Medical Spanish for Nurses

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Medical Spanish for Nurses

SKU# 9780826132949

A Self-Teaching Guide

Author: Soledad Traverso PhD, Laurie Urraro PhD, Patty McMahon PhD, CRNP



Designed for those with no previous experience speaking Spanish, this guide provides nurses, other medical professionals, and students with the tools to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients. Online audio is available to provide correct pronunciation and prepare learners for a wide array of medical situations. Using a step-by-step approach with plenty of examples, the text enables readers to quickly develop their Spanish knowledge. Question and response scenarios, vocabulary quizzes, anatomy identifi cation, summary exercises, and dialogue reinforce and expedite learning.

Chapters provide appropriate Spanish vocabulary, terminology, and expressions commonly used in health care interactions--as well as likely patient responses--to prepare readers for conversational Spanish. Key sections enable readers to speak with confi dence while taking a patient's history, assessing pain, conducting a physical assessment, and talking about nutrition and pediatric and adult illnesses. Tips on cultural competence are featured throughout, culminating in a comprehensive chapter on transcultural nursing and the impact of culture, belief systems, and social norms on health care delivery to diverse Spanish-speaking populations.

Key Features:

  • Requires no previous knowledge of Spanish
  • Focuses on Spanish words and phrases needed in common health care interactions with patients
  • Includes multiple interactive print and audio exercises to enhance learning
  • Gives print and audio examples of common patient responses
  • Includes examples of common conversations between health care professionals and patients
  • Provides scripted dialogues for conducting a complete history and physical exam, performing gynecological exams, and teaching scenarios for fetal development, pregnancy, breast exams, testicular exams, and contraception

Product Details 

  • Publication Date October 14, 2016
  • Page Count 336
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826132949

About The Author(s) 

Soledad Traverso, PhD, is a professor of Spanish at Penn State Behrend, located in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she has taught since 1996. She is also the program chair for foreign languages. Dr. Traverso instructs students at all levels, from introductory to advanced courses. A native of Chile, she has written extensively about South American literature and has published books and articles about authors from her home country. In 2013, Dr. Traverso and Laurie Urraro cotaught a medical Spanish continuing-education course for health care providers at St. Vincent Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, which became the foundation for this work. As a result of her commitment to providing health care professionals in the Erie community with the ability to speak medical Spanish and the tremendous success of this course, Dr. Traverso received the Distinguished Award for Excellence in Outreach by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend. Dr. Traverso and Dr. Patty Pasky McMahon teach "Conversational Spanish for Future Health Care Providers" at Penn State Behrend's nursing program, which has become a highly sought-after course among students.

Laurie Urraro, PhD is a full-time lecturer of Spanish at Penn State Behrend, Erie, PA. Her areas of study include contemporary female-authored Spanish drama, specifically through the lens of sex and sexuality, as well as feminist and LGBTQ issues in contemporary Spanish drama. Current projects include a co-authored bilingual children's book about a trans individual, and a bilingual collection and analysis of contemporary female-authored Spanish plays.

Patty Pasky McMahon, PhD, CRNP, has been in active practice as a family nurse practitioner for over 30 years and has experience in rural health, occupational medicine, women’s health, primary care, and college health. She is the Director of the Health and Wellness Center at Penn State Behrend as well as a Professor at Gannon University. Dr. McMahon wrote the curriculum for the family nurse practitioner program at Gannon and teaches in this program as well as the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She teaches Conversational Spanish for Future Health Care Providers at Penn State Behrend College’s Nursing program with Soledad Traverso, PhD. She holds multiple professional licenses and certifications. Dr. McMahon has been awarded several government grants and received multiple honors and awards. She has been a primary reviewer of a forensic textbook and has authored several articles. Dr. McMahon has been an invited presenter at many national and regional professional conferences.

Table of Contents 


Foreword Robert Magrisso, MD


About the Audio



1. The Alphabet, Salutations, and Basic Medical Phrases

Spanish alphabet, greetings, and forming basic medical phrases / El alfabeto español, los saludos, y la formación básica de frases en el ámbito de la medicina

Spanish alphabet / El alfabeto español

Pronunciation of medical acronyms / Pronunciación de siglas médicas

Specific sounds / Sonidos específicos: “C,” “G,” “J,” “H,” “Y”

Medical Spanish–English word equivalents / Palabras similares en español y en inglés en el ámbito de la medicina

Patient greetings / Cómo saludar al paciente

Referring to patients and patient items / Cómo referirse a los pacientes y artículos relacionados a los pacientes

Essential verbs for patient care / Verbos esenciales para el cuidado del paciente

Forming medical questions in Spanish / Cómo formular preguntas en español en el ámbito de la medicina

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Reading: Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing / Lectura: Florence Nightingale, fundadora de la enfermería moderna

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

2. Basic Anatomy

Applying basic anatomy to medical scenarios / Anatomía aplicada a escenarios en el ámbito de la medicina

Vocabulary: Anatomy of the body / Vocabulario: Anatomía del cuerpo

Interpretation of patients’ health status and pain response / Interpretación de la condición de salud del paciente y de su dolor

Using Spanish medical phrases to comprehend patients’ pain / Frases para interpretar el nivel de dolor de los pacientes

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Reading: Baruj Benacerraf, immunologist / Lectura: Baruj Benacerraf, inmunólogo

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

3. Essential Verbs

Essential verbs frequently used in health care / Verbos esenciales usados frecuentemente en el área de la medicina

Verbs used to address patient needs (-ar, -er, -ir verbs) / Verbos usados en el cuidado del paciente (verbos -ar, -er, -ir)

Verbs used to describe the patient’s daily routine and related vocabulary: Reflexive verbs / Verbos para describir la rutina diaria del paciente y el vocabulario relacionado: Verbos reflexivos

Irregular verbs: “to go” and “to give” / Verbos irregulares: “ir” y “dar”

Spanish verbs used to indicate patient actions in the future and the recent past / Verbos utilizados en español para indicar acciones del paciente en el futuro y el pasado reciente

Verbs to indicate patient needs / Verbos para indicar las necesidades de los pacientes

Verbs that express patient capabilities / Verbos que expresan lo que el paciente puede no puede hacer

Verbs that express patient knowledge of people, places, and information / Verbos que expresan lo que el paciente “sabe” o “conoce” respecto a gente, lugares, e información

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Reading: Bernardo Houssay, studies related to treatment of diabetes / Lectura: Bernardo Houssay, sus estudios relacionados con el tratamiento de la diabetes

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

4. Time and Numbers

Patient orientation to time and numerical expressions related to patient care / Orientación del paciente respecto al tiempo y expresiones numéricas relacionadas al cuidado del paciente

Numbers in Spanish / Los números en español

Use of “hay” (there is/there are) in descriptions of quantity related to patient needs / Uso de “hay” en descripciones de cantidad relacionadas a la necesidad del paciente

Number one and indefinite articles / El número uno y los artículos indefinidos

What time is it? / ¿Qué hora es?

Calendar / El calendario

Using colors in descriptions / Uso de los colores en las descripciones

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Reading: Clara Barton, a female pioneer who believed in the rights of women and in humanitarian causes / Lectura: Clara Barton, Una mujer pionera que cree en los derechos de la mujer y en las causas humanitarias

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

5. Getting to Know the Patient: Family, Diet, Preferences, and More

Spanish expressions related to the patient’s family, diet, commands, and preferences used in patient care / Expresiones en español relacionadas con la familia, la dieta, mandatos y preferencias utilizadas en el cuidado del paciente

Patients and their relationship to the family / Los pacientes y la relación con su familia

Essential Spanish expressions used to address patient nutritional needs / Expresiones esenciales usadas para tratar las necesidades de nutrición del paciente

Spanish expressions for instructing the patient / Expresiones en español para darle indicaciones al paciente

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Reading: Jean Henri Dunant, humanitarian / Lectura: Jean Henri Dunant, humanitario

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

6. Spanish Phrases Commonly Used in Patient Care

Idioms: Basic Spanish grammatical expressions used in patient care / Modismos: Expresiones básicas de gramática en español utilizadas en el cuidado del paciente

Using the past tense to determine the patient’s current health status / Uso del pasado para determinar el estado de salud actual del paciente

To whom or for whom things are done: Use of indirect object pronouns in conversation with Spanish-speaking patients / Para quién es algo o a quién se le hace algo: El uso del complemento indirecto en conversaciones con pacientes hispanohablantes

The use of demonstratives (“this,” “that,” “these,” “those“) and adverbs of location (“here,” “there”) / El uso de demostrativos (“este,” etc.) y adverbios de lugar (“aquí,” “ahí,” “allí”)

The Spanish use of the double negative / El uso de la doble negación en español

Use of the prepositions“por” and “para” (“for” and “in order to”) in patient care / Uso de las preposiciones “por” y “para” en el cuidado del paciente

Expressing subjective opinions, desires, emotions, doubts, necessities in Spanish: The subjunctive mood / Cómo expresar opiniones subjetivas, deseos, emociones, dudas, necesidades en español: El subjuntivo

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Reading: Severo Ochoa, Spanish physician and biochemist / Lectura: Severo Ochoa, médico y bioquímico español

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas


7. Patient Assessment

Patient history and nursing assessment / Historial del paciente y valoración del paciente

Nursing history and assessment of the Spanish-speaking patient / Historial y valoración del paciente hispanohablante

Medical supplies and equipment / Material médico y equipo médico

Common medical conditions and related vocabulary / Lista de condiciones médicas frecuentes y vocabulario relacionado

Useful patient care expressions / Expresiones útiles para el cuidado del paciente

Essential Spanish vocabulary for patient care / Vocabulario importante en español en el cuidado del paciente

Attending to patients in urgent situations / Cómo atender a pacientes en situaciones de emergencia

Attending to noncritical patients / Cómo atender a pacientes en situaciones no críticas

Reading: Alfredo Quiñones, neurosurgeon / Lectura: Alfredo Quiñones, neurocirujano

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

8. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Contraception

The nurse’s guide to pregnancy, babies, and children / Guía para la atención de mujeres embarazadas, bebés, y niños

Vocabulary related to pregnancy, babies, and children / Vocabulario relacionado al nacimiento, a los bebés y a los niños

Intake questions for the expectant mother / Preguntas preliminares para la mujer embarazada

Attending to the woman in labor / Cómo asistir a la mujer embarazada

Childbirth education for the expectant mother / Educación para la mujer embarazada

Basics of conception and contraception / Aspectos básicos de la concepción y contraconcepción

Diminutives and related expressions / los diminutivos y expresiones relacionadas

Reading: Jonas Edward Salk, physician and virologist / Lectura: Jonas Edward Salk, médico y virólogo

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

9. Assessment for the Advanced Health Care Provider

Specifics for the advanced health care provider / Detalles específicos para advanced health care provider

Vocabulary for the advanced practitioner / Vocabulario para advanced practitioner

Obtaining the episodic health history / Guía para obtener una historia clínica episódica

The complete health history / Historia completa la salud

The complete physical examination / Examen físico completo

Guide to the pelvic examination / Guía para el examen pélvico

Teaching the male testicular self-examination / Cómo enseñar un autoexamen testicular

Teaching the breast self-examination / Cómo enseñar el autoexamen de los pechos

Reading: Doctors Without Borders / Lectura: Medecins Sans Frontiers

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

10. Beyond Language: Transcultural Assessment of the Spanish-Speaking Patient

The role of transcultural nursing and the care of the Spanish-speaking patient / El rol de la enfermería transcultural y el cuidado del paciente hispanohablante

Brief cultural assessment / Breve evaluación cultural

Introduction to a variety of traditional Latin American foods / Introducción a una variedad de comidas latinoamericanas

Transcultural overview of the main cultural regions of Latin America / Visión transcultural de las principales regiones culturales en Latino América

Reading: Madeleine Leininger, creator of transcultural nursing / Lectura: Madeleine Leininger, creadora de la enfermería transcultural

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas


11. Summary Review Exercises

Conversational spanish: “Putting it all together” / Expresión oral en español: “juntando todas las piezas”

Review activities Chapter 1 / Actividades de repaso Capítulo 1

Review activities Chapter 2 / Actividades de repaso Capítulo 2

Review activities Chapter 3 / Actividades de repaso Capítulo 3

Review activities Chapter 4 / Actividades de repaso Capítulo 4

Review activities Chapter 5 / Actividades de repaso Capítulo 5

Review activities Chapter 6 / Actividades de repaso Capítulo 6

Reading: Eloisa Díaz, first woman to graduate from medical school in Chile and in Latin America / Lectura: Eloísa Díaz, la primera mujer graduada de la escuela de medicina en Chile y en Latinoamérica

Idiomatic expressions / Expresiones idiomáticas

12. Answers to Review Activities and Chapter Summary Exercises

Answers to Chapter 1 review activities and summary exercise / Respuestas a las actividades de repaso del Capítulo 1 y al ejercicio a modo de resumen

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Answers to Chapter 2 review activities and summary exercise / Respuestas a las actividades de repaso del Capítulo 2 y al ejercicio a modo de resumen

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Answers to Chapter 3 review activities and summary exercise / Respuestas a las actividades de repaso del Capítulo 3 y al ejercicio a modo de resumen

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Answers to Chapter 4 review activities and summary exercise / Respuestas a las actividades de repaso del Capítulo 4 y al ejercicio a modo de resumen

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Answers to Chapter 5 review activities and summary exercise / Respuestas a las actividades de repaso del Capítulo 5 y al ejercicio a modo de resumen

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

Answers to Chapter 6 review activities and summary exercise / Respuestas a las actividades de repaso del Capítulo 6 y al ejercicio a modo de resumen

Summary exercise / Ejercicio a modo de resumen

English–Spanish Index

Spanish–English Index