As health care providers, it is our responsibility to provide comfort and act as a source of information for all the patients we see. Language barriers can make this extremely difficult, especially when compounded by the shaky inexperienced hands of young medical students. It is vitally important for all young health professionals to properly educate themselves in the language and necessary skills before endeavoring to care for people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
"Spanish-speaking patients make up a large portion of the demographic with whom I work with on a daily basis.... By increasing our numbers of Spanish speaking practitioners, we lessen the divide between our Spanish speaking patients."
Meet Arthur J. Engler, PhD, RN. Art is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. His academic areas of interest include psychiatric/mental health nursing, and neonatal tertiary care and pediatric primary care. Professor Engler is a member of NAHN, and is passionate about providing nursing students with the skills to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients. He is a nationally certified Bilingual Health Care Provider. We had the pleasure of speaking with Professor Engler a bit about his career, experiences and impetus for teaching a medical Spanish course at UConn, and experience with Canopy’s Medical Spanish Training Course.
"Today our planet is more diverse than ever. As healthcare professionals, we can expect to see an uptick in the need for language assistance for at least the next century, especially those who practice in urban settings or do healthcare work abroad. In an ideal world, every, every provider would have an interpreter on hand, but as our communities diversify and grow, this becomes both economically and logistically challenging."
In our work to bring new technology into healthcare language services, we run into many interesting individuals. Dr. Clements is surely one of them. Here's his story.