Being bilingual is an important skill that will benefit you no matter what field of work you choose to go into. As a medical assistant, speaking multiple languages can be a crucial part of helping patients. This is due to the changing demographics in the United States.
More patients are being seen who are not native English speakers, and having someone in the medical office who is able to communicate with them in a language they understand is important in helping them receive the medical care they need.
The most widely spoken language in the U.S. is English and is the second language many learn when coming to an English-speaking country. Also, many children in other countries learn English as a second language in school.
There is, however, a large portion of the population living in the U.S. that speaks only other languages. These people will need English translated to them while in a medical office. Words and meanings can get lost in translation, so it is important for medical assistants to become bilingual to support patients for whom English is a second language.
Why It’s Beneficial to Be Bilingual in the Medical Field
A medical assistant can expect to see dozens of patients on a daily basis. Even smaller and quieter offices have quite a patient flow, so it is only a matter of time before the medical assistant meets with someone who doesn’t speak English fluently.
The changing demographic in the United States is also seeing a rise in non-English speaking residents, giving medical assistants all the more reason to learn a new language to help these patients.
The reason it is important to speak a different language is so the medical assistant can explain medical procedures to the patient being seen. Otherwise, Information can be lost in translation.
If the patient doesn’t understand English, he/she can become confused and frustrated while receiving medical treatment. The patient might not understand how to use certain medications because of the language barrier. Despite not understanding medical staff, patients still deserve high-quality medical care.
It will be a medical assistant’s job to communicate with patients to help them understand their diagnosis, medical treatment, and anything discussed at the appointment. The doctor may want the medical assistant to be in the exam room to help translate.
By providing the patient with proper medical care in terminology that they can understand, the medical assistant will feel a great sense of accomplishment and be an integral part of the medical office.
What It Means for the Medical Assistant
When medical assistants speak two or more languages, they may find that they are able to secure jobs quicker than non-bilingual medical assistants. It’s a skill that not only benefits the patients who are being seen but benefits the doctors, as well. It also supports the office when providing care, insurance, payments, and procedures. Medical assistants may even find that they are able to earn more because of this extra skill set that they bring to the table.
Do you have what it takes to become a medical assistant? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field?
The Medical Assistant program at Hunter Business School prepares competent, entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains required for professional practice.
The Medical Assistant program provides hands-on experience in a real medical setting where you can foster professional relationships with actual patients. Medical Assistant students spend 160 hours in an externship in an actual medical work environment where they are supervised and taught in order to gain valuable on-the-job training.
Contact us today to find out more about how to become a medical assistant on Long Island.
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