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Advantages of Being Bilingual or Multilingual in Nursing

bilingual nurse advantagesThe ability to read, write, and speak a second language is a skill that is desired in virtually every profession. In the US healthcare sector, bilingual and multilingual nurses are particularly in high demand.

These nurses certainly do not replace the medical center’s interpreting services, which are usually offered over the phone, but it is a great advantage for patients to be able to communicate directly with a nurse, especially those with complicated conditions.

Why Multilingual Nurses are in Demand

Obviously, English is the US national and native language, but this does not mean that the entire population can communicate in English. On top of that, there is a growing population of non-English speakers in the country, which has made those in the nursing field capable of communicating in more than one language an eagerly sought recourse in the medical field.

Some of the benefits of being bilingual in nursing include:

1. Breaking communication barriers

Effective communication between patients, nurses, doctors, and clinicians is critical to providing high quality care. Bilingual nurses are not only able to help diverse groups of people, but also increase the quality of care that patients receive. Patients are more likely to return to the healthcare provider where communication and comfort were optimum, establishing a long relationship.

2. Creating a sense of comfort

When trying to comfort a patient who’s anxious about the treatment process, it helps if someone, especially a professional medical staff, can communicate in the same language as the patient. Additionally, people in any situation tend to be more at ease when expressing concerns in a native tongue, and feel less embarrassed when discussing openly and honestly to medical professionals without the involvement of a third party.

3. Additional support

After care is a critical component of the recovery process. A patient’s timely recovery may be influenced by how well the at-home instructions are understood and followed. Bilingual nurses play a vital supportive role when they can speak a patient’s language, helping to point out any useful instructions that could make the patient’s recovery safer and more efficient.

4. Foreign job prospects

If you like to travel, then being bilingual in nursing will give you an opportunity to move around a lot, even if they are short travel nursing contracts or mission trips. Your ability to speak more languages will give better marketability to work in non-English speaking countries.

The bottom line is apparent: open communication with regard to verbal and listening skills is critical to analyzing a patient’s problem and establishing the appropriate care and treatment. As a bilingual nurse, you already know about the issues prevalent in your community, as well as the family, customs, and food values of your people. So, you are in a unique position to ensure the delivery of a high standard of care while putting the patient at ease.

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