Understanding Latino Culture: Agreeableness
As with the cleaning staff manager we wrote about a few weeks ago, the topic of agreeableness comes up a lot with our Medical Spanish students when discussing Latino culture. In a recent conversation with a NICU nurse who frequently works with the Latino parents of the babies she cares for, she expressed her frustration over communication barriers that still exist despite her conversational level of Spanish:
“I explained the baby’s routine in Spanish the best I could. I know I made mistakes, but the mom smiled and seemed on board with everything. I wasn’t sure if she had understood, but she smiled and nodded when I asked, ¿está bien?”
In situations like this one, the parents sometimes go on to contradict the routine that’s been laid out for them. The same thing often happens when adult patients are … Read More »
Latino Patients: Understanding the Family and Latino Culture
“Why are there so many people in the room?” is a question often asked by our medical Spanish students when talking about treating their Latino patients.
“I go in to talk to a patient and there are 12 people in the room listening to my every word and even leading the conversation.”
Many of these health care workers are overwhelmed or perplexed by the huge attendance at the treatment or diagnosis of a patient – an event that’s generally so private in mainstream U.S. culture that it’s guarded by confidentiality laws, rights, signed agreements and facility policies.
The strong presence of family – even extended family – at the side of a Latino patient is quite normal for a variety of reasons. The most immediately visible role of family members may be as interpreters, since older … Read More »