9 Medical Specialist Jobs in the U.S. That Pay More to Be Bilingual
Traveling to a foreign country is exciting and educational beyond words! But, have you ever been abroad and needed to see a doctor? This is overwhelming and can be downright frightening especially if the local doctors and nurses don’t understand or speak your language. It is getting easier to communicate via online translator websites such as Google Translate, but these are sometimes highly inaccurate. For example, you may want to thank someone for helping you and Google Translate tells you to say, “Gracias por ayundandome,” which is incorrect. It should be “Gracias por ayudarme.”
What’s more, Google Translate is utterly useless if you’re abroad and you suddenly need help understanding cultural differences in a medical context. If you don’t know what is going on or being said during a doctor visit, then you are likely to feel uneasy and uncomfortable.
The same experience applies to a non-English speaking person in the United States who requires help from a medical specialist. Things are done differently in other countries, and if you are ill it is extremely overwhelming not to understand what is being said or why things are being done in a certain way.
These above scenarios can apply whether you are a patient or a medical professional. As a medical specialist, it is important to understand where the patient is coming from so that you can learn empathy and relate to the individuals you are helping.
Read on to learn the Top Medical Specialist jobs in the United States and how being bilingual can give you an advantage in relating to your patients as well as give you a possible increase in salary.
Medical Professionals Help People in Unique Ways
In the medical field, it is not only about treating illness and administering medicine. A huge part of the job is showing empathy for your patients and making them feel comfortable and safe. The first step in doing this is speaking your patient’s verbal and cultural language. For example, some Asian cultures prefer hot water with meals and medication, or tea throughout the day. In order to provide comfort to your patient, it is important to understand culturally-appropriate care and be culturally competent.
Why Spanish for the Medical Specialist?
The need for Spanish-speaking professions is increasing as the Latinx population in the United States is growing. According to the US Census Bureau, as of July 2018, 18.1% of Americans are of Hispanic or Latino descent and there are 41 million Spanish-speakers in the USA. The United States Census Bureau defines “hispanic” as, “the heritage, nationality, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before arriving in the United States. People who identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be any race.”
The need for Spanish is evident by the amount of Spanish media as well as options for an interpreter. When calling a doctor’s office, the first thing you hear after an English introduction is presione dos para comunicarse con una persona en español.
It Pays to Be Bilingual
In our blog post Top 5 Jobs That Pay More to Bilinguals, I shared how one study reveals that 74% of US hospitals serve patients who speak English as a foreign language. Of those hospitals, 15% offer financial incentives to doctors and staff for knowing a foreign language and, of these, three-quarters offer base salary increases ranging from $20 extra per hour, or bonuses up to $500. In other words, bilingual medical specialists are statistically more likely to be paid far more than their monolingual colleagues.
Generally, it is more cost-effective for a hospital or clinic to have bilingual staff on hand than to pay for a third-party interpreter. Bilingual staff will also allow medical specialists to serve more of the population in a meaningful way.
Let’s look at top Medical Specialist Jobs in the United States where being bilingual gives you a greater advantage!
Top Medical Specialist Jobs in the USA
These jobs have been identified by USA Today as having a higher than average median salary, anticipated job growth in 2020, and an ability to maintain a good work-life balance.
Genetic testing is becoming more popular as people are wanting to find out what is in their family history and make preemptive decisions about preventative measures. Employment is expected to increase 27% by 2028, adding 800 jobs.
The dental field has made connections between dental health and overall physical health for years. As a dental hygienist, you support the dentist and spend more time with patients than they do, through teeth cleanings and preventative care. Employment is expected to grow 11% by 2028, adding 23,700 jobs.
These doctors perform eye exams, evaluate eye health, and correct impaired vision. As people are living longer lives and eyesight health declines with age, this is in increasing demand. Employment is expected to increase 10% by 2028, adding 4,000 jobs.
As a PT, you can specialize in geriatrics, pediatrics or orthopedics. People are learning the benefit of early diagnosis and strength training to assist with rehabilitation and build stronger muscles. Employment is expected to grow 22% by 2028, adding 54,200 jobs.
5. Registered Nurse (RN)
RN’s support doctors and play an integral role in keeping patients comfortable during times of illness. They typically have more interaction with patients than the doctors themselves! Employment in this field is expected to jump 12% by 2028, adding 371,500 jobs.
6. Nurse Practitioner (NP)
NP’s differ from RN’s because they have more autonomy (this can vary depending on the State, yet 23 states allow them to work independently). NP’s perform some duties that a physician/doctor can do, such as see their own patients, order labs, write prescriptions, and authorize treatments, to name but a few. Employment is expected to increase 28% by 2028, adding 53,300 jobs.
7. Physician Assistant (PA)
PA’s practice under a doctor’s supervision. They have important roles in diagnosing illnesses, as well as developing and prescribing treatment plans. This position is similar to a general internist or doctor, yet they can’t operate independently like an NP can. Employment is expected to increase 31.1% by 2028, adding 37,000 jobs.
These professionals manage complex institutions such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes to ensure they are operating in accordance with the latest standards and regulations. They also develop budgets, hire staff, and seek ways to continually improve efficiency. Employment is expected to increase 18% by 2028, adding 71,600 jobs.
These medical specialists work with children and adults of various backgrounds. They assist kids who need a jump-start on speech as well as those who have medical conditions or are injured. Additionally, they help people who have difficulty enunciating words, swallowing, or articulating language. Employment is expected to grow 27% by 2028, adding 41,900 jobs.
Useful Vocabulary for Medical Professionals
Let’s start by learning the basics so you can speak to patients with confidence.
|How are you feeling?||¿Cómo se siente?|
|How are you doing?||¿Cómo sigue?|
|How can I help you?||¿En qué le puedo servir?|
|How are you?||¿Cómo está?|
|What is your name?||¿Cómo se llama?|
|What is your last name?||¿Cuál es su apellido?|
|How old are you?||¿Cuántos años tiene?|
|I’m sorry||Lo siento|
|Do you have insurance?||¿Tiene seguro médico?|
|May I see your insurance card?||¿Me presta su tarjeta de seguro médico?|
|How much do you weigh?||¿Cuánto pesa?|
|How tall are you?||¿Cuánto mide?|
|What hurts?||¿Qué le duele?|
|What’s wrong?||¿Qué pasa?|
|Do you have any allergies?||¿Tiene alguna alergia?|
|Do you have a fever?||¿Tiene fiebre?|
|Are you bleeding?||¿Está sangrando?|
|Are you in pain?||¿Tiene dolor?|
|That’s all for now||Sería todo por ahora.|
|Take a seat||Tome asiento.|
|See you tomorrow||Hasta mañana.|
|See you later||Hasta luego.|
|See you then||Hasta entonces.|
|Have a good day/Be well||Que le vaya bien.|
Don’t stop here! The article Spanish Vocabulary in the Workplace will teach you the top 20 essential business vocabulary words and useful key phrases to increase your confidence in speaking Spanish in a medical or business setting!
Homeschool Spanish Academy offers personalized classes that fit your busy schedule. Practice with a native Spanish-speaker in Guatemala today!
Want to learn medical Spanish? Check out these posts!
I began studying Spanish at age 11 and have been interested in language and culture ever since! While at university, I studied abroad in Spain and Costa Rica and got a B.A. in Environmental Economics with a minor in Spanish. After spending over a decade in corporate America, I now enjoy the simpler things in life. ¡Pura Vida!
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