Friday, November 11, 2011

Online resources for nurses to learn Spanish

The following is a guest post by Erinn Stam, the Managing Editor for She attends Wake Technical Community College and is learning about nursing schools in Washington State.

As the Spanish-speaking population grows in the U.S., it is becoming more and more important for healthcare professionals to learn the language to be able to communicate vital information to provide life-saving care. Nurses are on the front lines of patient care and are often the first to see a patient and take an assessment. Knowing how to communicate with patients clearly and quickly can make the difference in a life-or-death situation. Unfortunately, nurses are busy professionals and work notoriously long and stressful hours. Finding the time to learn a second language may not be possible for many. Fortunately, there are a number of resources that can help nurses learn medical Spanish through self-study or part-time study, making it easy to balance with their schedules. A few good resources, after the jump.

1-2-3 Teach Me

This free online course helps teach medical Spanish to healthcare professionals, including sample dialogues, medical terminology, and sample interviews. There are flashcards, audio, images, and more to help guide you through scenarios such as taking a patient history, assessing the complaint, explaining procedures, and more. There is even a self-test.

My Spanish

This site offers a $99 online course in medical Spanish for healthcare professionals. The site provides 6 months of unlimited access to the 15-hour course, which includes a printable vocabulary book. By the end of the course, healthcare professionals should be able to understand patient needs and medical problems, collect medical and insurance information, set appointments, prescribe medication, and more.

Learn Spanish Resources

Here you'll find a free online dictionary of medical terminology. This site is great for those who already have a passing understanding of Spanish (basic conversation skills, pronunciation, and grammar), but who don't know the medical vocabulary.

A Su Salud

This course from Yale University is designed for working healthcare professionals. The online course covers medical Spanish and cultural awareness training for interacting with Spanish-speaking populations.


This comprehensive site offers a number of targeted online courses for specific healthcare providers, such as nurses and physician assistants. You can also choose to sign up for e-mail lessons sent directly to your inbox. Resources include vocabulary, images, dialogue, and more.

Of course, many, many more resources are available to teach medical Spanish to healthcare professionals. Learning a basic level of competency in the language will help you to provide a greater level of care for Spanish-speaking patients and increase your marketability as an employee.


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  2. Nice list of the resources! Especially i like that this list is for those people who already have a profession, but would like to get additional language skills. I think it's a good way to get a better job!

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