Recently students in the course Communication and Culture for Health Care Professionals put their Spanish language and intercultural knowledge from the classroom into practice as they worked with mannequins in Madonna University’s on-campus Nursing Simulation Lab. These nursing and health sciences majors are also learning Spanish, some minoring in the language to be prepared for their career as health care professionals.
“Learning a second language like Spanish is an essential skill for those entering the 21st century workforce to be able to communicate effectively with Spanish speakers both in the U.S. and abroad,” said Elizabeth Goulette, Ph.D., assistant professor and program director of the Spanish degree program at Madonna. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2020 the Hispanic population reached 62.1 million in the United States, an increase of 23 percent over the past decade, so the need to communicate with this population is vital, especially in the health care setting.
As part of the exercise in the Simulation Lab, students practiced greeting the patient, taking vital signs, inquiring about symptoms, discussing diagnosis, and treating the patient; all in Spanish. This practical learning application and collaboration between Madonna’s Nursing and Health and Spanish programs instills in students a commitment to serving others with compassion and understanding, and results in career-ready graduates.
“We are providing our students the opportunity to directly apply their education and skill set to make an impact on their patients’ experience,” said Goulette. "Which appropriately aligns with the University mission and values of respecting the dignity of each person and celebrating diversity."
For more information about degrees offered at Madonna University, visit the Program Finder at madonna.edu.