An American Health Care Worker Says Immigrant Caregivers (Certified Or Not) Can't Really Understand English
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Re James Fulford's article Why Immigrant Caregivers Are Not The Answer To Coronavirus Crisis—15 Minority Hospital Rapists In 5 Years

From: An American Healthcare Worker [Email her]

I am a med-tech with several alphabet soup qualifications behind my name. What I have seen is that many immigrants in the care field "speak English," but have no real understanding of the language or what they are being told!

At best the more conscientious come to one of us and say "Please go to this person...there is some problems". When you're not looking at the best...

Coming to one of us English speakers and reporting a problem that we can follow up on is the best case scenario in the people that appear to really care. It is not the norm, although I have known some. Health care has become a for-profit business and hiring at the lowest wage possible the norm.

What we are now dealing with—as horrible as it my be to those of us who care—is the end result. Hiring skilled people who have the same culture and language at a living wage would solve the problem.

James Fulford writes: We ran a letter a few years ago by Paul Nachman which described his experience with Filipino nurses in a Montana hospital where he'd been having some surgery. He reported that in least one case, he had no idea what his nurse was saying:

nearly all the nurses I saw during my post-op period were foreign-born, primarily Filipinos.  And they were perfectly pleasant

But I vividly recall that with one of them communication was nearly impossible.  Was she giving me an instruction?  Was she asking me a question?  I couldn't tell!

Apparently, it's a civil right to communicate in a foreign language at work, and also a civil right to speak English with a very bad accent. [Reasonable Doubts: Say What? Civil rights enforcers go after "accent discrimination." by Walter Olson, Reason Magazine, November 1997] Yes, it may kill people, but as I've remarked before, in general civil rights law doesn't care if you die.

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