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Career Insights

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with NP Alejandro

Concorde Staff
Concorde Staff
Updated October 10, 2022. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
NP Alejandrio- Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

For Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated from September 15 through October 15, Alejandro Roldán joined Concorde Career Colleges to share his unique perspective on the healthcare industry as a Colombian, social media influencer, nurse educator, and family nurse practitioner (NP).

Rewriting the Healthcare Industry Script

Being from Colombia and moving to the U.S. when he was just 7 years-old, NP Alejandro did not have a lot of role models in the healthcare industry that looked like him, spoke the same language, or understood his culture. Going into nursing, he wanted to help impact individuals who have gone through those similar struggles, but most importantly, he wanted to change the narrative of what is deemed typical in the healthcare space.

“I wanted to be able to empower people of color – Latino, Latina, Hispanic – and just let them know that there are other providers that do look like them, that understand their culture, know their background, know where they come from, and they can empathize with a lot of the things they’ve gone through,” explained Alejandro. “Having that as my foundation helped with my professional achievements because I wanted to change the script – I wanted to be an example for those who are younger to see that, as people of color, we can do this.”

As a young Latino, NP Alejandro found it difficult to be confident in his heritage and letting others know that he was from Colombia and bilingual. He would avoid sharing his personal experiences and hardships because he felt it would help him to blend into the “typical” U.S. culture. He often struggled with relating to people as he would either feel he was not Hispanic or Latino enough in some situations, while not being “white enough” for others.

“It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how much feeling proud of being Latino could bring to the table. As I progressed in my career professionally, I started meeting with other people of color – other minority groups – and we realized that we had such similar upbringings and that definitely changed the narrative to my story,” said Alejandro. “Hearing their impact that they had on their families and their communities they’re with was so amazing and very inspiring and I wanted to do that.”

Celebrating His Colombian Heritage

Now, NP Alejandro has made it his goal to focus on providing primary care to underserved populations, specifically BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) individuals to help them receive equal access to healthcare. He works every day to put a spotlight on the bigger picture of healthcare as it extends beyond physical needs – it’s also dependent on mental health and one’s support system.

A lot of children growing up in the Latinx community were raised on the principal of “machismo,” and that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. Patients need to be aware that talking to a healthcare provider about your anxieties and fears affects physical health immensely and there is no shame in admitting that you need help.

Having a common background has helped NP Alejandro instill trust among his patients. Many BIPOC individuals often struggle to feel comfortable in a healthcare setting due to communication barriers and a lack of cultural representation. Through communicating with Spanish-speaking patients, NP Alejandro has found that sharing a common language has helped create a trust and a bond and influenced a positive healthcare experience.

“Different cultures do things differently, and when you have a provider that can understand or comprehend where you’re coming from, it does increase that trust level and it helps you open up to them and explain what is bothering you, what you would like to fix, and how we can provide certain treatment options to help you better your health in that way,” explained Alejandro.

To current Latinx students, NP Alejandro believes that there is no incorrect occupation within the healthcare industry, as it’s good to have representation across all fields because representation does matter. With representation comes empowerment as more diverse healthcare professionals will influence the next generation and those after.

Watch our video for more details on NP Alejandro’s career journey as a member of the Latinx community.