Healthcare Industry – Medical professionals who can speak multiple languages can significantly improve the overall quality of the experience for patients. Here, we reveal exactly why international language skills are so important in healthcare.
Languages improve patient care
Patients and healthcare professionals come from all corners of the world, which means that we need staff who can communicate effectively across several languages. Many clinicians believe that good communication not only improves prospects but enriches a patient’s experience.
Language barriers are one of the biggest causes of bad patient care and low patient satisfaction too. Therefore, being multilingual is a valuable skill in the medical sector. In fact, bilingual professionals are in greater demand in the healthcare industry compared to anywhere else.
It’s not just wise to learn the language of the country you’re working in, either, but also languages that are commonly spoken in that country. In France, French, English, and German are spoken.
In the USA, the most common languages are English, Spanish and Chinese. Before taking on a new placement, you might want to consider English, French or German classes. These are three of the most spoken global languages. Choosing live classes with a personal, native-speaking tutor allows you to practice and build up confidence and skill.
It creates a safer environment
A language barrier could put people in harm’s way. If a patient and doctor struggle to communicate, there could be misunderstandings regarding symptoms or treatment.
Avery JK wrote that poor communication was the primary reason people filed lawsuits in the healthcare industry. More recently, a pediatric neurologist at University College London, Professor Finbar O’Callaghan explained that he couldn’t think of a single legal case that wasn’t related to poor communication between healthcare professionals and patients.
Often, patients are most vulnerable when they go to a hospital or doctor’s surgery. If there’s someone there who can speak their native language, it can help the patient to feel more at ease and respected. Not to mention, it helps with human connections and can help to decrease any liability.
It saves time and money
The legal cases mentioned above will cost the global healthcare industry a huge amount of money and administrative time. But there’s also another reason. Just think about what happens when there is a language barrier. You typically need an interpreter, either in person or virtually, and this costs money and takes time to find.
Hiring multilingual medical professionals can bridge communication gaps and make the process even more efficient. This will be beneficial in emergency situations too – when you don’t have time to find an appropriate translator. So, ensuring medical teams can at least speak global languages can be an important step in patient care.
Of course, these are just a few reasons medical workers and the healthcare industry require international language skills. Not only can it help to prevent miscommunication, but it can enhance patient care and the safety of everyone involved.