Limited Access to Health Care for Spanish Speaking Population

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Problem Identification

Limited access to health care for Spanish Speaking populations is due to inability to afford services, difficulty with transportation, dissatisfaction with services, language barriers and inability to understand treatment plans. Health indicators of Spanish Speaking populations suggests that health outcomes continue to be behind other population groups, they also remain below goals established by Healthy People 2010 (Butler, Kim-Godwwin, & Fox, 2008). The US Spanish Speaking population represents a particular vulnerable subset of US Hispanics that have lower-income, less education, poor perceived health status and poor access to the health care System (Dubar & Gizlice, 2008).

Hospitals still use family members to interpret for limited English speaking patients. Hospitals use language line, a company the nurse calls to find interpreter or they use a trained staff member to interpret. Some hospitals continue to use Spanish speaking staff that is bilingual and not trained for translating in the medical field. There is a need for better trained professional interpreters for both the patient and the health care provider. These are necessary components in providing language access in other areas of the united sates with the increasing Spanish-speaking populations (Martinez-Gibson, & Gibson, 2007). Does staff in Emergency Departments continue to use family members and untrained staff as interpreters? Language line and trained interpreters are the only acceptable interpreters (Martinez-Gibson, & Gibson, 2007). When interpreter is needed in an urgent case there needs to be a trained interpreter on staff 24 hours in the emergency department, language line is not always congruent to life saving care that is needed...

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... This will facilitate openness and new insight to the Spanish Speaking population being studied (Burns, & Grove, 2009, p. 546). After the data collector collects the information they will journal any thoughts or feelings about the information received and will reflect on the data collection process.

Potential limitations to the study are the fact that this population may not have access to a phone or they may have given a false phone number due to fear of deportation. If they do have a phone they may not answer the phone not recognizing the phone number that is calling them.

The plan to communicate research findings is to share the findings with other Hospitals in Wisconsin. This will be done by attending staff meetings at area hospitals. After completion of the research a poster will be produced and presented to area nursing conferences.
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