Over 37 million people in the United States speak Spanish as their native language and more than 16 million have limited English proficiency. Functional health literacy influences a patient’s ability to read and understand labels on medicine containers, appointment slips, informed-consent documents, and medical instructions – all considered basic health documents that a patient encounters in healthcare settings. At Rutgers University–Camden, health professionals across disciplines can enroll in the following courses designed to prepare them to effectively communicate, treat, and serve Spanish-speaking persons in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices.


Now available online! Details:

940:127 Spanish for the Medical Professions I 3 credits 

This introductory course allows students with no prior knowledge of Spanish the ability to develop communication skills specifically adapted to the health care environment. Participants will acquire basic grammatical structures and vocabulary related to topics such as patient history, symptoms for common ailments, physical conditions, pain scale, diabetes care and emergency response. Students will come away with the ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients on a basic level, and to understand patients’ simple statements and commands.

940:227 Spanish for the Health Professions II 3 credits

This intermediate course is for students with prior knowledge of Spanish interested in developing and improving their communication skills in order to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients, co-workers and professionals. It entails a basic review of grammatical structures for asking and answering frequent questions, and comprehensive vocabulary acquisition on topics such as detailed patient history, symptoms for multiple conditions and diseases, maternity, pediatrics, diabetes, mental health and addiction. Students will be able to give advice to patients and respond to more complex questions and scenarios in a clinic or hospital setting.

940:327 Spanish for the Health Professions III 3 credits

This course is for the near native, heritage, or native Spanish speaker who has had little to no formal training in the language. Students taking the course should have a need to communicate in Spanish within a clinical setting. The course will develop students’ clinical language abilities by putting them in role-play scenarios in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes to encourage paragraph level discourse. Students will be able to give advice to patients about disease prevention, nutrition, infant care and maternity care.