Concorde Blog - Oct 14, 2020
Hola! My name is Walter Guevara and I am the Academic Dean at Concorde Career College in North Hollywood. I grew up in the Los Angeles area with immigrant parents from El Salvador, so my first language at home was Spanish. Education was always a challenge, but I found my footing once I found health care. It changed my life! I graduated as a Medical Assistant and worked in several different health care settings before continuing my education. There has always been a huge need for health care professionals, especially those who can speak Spanish. I am very fortunate to be able to speak two languages and encourage everyone to perfect or learn the language.
Why is it Important to Have Bilingual Health Care Professionals on Staff?
During my years as a Medical Assistant, one of my most valuable assets was my ability to speak Spanish. Having the skill to translate between the doctor and a non-English speaking patient was utilized daily. Being able to speak to patients in their native language is helpful because it creates a connection with the patient and the way they will receive care. Many non-English speaking patients usually go where they know they will be able to communicate clearly about their health care needs. Therefore, it is so important for health care facilities to have a bilingual staff. Clear communication in any language is important for quality care.
Does Concorde Offer Courses in Spanish?
Growing up and speaking Spanish as my first language, I know it can be difficult for students to comprehend and understand material in another language. I am happy to say that here at Concorde, we can offer students educators who have a vast array of backgrounds and languages. Every department at the Concorde North Hollywood campus has a Spanish speaking instructor who can provide support to students if needed to help them succeed. All courses are in English, but we believe that all students have the ability to succeed, and language barriers should not be one of them. Our education team will work with all students to give the best understanding of our theory in and out of class.
Is There a Demand for Bilingual Health Care Professionals?
Just as health care is an in-demand career, bilingual health care professionals are also in need. Having the ability to speak Spanish will help get you far and looks great on a resume. Spanish is the more sought out language by health care companies because of the large amounts of Spanish speaking populations that are within each city.
Health care organizations often offer employees who apply as bilingual a small Spanish test to assure that the employee is able to translate, speak and write in Spanish. Be prepared! It is recommended that even if you are a Spanish speaker, always brush up on your skills. Home Spanish is not the same as office Spanish. I have also been interviewed in Spanish just to be sure that my Spanish skills are what they are seeking, so stay ready.
Being bilingual in health care also helps patients feel comfortable and at ease. This is important because it builds trust. Having a connection with patients allows you to provide the quality care they need to achieve their wellness goals.