Break Down Language Barriers in Health Care

Learn Common Phrases and Medical Terms in Spanish

Why This Project is Needed:

Traditional courses meet too infrequently and you need to learn useful phrases now!

While traditional coursework is a fine option, they present a problem. They either meet everyday at inconvenient times, or the meet weekly and give you very little time to actually practice speaking and listening to Spanish! furthermore, it would take weeks or months before you actually get to learn useful phrases. Finally, most Spanish courses are not focused on terms you will use in your day to day work.

How urgent is the need for Spanish in health care?

By 2050, it is expected that one in five Americans -- 20 percent -- will be elderly. The population will also become increasingly diverse (see Figure 2). By 2050, racial and ethnic minorities will comprise 35 percent of the over 65 pop-ulation.7 As the population at risk of chronic conditions becomes increasingly diverse, more attention to linguistic and cultural barriers to care will be necessary.

Georgetown University, Health Policy Institute

These numbers show that the odds are highly likely you will be working with a patient that primarily or only speaks spanish.

The goal of culturally competent health care services is to provide the highest quality of care to every patient, regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background, English proficiency or literacy.

Yolanda C. Padilla, PhD Griselda Villalobos, MSW, Family and Community Health

Why Learn Spanish?

The intention of this site is to alleviate the issues created by language barriers that inhibit or limit patients who primarily speak Spanish from receiving quality medical treatment. The consequences of language barriers can be dire. Use the free tools found on this site to increase the delivery of culturally competent care.

According to the U.S. Census, more than half of U.S. Latino residents age 5 and older speak English "very well," but a nevertheless significant number of Latino adults speak English "not well" or "not at all.

Karen Peterson-Iyer, Santa Clara University

Language is an essential part of patient communication within the healthcare system and thus serves as a bridge to healthcare access and quality care.

Karen Peterson-Iyer, Santa Clara University

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