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Cross-Cultures in the ER

By Danielle Gonzales

Every time he went into a new patients room he would say, “I am Dr. X and this is Danielle, we work together.” Dr. X answered all my questions, showed me different scans, I would look up the different diseases on the computer while he was inputting notes and we would discuss them and he made me feel as if we were a team and I wasn’t imposing on him.

Furthermore, every time I volunteer in express care, I am reminded more and more of how important it is to become bilingual.  Anytime I go into a patient’s room and they are Spanish speaking they talk to me because they think I am the translator.  Every time I have to tell them that I don’t speak Spanish, I feel worse and worse.  Not only have I learned through my experience at SCVMC that it is important to be able to speak another language from a medical point of view but it has become more and more important to learn, personally.  I feel this way because the Spanish language is part of my culture and I feel as though I am not being true to my heritage until I am at least able to speak the language.

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