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Spanish Minor Prepares Students to Serve Growing Latino Populations

Posted by Elizabeth Billington Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

Nurse talking with hispanic childImagine walking into a hospital waiting room where you don’t speak the same language as anyone on staff. You would have extreme difficulty telling a nurse or a doctor about your symptoms or understanding your prescribed treatment. For many in the rapidly growing Latino populations across our state and nation, this is the reality of our healthcare system. 

Recent studies project our nation’s population to be 29 percent Latino by 2050. Research also suggests that Nebraska’s Latino population is expected to triple by 2050, accounting for 24 percent of the state’s overall population. Health professionals need to be prepared to serve growing Latino populations with individuals who may speak little to no English. 

With that in mind, Nebraska Methodist College has introduced its new Spanish for Healthcare Professionals minor. The minor prepares nursing and Allied Health students to better interact with and serve Spanish-speaking patients. Graduates with the minor will be able to do a number of important tasks in Spanish, including taking a patient history, doing a patient assessment, developing a care plan for the patient, and presenting patient and care plan information to other Spanish-speaking health professionals. 

By obtaining a Healthcare Spanish minor, graduates will make themselves more marketable to prospective employers. The minor will position students favorably for jobs in hospitals, clinics and community settings that serve large Spanish-speaking populations. 

The Spanish for Healthcare Professionals minor is a total of 18 credit hours. The minor requires students to take six 3-credit courses over two years. Two courses are online, while four others are on campus.

Topics: new programs, nursing

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