Julianna Tierney

Nursing Major

"I definitely believe understanding and speaking Spanish help me be a better nurse. There is a substantial increase in the number of Spanish-speaking patients with whom I come in contact. Our local hospitals have taken huge steps to attempt to accommodate these patients with language lines and printed material in Spanish. The problem with this approach is that a great part of nursing is about comfort and healing. I think that a certain amount of empathy and compassion is lost by ways of these resources. When I communicate with patients in their native language, there is an increased sense of comfort and trust that occurs. Even if my Spanish is not exact, patients respond very well to my attempt. In a serious and sometimes scary atmosphere, I can afford a sense of comfort and familiarity to patients and even to their families that may otherwise be lost. To a certain degree, I feel that there is even an increased sense of trust that often occurs. My role as a healthcare worker is heightened due to the fact that the patient can better relate to my position through the common bond of language."