Common Spanish Phrases Nurses Need to Know

There’s more than one good reason to pick up a few common spanish phrases as a nurse.

For one, it’s going to make your resume stand out when the hiring team sees “minimal Spanish skills” on your CV. But beyond bolstering your credentials, it’s important to know that, especially along the border states and throughout the South West and West coast, there’s a real need for some basic Spanish fluency.

Despite how compassionate and caring of a nurse you are, hospitals and dealing with ailments are a precarious thing. Patients can feel distressed, anxious, and disconnected in hospitals, especially if they are non-native English speakers.

A little bit of Spanish will not only have a practical function--being able to communicate at some level with your patients--it will also ease their nerves and help them feel more comfortable and understood. Even if you aren’t having fully fluent conversations with your patients, a little bit of an effort to connect with them in their native language will go a long way in comforting them.

Below are some common spanish phrases nurses need to know.

Introductory Spanish Phrases for Nurses

  • Hello, my name is ______. I’ll be your nurse.
  • Hola, me llamo ______. Soy su enfermera.
  • What’s your name?
  • Como se llamo?
  • How are you today?
  • Como esta hoy?
  • Can you speak English?
  • Habla ingles?
  • I speak a little Spanish.
  • Hablo un poco de espanol.

Basic Spanish Examination Phrases for Nurses

  • Are you in Pain?
  • Tiene dolor?
  • Can you point to the pain?
  • Puede mostrarme dónde siente dolor?
  • Please stand up. Please sit down.
  • Parese, por favor. Sientese, por favor.
  • Inhale. Exhale. Breathe deeply.
  • Aspire. Exhale. Respire profundamente.
  • I’m going to take your temperature.
  • Le voy a tomar su temperatura.

Spanish Phrases for Patients in your Care

  • Are you hungry or thirsty?
  • Quiere usted algo de tomar o tiene hambre?
  • Do you need to use the bathroom?
  • Necesita usar el baño?
  • Use the call light if you need help.
  • Use el botón para ayuda.
  • It’s time to take your medicine.
  • Es hora de tomar su medicina.
  • I’ll be back in a moment.
  • Regreso en un momento.

Other Useful Spanish Phrases for Nurses

  • You can go home today.
  • Puede ir a casa hoy.
  • Do you have any family that you want us to call?
  • Usted tiene algún familiar a quien podamos llamar?
  • Do you want to take a shower?
  • Quiere banarse?
  • Ask for help before you get up.
  • Llame antes de levantarse.
  • Do you feel lightheaded/ dizzy?
  • Se siente mareado?

Final Thoughts: Spanish Phrases for Nurses

Even if you utilize only some of the above phrases, your patients are sure to be thankful and comforted by the effort. Memorize what you can, take the list in as a cheat sheet, and expand your capabilities and level of care as a nurse with this simple phrase guide. If you plan on working as a per diem nurse, then chances are you’re going to run into clinics that have different patient demographics and patient-care needs. Being prepared for whatever comes your way, including language barriers, will prepare you for any challenges in the future. Medely is designed to help nurses create the work-life balance they’re seeking. With Medely, you can book per diem shifts on your schedule, take control of your week, and get a boost to your pay. Sign up with Medely for free today.

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