On December 4, 2012, I attended the Spanish Medical Terminology Session that was hosted by the CSON Senate. The one-hour session took place on campus in room 411-412 of Cushing Hall. A few nursing students who studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador led the session. They first taught words in Spanish that are essential for a nurse to know to be able to communicate effectively with a client and complete a physical assessment. The translated words ranged from many topics, which included vital signs, questions to ask during the exam, hospital verbs, medical objects, and phrases to say upon entering an examination room. Next, the students went over handouts. They provided copies of a Spanish medical record and explained the different parts of it. They also went through an unlabeled skeleton as a systematic way to provide Spanish translations for key body parts. At the end of the session, there was time for the audience to ask questions about the students’ experiences in Quito, Ecuador.
Because of the Spanish Medical Terminology Session, I learned a plethora of Spanish vocabulary that will facilitate my professional development into a cultural competent nurse. Working in the healthcare system, it is important to be culturally competent to provide care to clients who are from diverse populations. With more knowledge of the Spanish language, I can communicate more successfully with Spanish-speaking clients. In addition, I learned that there are different medical procedures around the world. For example, a specific drug may be unavailable over-the-counter in one country but easily accessible over-the-counter in another country. As a nursing student who is interested in providing care in different countries, the session reminded me that I should be more aware of the different procedures and disparities of healthcare across the world.
In terms of leadership, I learned that part of being a leader is to share one’s experiences and knowledge with others. The students who studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador could have refrained from spreading their invaluable advice and Spanish-speaking skills to others. However, through the Spanish Medical Terminology Session, other students at Boston College, including me, were able to learn key Spanish words to effectively communicate with Spanish-speaking clients. The session has taught me that not only it is important to become a leader and seek new experiences to facilitate my professional development, but also it is important to spread the knowledge that I learn throughout my experiences to others.