, she obtained her National Certification from the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) to be an Official Tester of the Spanish Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). She initiated a collaboration between Akron Children's Hospital and the University of Akron through the design and implementation of a 3-semester Beginning Medical Spanish program for medical professionals and supporting staff in 2013 and continues to teach all of the classes at the hospital. She is also a member of the national Medical Spanish Taskforce and is currently participating in the project Engaging Language Professionals for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research in Latinx Communities with Ohio State University. This project has been funded by a grant from the Patient-Centered Research Outcome Institute.


The Beginning Medical Spanish: Oral Proficiency and Cultural Humility book and program took me from speaking no Spanish at all to being able to converse with my patients. It covers all the necessary medical terms and then instructs the learner on the basics they need to relate to their patients in a culturally sensitive manner.

Sladjana Courson, DO, Associate Program Director for Ambulatory Medicine, Pediatric Residency, Pediatrician, Akron East Office of Akron Children’s Hospital.

Just to be able to say in Spanish, "Hello, how can I help you?" or "Do you have a cold? Do you have a fever? Do you have pain? Where does it hurt?" has assisted me in my primary care practice to communicate with the Spanish-speaking patient. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to easily learn through role-play, cultural readings, writing, and dedicated practice.

Mary E. Ciesa, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Comprehensive Internal Medicine, Wooster, Ohio.

Beginning Medical Spanish was instrumental in helping me gain the confidence I needed to communicate with my Hispanic patients. By the end of the twelve-chapter program, I was able to conduct an entire exam and provide discharge counseling in Spanish to one of my patients, surprising both him and me!

Christine Tracy, M.D., FACC, Akron Children’s Hospital, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Northeast Ohio Medical University.

My contact with Spanish speakers in my role as a Medical Office Coordinator has increased in recent years. There is a great deal of satisfaction in being able to communicate with a family who finds themselves in unfamiliar surroundings. I would recommend Beginning Medical Spanish: Oral Proficiency and Cultural Humility, to anyone who is eager to build bridges with their Spanish speaking families.

Kathy Hanson, Office Coordinator, Locust Pediatric Care Group.

This program is designed for the busy health care professional who wishes to communicate more effectively with their patients who speak Spanish. This Spanish program uses interactive and experiential learning methods that appeal to the adult learner.

Maria Ramundo, MD, MSEd, Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Associate Chair of Pediatrics, Academic Affairs, Akron Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Residency Director.