Statistics show that one in four Canadians is an immigrant, the highest in the G7 nations. This is a figure that’s even comparably higher than that of the US, which is considered the world’s melting pot. This then impacts several industries, including healthcare, where communication is of great importance.
In this article, we aim to explain how learning or knowing two or more languages can further advance your career as a healthcare professional.
In a rapidly globalizing world, bilingualism provides a competitive edge to any job seeker because employers are favouring those who can promote their services to multiple cultures.
Healthcare providers aren’t an exception, and bilinguals can enjoy the following benefits that fluency in multiple languages can provide them:
Bilingualism widens the choices of job opportunities in some instances, such as when a job opening specifically requires it, possibly because of the cultural diversity of the location of such a healthcare setting. In addition, bilingualism still offers better opportunities even to job openings that don’t specifically require it. Speaking another language other than English is a valuable skill that employers may consider when choosing the best-suited applicant. It’s also worth noting that statistics show that bilingual employees, including healthcare
Healthcare workers, receive higher pay than their monolingual counterparts. Employers know the benefits that bilinguals can provide their company, and this is reflected in bilinguals usually receiving 5-20% more per hour than monolinguals.
Hiring bilingual healthcare professionals is advantageous, not only for the individual but for the hospital as well. It lessens the cost needed in hiring an interpreter, which may even pose a challenge in providing effective treatment to the patient. After all, the patient may hesitate to communicate in the guise of a new face other than the one assigned to take care of them.
While it’s true that there are already diverse options that a healthcare provider can choose from when it comes to their specialization, bilingualism takes it up a notch by extending a healthcare provider’s career options into other niches that they may also be interested in.
For example, bilingual healthcare professionals may opt to become medical interpreters, which is considered to be one of the most rewarding and emerging healthcare careers. They act as liaisons that bridge the gap between two cultures, which can contribute to the overall success of a medical procedure.
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A bilingual healthcare worker is an invaluable asset to the team, capable of providing guidance and direction to world-class healthcare services. They are beneficial in that they provide enhanced patient outcomes, specifically the following:
Bilingualism entails not only being fluent in the language but also being able to understand the culture of the people who speak such a language. This helps enhance a patient’s experience, which may contribute to their speedier recovery.
Being able to communicate well with the family of the patient is also important, as the effective explanation of a medical procedure through a language they can understand well can help ease their mind with the kind of care that their loved one is receiving. Moreover, effective explanations help the family members to actively participate in taking care of their loved one and aid in their recovery process.
Communication, which includes note-taking, is one of the most critical aspects of an effective treatment. A bilingual healthcare provider, then, can help mitigate the chances of note-taking errors because of misinterpretation, thus ensuring the delivery of high-quality care.
A healthcare professional who knows two or more languages is a skillful one, competent and adept in knowing and providing for their patient's needs. They are valuable in hospitals, making high-quality services cost-effective and culturally sensitive.
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