As a nurse working in a large metropolitan medical facility, I am interacting with several languages and cultures. In short, my work atmosphere epitomizes the expression a “melting pot”. Therefore, it is imperative that patients are provided culturally competent care in their native language. In a perfect world, each non-English speaking patient would be provided an interpreter. However, in actuality this is simply a dream. For instance, my medical facility offers interpreters and a language line. Although these are great resources, there is at least a 45-minute delay before one of these resources becomes accessible. So, in critical situations, it is vital that I communicate quickly and effectively with my patients. One night, I was assigned a patient that spoke French, and the prior shift had difficulty communicating since they had been waitlisted for a translator and language line. Fortunately, I had an app called Talking Translator on my IPhone that I used while I was traveling abroad. Initially, when I walked in my patient’s room, the family appeared anxious and fearful. So, I introduced myself in French. Fortunately, I could remember a couple of phrases that I studied in high school. Thankfully, this shown to be a much-needed icebreaker, and it put the patient and the family at ease. Then, I expressed I would use my phone to help me communicate with them. This app is amazing since it allowed 2-way communication between the patient and me. Moreover, the app’s technology utilizes voice and text commands that are user friendly. Ultimately, I am certain that app is a staple tool for all nurses.
What are your favorite apps in your nursing arsenal?