Need some help with clinic stuff

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I have a few things I want to say to patients

Say I go to the ER and I want to tell my patient "I am going to take you for your Ultrasound," would I want to say "Voy a TOMARte para su ulltrasonido" ? Is tomar the correct verb to use there? I get confused with the "take" verbs. Speaking of take, what verb should I use for "This will take about (such n such) minutes" or "This won't take long" ?

Also, what is the better direct object pronoun there instead of "te"? I'm trying to get better with using the formal, is it "Le" or "Se" or what?

And how do I go about explaining something like "If I don't find your problem with this test, you may need another, like an X-ray"? (Si no encuentro su problema con este examen, puede ser que necesita un otro, como un rayo-x''')

2615 views
updated JUL 19, 2008
posted by Ashlita

9 Answers

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Whenever I have visited Latin America, I have only found sweetest patients who are always appreciative of my knowledge of their language. On the contrary they feel more relaxed once they know that I can understand Spanish.
And speaking of using tú or usted, I personally refer my elder patients as usted and young to middle aged ones as tú. It doesn't matter if your are examining the patient closely or not (at least this is what my L American experience tells me)
The patients don't give a damn about the doctor's color unless they get diagnosed properly by the doctor (unless of course if the patient is a racist)

updated JUL 19, 2008
posted by giti
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I've only had limited contact with doctors in Spanish, and never in the context of ultrasound, so I'll let others answer whether they usually use formal or informal speech, but I will say that I don't think it matters either way at your level. As you said, your patients will be so glad just to hear Spanish at all, and they won't expect perfection anyway. In the context of health care, I think using the correct vocabulary is far more important than using the correct formality or verb conjugation.

updated JUL 18, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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But keep in mind that in Spanish, using the formal form doesn't just make the speech more polite, but also puts emotional distance between the two parties. People who hate each other will often hablar de usted for this reason.

Thanks, I didn't realize the emotional distance thing. I just don't want to offend anybody, but they're usually so glad I speak their language at all that I guess that wouldn't be a big deal if I use informal. I just usually stress myself out trying to use the "correct" verb form and jump back and forth cuz I'm only so-so sometimes.

Since ultrasound is a very close to the person, touching on the person type thing would you then say it's ok to use informal if that's what I'm more comfortable with? I just hate for them to think I'm some stupid white girl using their language wrong, sometimes I get soooo self conscious.

updated JUL 18, 2008
posted by Ashlita
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Also, what is the better direct object pronoun there instead of "te"? I'm trying to get better with using the formal, is it "Le" or "Se" or what'

Whether to use formal or informal speech will depend on the relationship between the doctor and patient, their ages, and so forth. But keep in mind that in Spanish, using the formal form doesn't just make the speech more polite, but also puts emotional distance between the two parties. People who hate each other will often hablar de usted for this reason.

That said, if you are talking about direct object pronouns, the formal equivalents of te are neither le nor se, but rather la and lo. "Mucho gusto en conocerla" means "It's nice to meet you," with the la referring to a woman. However, there are probably few occasions for a doctor to use a direct object pronoun to refer to a patient. Most times it would be an indirect object pronoun.

updated JUL 17, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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¡¡Naturalmente!!

hacer una eco...eso es!!!

(voy a borrar mi mensaje....demasido tonto, jeje)

updated JUL 17, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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Notes:

The term "rayos X" is not written with an initial capital letter.

Also, I don't know in Mexico, but in Spain ecografía (ultrasonography or echography) is more common. Technically speaking, you don't "take an ultrasound" or "sacar un ultrasonido". The ultrasounds are the high frequency (above 22 KHz) sound waves used, among other things, to monitor the foetus. The test is called ultrasound scan.

Ecografía seems to be used in Mexico too:

http://ciberhabitat.gob.mx/hospital/ecografia/

updated JUL 17, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Heidi, don't fall for that like I did not long ago, by using a word-by-word translation from English. In Spain most people would say "...hacer una ecografía", and not "sacar un ultrasonido", even though the word "ultrasonido" exists.

updated JUL 17, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Thank-you all for your help.

updated JUL 17, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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"I am going to take you for your Ultrasound ---| te voy a llevar a sacar un ultrasonido.
This will take about (such n such) minutes" ---| esto tomará (time) minutos
"This won't take long" -- no tomará mucho tiempo
"If I don't find your problem with this test, you may need another, like an X-ray"? -- Si no encuentro el problema con este examen, podrías necesitar otro, como Rayos Equis (equis if the way you pronounce the letter X)

My dad is a doctor so I know a lot about this terms, and I actually was offered a job as social worker in a bilingual clinic, If you need more help just let me know

updated JUL 16, 2008
posted by Daniela