In the medical field there exist additional challenges when treating Spanish-speaking patients due to the communication barrier. However, no matter in which medical field you practice, nor your level of Spanish, learning medical Spanish can help you bridge the communication gap with your patients which may result in improved levels of care.
There are so many benefits in not only learning Spanish medical terminology and phrases but also understanding the basic foundation of Spanish grammar to help string these terms together and connect with your patients.
When you know more about your patient’s symptoms and medical illness you will be able to better ensure they understand and follow the necessary treatment. Going to a doctor with concerns or illnesses can be sensitive and by speaking the same language as your patient, this can really help alleviate stress to a potentially awkward situation that the patient might feel self-conscious about.
By understanding them and vice versa, you will not only help your patient overcome a medical concern, but you will also boost the relationship you have with your patients and ensure they feel comfortable when receiving medical attention.
Another important consideration to learning medical Spanish is that it can take pressure off of family members, especially children, who may be interpreting and translating for members of their family. Many times, the topics of discussion can be intimate, sensitive or uncomfortable at best. These untrained family members, although trying their best, can miscommunicate information and put everyone involved at a disadvantage.
Check out some basic medical vocabulary and phrases that one may hear or use in a medical setting.
la medicina = medicine
la cápsula = capsule
la tableta = tablet
la píldora = pill
la inyección = injection
el ungüento = ointment
reposo en cama = bed rest
la cirugía = surgery
la toalla calentadora = heating pad
la bolsa de hielo = ice pack
el soporte = sling
el enyesado = cast
la muleta = crutch
el médico = doctor
la enfermera = nurse
el sarpullido = rash
los escalofríos = chills
el dolor = pain
presión sanguínea (alta/baja) = blood pressure (high/low)
el resfriado = cold
la torcedura = sprain
la infección = infection
la fractura = fracture
la cortada = cut
el moretón = bruise
Estoy enfermo(a). = I am sick.
¿Dónde le duele? = Where does it hurt?
¿Tiene fiebre? = Do you have a fever?
¿Desde cuándo se siente así? = How long have you felt this way?
Tengo náuseas. = I feel nauseous.
Tengo alergia. = I have an allergy.
Tengo diarrea. = I have diarrhea.
Tengo migraña. = I have a migraine.
We hope you enjoyed this reading about Medical Spanish and taking the time to understand how important and life-changing a little knowledge can be. If you found these words and phrases helpful, check out the Medical Professional Course that dives into much more detail about the human body, pain, injury, illness and much much more. You can also find more content and online Spanish courses at Down to Earth Spanish, where you will find a variety of self-paced online Spanish courses and free printables and digital worksheets.