Learn Medical Spanish – Talking About Palliative Care in Spanish

Learn Medical Spanish – Talking About Palliative Care in Spanish

This Medical Spanish lesson focuses on talking through initial conversation around palliative care in Spanish with your Latino patients: Atención paliativa.

Palliative care is a delicate topic as you speak with patients with severe illnesses and you definitely want to make sure you’ve got language support with you as you are discussing some palliative care options with them

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • Basic information about palliative care in Spanish.
  • Who is candidate for palliative care.
  • Some questions to help you.
  • Vocabulary related to palliative care.
  • Examples of goals for you and your family.

Here is the Medical Spanish lesson about palliative care in Spanish I taught to the Facebook group:

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Download Palliative Care in Spanish Notes TODAY

Who is a Candidate for Palliative Care / ¿Quién es candidato para atención paliativa?

Obviously, the main candidate for palliative care is a patient with a severe condition but here are more descriptions of candidates for this kind of medical care:

Pacientes con síntomas incómodos como dolor, falta de aire, ansiedadPatients with uncomfortable symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, anxiety
Un paciente que necesita apoyo emocional, espiritual o práctico en relación a su condiciónA patient who needs emotional, spiritual or practical support in relation to their condition
Un paciente con muchas visitas al hospital o departamento de urgencias recientemente  A patient with a lot of hospital visits or ER visits recently
Si los tratamientos ya no le funcionan tan bien como antesIf the treatments no longer work as well as they did before
Si tiene que tomar decisiones complicadas sobre sus tratamientosIf you have to make complicated decisions about your treatments

Note: the majority of nouns finished in “ma” are masculine (problema, dilema, tema, etc.), so you have to say “síntomas incómodos”.

Basic Information / Orientation – Información / Orientación Básica…

  • Atención paliativa es una atención especializada para personas con enfermedades graves.
  • Nuestra meta es ayudarle entender bien su condición, las pruebas que le hacemos y los
    medicamentos que toma.
  • Nosotros queremos apoyarle a usted mientras identifica sus metas para su atención médica para que pueda tomar decisiones basadas en sus metas.

Vocabulary / Vocabulario

Atención especializada  Specialized care
Enfermedades gravesSerious illnesses
Entender bien su condiciónTo understand your condition
Queremos apoyarle a usted  We want to support you
(mientras) identifica sus metas(while) you identify your goals
Atención médicaMedical care
Tomar decisiones basadas en sus metasMake decisions based on your goals

If you are an intermediate or advanced Spanish learner, you could recognize the verb “poder” doesn’t usually conjugate with an -a at the end of it, as in pueda, and it is because “pueda” is subjunctive and one of the triggers for using the subjunctive is:

  • Any time you want to say “in order to…” (para…).
  • “So that you….”: technically all verbs that come after so that in Spanish, need to be in the subjunctive.

Some Questions To Help You / Algunas preguntas para ayudarle

¿Cuáles preguntas, dudas o observaciones tiene sobre su condición médica o los tratamientos?What questions, doubts or observations do you have about your medical condition or treatments?
¿Quién le apoya cuando lo necesita?  Who helps you when you need it?
¿Quién quiere que le acompañe en el hospital?Who do you want to accompany you to the hospital?
¿Ha hablado con su familia y amigos sobre su condición?  Have you talked with your family and friends about your condition?

Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney / Testamento Vital y Poder Legal Duradero

Testamento Vital: ¿Tiene un testamento vital (testamento en vida)? Si no, el equipo paliativo (palliative care team) puede explicarle el documento y ayudarle a completarlo.

Poder Legal Duradero: Un poder legal duradero identifica una persona quien sepa sus deseos
y quién se comprometa a llevarlos a cabo si usted no puede abogarse.

Some verbs to learn:

ComprometerseTo commit, to engage
Llevar a caboTo carry out
AbogarseTo advocate

Some Questions Related to the Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney

¿Ha nombrado una persona para ser su poder legal duradero y completado los papeles necesarios?  Have you named a person to be your durable power of attorney and completed the necessary paperwork?
Si no, nosotros podemos ayudarle a nombrar su poder legal duradero.If not, we can help you name your durable power of attorney.

Download Palliative Care in Spanish Notes TODAY

3 More Questions / 3 Preguntas más

These questions are related to the patient’s goals regarding their treatment options and decisions.

¿Hay eventos importantes en su vida que pueden afectar sus decisiones de tratamiento? (bodas, cumpleaños, etc.)?Are there important events in your life that may affect your treatment decisions? (weddings, birthdays, etc.)?
¿Cómo se va a cuidar después del alta del hospital?  How are you going to take care of yourself after your discharge from the hospital?

Atención Paliativa puede ayudarle a asegurar que tiene el apoyo y recursos que necesite.

Palliative Care can help you ensure you have the support and resources you need.
¿Qué desea usted en esta etapa de su vida? ¿Qué desean su familia y amigos? ¿Todos desean lo mismo para usted?What are your wishes in this stage of your life? What do your family and friends wish? Does everyone have the same wishes for you?

Examples of Goals For You and Your Family / Ejemplos de metas para ud y su familia

What are the patient and their family goals for this stage of their lives?

Condition / La condición

Aliviar los síntomas  Relieve symptoms
El dolorPain
La falta de aire  Shortness of breath

Family Events / Eventos Familiares

Poder asistir a la boda de su hijo, hija, nieto  Being able to attend the wedding of your son, daughter, grandchild
Poder conocer a su nuevo nieto(a), bisnieto(a)Be able to meet your new grandchild, great-grandchild

Situation / Situación

Poder regresar a casa para vivir  To be able to return home to live

Ahora te toca a ti…Now it’s your turn! I packaged all of this vocabulary into some flashcards for you to study. Test yourself on this palliative care vocabulary in Spanish with the flashcards below

Una noticia

If you are interested in improving your Spanish this summer, I would love the opportunity to work directly with you in our immersion programs in Costa Rica.

They are not only for healthcare, if you’ve got someone in your family or a friend who is a teacher (we have programs for teachers), or you want to go with your family (we have programs for families), or you want to send your teenager to learn Spanish (we have high school programs 😉 ), don’t hesitate to ask for more information 😀

I packaged all of this into easily downloadable .pdf notes– Get your copy for free today!

Download Palliative Care in Spanish Notes TODAY

Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients! Check out our other books, classes & products to help you learn medical Spanish!

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Rory Foster
Rory Foster
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Rory is passionate about the Spanish language, an expert instructor, and specifically energized by the practical use of language in industry & community settings.
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