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Have you ever met a superhero? You’re probably shaking your head now because you haven’t met one and you simply don’t think that they exist. People who work in public health careers are actually superheroes! They help people get better, save lives, bring babies into this world, and they fix what’s wrong with our bodies. If you’re one of those who have given their time and effort to the medical field, the world salutes you!

Working in this particular area is not an easy task as it entails meeting a lot of different people. It’s important to be able to speak other languages in order to cater to both the patients and their families better. As countries become more culturally diverse because of better opportunities and easy accessibility, there is a greater need to understand others.

Out of the 7,000 languages that the world knows, the majority of the population speaks one of the 23 major languages. If you’re thinking of learning another language, here are the top 10 languages that you should learn:

1. English

2. Chinese/Mandarin

3. Spanish

4. Japanese

5. German

6. Russian

7. French

8. Arabic

9. Hindi

10. Portuguese

If you’re still not convinced to take up lessons in languages, here are the top 4 benefits of learning another language as you navigate the medical field.

4 Benefits of Learning Another Language

Learning another language will make you a better communicator

Anxious patients and relatives who flock the emergency room are understandably distraught and sometimes even in a state of panic. As health professionals, it’s important that the scenarios and diagnoses are explained to them in the clearest way possible. This might be a problem if you’re not able to speak their native language. Knowing the patient’s own language also lessens the risk of misinterpretation.

Knowing the native language helps provide a more comfortable experience to the patient. It provides a level of comfort and camaraderie that might help the patient get through the difficult times. Empathy is a needed skill in this field, and this is better felt by patients who understand what you’re saying in their own language. Likewise, when you’re able to understand the patient, you can better assess the needs and the pain of the patient to optimize the medications and care they need.

It encourages cultural appreciation

When you learn more about the culture of others, you appreciate them more. Working in the medical field, this gives you greater insights into their history, habits, beliefs, eating habits, celebrations/festivals, and other such aspects. All this can come into play when understanding the medical history of your patient and understanding his body.

It makes your brain stronger

Learning a second, third, and even a fourth language serves as a great workout for your brain. The exercise makes your brain stronger. Stronger brains have increased intelligence which keeps the mind sharp and alert. Studies have also shown that bilingual people have better cognitive abilities as opposed to those who speak only one language. Multilingual people are better at planning, decision making, and multi-tasking. They have a better memory and exhibit greater mental flexibility.

These are all good qualities to have as a medical professional. With these qualities, you’ll be able to greatly excel in your job and provide your patients with the best possible care. Moreover, you become more equipped in dealing with other aspects of your life.

It opens more career opportunities for you

Healthcare professionals who know a second or more languages are nowadays in great demand.

Did you know that one of the top 15 fastest growing occupations today in the United States is translators and interpreters? You become an invaluable asset to a company when you have this skill in your resume. Being multilingual also opens you up to more diverse roles that you can take advantage of. Some hospitals prefer hiring bilingual staff because it allows them to cater properly to a wider audience. Also, it doesn’t hurt that bilinguals earn at least 5-20% more than others who are not.

Conclusion

Superheroes don’t always wear capes. Sometimes they wear scrubs suits and face masks. They often have a stethoscope. They may even speak different languages. There are great benefits to be reaped from learning a second language. It makes you a better communicator, encourages greater cultural appreciation of others, makes your brain more robust, and opens up better career opportunities. The world needs more people like you and for all that you do, we will always be grateful. We say thank you in all the different languages possible.


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