First, I would like to apologize for not posting last week. At the moment, we are hard at work on a couple of new studies that will hopefully benefit all teachers and learners of medical Spanish. In this post and in next week´s, I would like to share a little bit about our projects. Also, if any readers would like to participate by taking one of the surveys we our conducting, we would be most grateful. This week, I will start by presenting our survey that forms part of our study on reference materials.
To give a bit of context, in 2013 I conducted a study that demonstrated that not only do Latino patients use lexical variants when speaking in Spanish in the medical setting but that many of the variants they use are neither taught in Spanish for medical professionals courses nor do they appear in many manuals or dictionaries. This can then give rise to communication problems, which have been proven to result in poorer health outcomes, reduced compliance, loss of patient trust and satisfaction and the significant loss of time in clinic as the provider attempts to resolve the misunderstanding. Given the short time available in clinic and the importance of understanding, it is imperative that resource materials be designed to allow for clear and efficient consults while also being easily incorporated into the medical interview setting without losing the personal connection. With this in mind, we are studying the Spanish reference resources which medical professionals currently use in the clinic setting in order to better understand their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Our hope is to propose a model for a technological resource which is not only comprehensive in terms of content but which also meets the needs of professionals in the clinic setting, allowing for the rapid and precise clarification of doubts and misunderstandings, while interrupting the flow of communication as little as possible.
Thus, in order to be able to have a full understanding of the current resources used as well as their advantages and disadvantages for the user, we are conducting an online survey. If anyone is interested in helping us by taking the survey, please let me know either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via a comment on this blog post.
With your help, we hope that our work will result in a tool that is useful and helps improve in-clinic communication. The final results will be presented in the 32nd Conference of the Spanish Association of Applied Linguistics in Seville this year.