Last night I had the last class with my fall semester Medical Spanish class.  My experience prior to this class with medical Spanish consisted of the work I did as an interpreter at a local Early Childhood center with the nurse there.  I love learning new things and expanding my Spanish vocabulary, so I was very excited to offer this new class last August.  We used McGraw Hill’s Complete Medical Spanish textbook for the class, and I would use it again.  Each chapter offers a TON of useful vocabulary for the medical field, great dialogues to read and practice the vocabulary, and the authors introduce grammar concepts in a very organized and understandable manner.  What I liked most about this text is that each chapter contained adequate information and instruction for many different levels of speakers–enough basic instruction and vocabulary that beginners could start using simple phrases right away, yet also tons of vocabulary and cultural tid-bits for those who speak fluently to learn more and improve their interaction with Spanish-speaking patients.  If you work in the medical field, sign up for the next Medical Spanish class coming JANUARY!!  

Not only did I get to see a fine group of nurses and medical assistants go away each week having learned something new, I also learned things each week.  This list highlights the Top 5things I learned from this awesome class:

Medical Spanish class Fall 2012

1.  There are a lot of cognates (words that sound similar in different languages) between English and Spanish in the medical field…probably because we derive many of our medical terms from Latin (but what do I know?)  Like:
hallucination =
recuperation =
constipation =
contusion =
laceration =
irritation =
secretion =
maternity =
contagious =
infectious =
immunization =
hematology =
radiology =
neurology =
epilepsy =
therapy =
2.  Using certain phrases, you can communicate A LOT in the medical field without having to learn how to conjugate verbs—which is awesome for Spanish beginners.  (For example: favor de + the infinitive = a great way to give commands without having to learn the Imperative Mood.)

3.   Nurses are really smart (and they care a lot too).

4.  Culture plays a huge role in communication, diagnosis, and treatment.

5.  I should have paid attention better in high school biology and anatomy.