It’s no secret that the Hispanic population in the United States is growing rapidly. This is having repercussions throughout American society and that includes the area of healthcare as well.
Healthcare providers now care for increasing numbers of Hispanic patients who cannot speak English at all or who do not speak it very well. Because of this situation, providers are now trying to hire more healthcare professionals, especially nurses, who are bilingual. To attract these bilingual professionals, hospitals are offering them higher wages.
So, if you are a nurse who is bilingual, you are likely to be in increasing demand as healthcare organizations try to provide for their patients with limited English fluency, meet government requirements, and limit their legal liability. Research has shown that bilingual nurses have received wages that are up to seven percent higher than average because of their special skills. The wage increase tends to track with the Hispanic population in the area that a hospital serves.
Medical facilities already are asking travel staffing services for bilingual professionals for short-term (13-week) assignments.
Where bilingual nurses are employed, their unique skills are valued by physicians and other healthcare professionals because they are able to provide better care to limited English-speaking patients.
Bilingual nurses are especially helpful during the admission and discharge of limited English proficient patients because the nurses are better able to explain to the patients what they need to do to care for themselves after leaving the hospital. It reduces the chances that these patients will have to be readmitted.
Bilingual nurses can also address other concerns of patients who speak only limited English, such as cultural or religious issues. Often these patients are reluctant to speak to healthcare providers and feel more comfortable speaking to someone who knows their language.
It is easy to see the advantages of bilingual nurses when you consider the fact that many limited English speakers don’t receive the care they need because of language barriers. Research has shown that these barriers limit people’s access to care, and cause improper diagnoses more often, as well as more unneeded tests, less follow-up care after leaving the hospital, not following treatment advice, and more drug complications.
Whether you’re certified as an RN, OT, PT, speech therapist or pharmacist, and if you’re bilingual (in Spanish, Mandarin, and other languages), contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We look forward to hearing from you!