As a quality healthcare provider, you do everything you can to ensure each and every one of your patients receives the outstanding treatment they deserve. With that in mind, it’s important to consider how you’ll handle unexpected situations, such as when someone comes to your facility who can’t speak English. Before these instances occur, it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure there’s no lapse in the excellent care you provide.
On Staff, on Call
The best way to able to provide quality care for people who speak other languages is to have staff members who are bilingual. This gives you the best opportunity to correctly understand what the needs of the patient are, to ensure you treat them quickly and accurately. In the case of dentists, who may not have a large enough staff to have bilingual employees, an online or over-the-phone translation service can be used, instead.
Lead by Example
If you truly want the best understanding of your patients’ needs, then there’s no better way than to learn another language. There are multitudes of resources available today to make learning another language quick and economical, so much so that you may want to consider learning a couple of different languages. This ensures you can always provide the highest quality of care and serve as an asset to other people on your team who need translation help themselves. Doctors like Kenneth Schweizer DDS PA are much more able to connect with a variety of customers this way. You could also make sure to employ bilingual assistants.
Learning Other Cultures
While learning about other cultures won’t specifically give you the language skills you need to be able to help someone who doesn’t speak English, it can help you better understand their needs by understanding cultural differences which may be impeding correct interpretations. If a patient comes in who belongs to a culture with different traditions and expectations than your own, it may be impossible to provide the treatment the family is expecting unless you know how their culture works. It’s not a perfect science, but it can go a long way in making you more effective at providing care.
People Are People
Ultimately, no matter what language someone speaks, they are a person, just like all your other patients. This means that if you are good at interpreting the needs of your patients based on non-verbal cues, you will likely succeed at interpreting the needs of someone who can’t speak English. Qualities like empathy, concern, understanding, and patience cross all cultural and linguistic barriers, so if you’re providing these to a patient, you’ll be well on your way to getting them the treatment they need, no matter what language they speak.
No Time to Lose
In any healthcare situation, time matters. Even if it’s not an emergency, timely and efficient treatment is still important to patient satisfaction and good facility management. Making proper preparations to be able to accommodate patients who don’t speak English will help ensure that timely treatment is provided to each person who walks through the door, no matter what’s ailing them or what words coming out of their mouth.