I went to my doctor’s appointment the other day and on the chair next to me was a lady scanning her list and she happened to ask me if I speak English. I asked her why?
“This is the list of all patient for today that the medical office gave me and I was wondering what is your name.” She quote.
She was bilingual interpreter for Spanish no English speaking that have doctor’s appointment that day. Interpreter pays good money and that was her full time job and she stays in the doctor’s office while Doc is in listening your heart beat. The interpreter is a bridge to rely the message of none English speaking Paisano to the doctor and vice versa.
Have you ever had problems understanding your doctor? Ask this question and some people are likely to retort: “Haven’t you ever had problems understanding your doctor?” If you feel this way and happen to be a in America and speak no English, your frustrations would seem to arise from the simple fact that you and your doctor speak different languages.
We always have to face very similar problems in understanding our doctor. Have you ever had trouble understanding your doctor? You’re not alone. Doctors and patients don’t do a very good job of communicating. We have a hard time understanding health information. This confusion cuts across age, race, income and educational level. The result is that people aren’t following their doctor’s instructions properly and are misreading prescription drug labels. We have difficulty understanding terms our doctors used, their frequent usage in the medical arena, are largely unknown to the general public.
Some problem arises from what might best be called “false friend” expressions. These are terms most people have heard but do not properly understand. Miscommunication between doctors and patients is frequently the result of the gap between the common understanding of these terms and their specific meanings. To many people, for instance, (anemia),that’s easy to understand, but the doctors will write down maybe, Hemolytic–naloko na! (“hemo” means blood, “lytic” means destroying) anemia occurs when red blood cells are being destroyed prematurely. (Normally, the lifespan of RBCs is 120 days. In hemolytic anemia, they have a much shorter lifespan.) And the bone marrow (the soft, spongy tissue inside bones that makes new blood cells) simply can’t keep up with the body’s demand for new cells. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, infections or certain medications – such as antibiotics or antiseizure medicines – are to blame. the term anemia simply describes a state of dizziness that occurs when a person stands up after a longer period of sitting or lying. Far fewer people know that the medical term denotes a blood disorder that can lead to serious health problems. As a result, those diagnosed with the condition may underrate its long-term consequences.
Have you ever left the doctor’s office and wondered “What in the world did he just say?” If so, you aren’t alone. Even if you felt like you understood what your doctor was telling you at your doctor’s visit, it may not all make sense by the time you get home .Chances are we have probably had difficulty understanding medical information at some point in our life. Even health issues as seemingly simple as the cold and flu can be misunderstood. We do not understand the information we receive at doctor’s visits, whether it is related to an illness, a new piece of equipment or medications.. Doctors are crunched for time, making it hard for them to teach us everything we need to know. Then there’s “doc speak,” the language doctors use that speakers of plain English (like us who paid for consultation) often can’t understand.—I think they call this health literacy–