Filipino nurses in America might greet each other with a “hi,” or “magandang umaga” – “good morning” in Tagalog.

With one-third of the hospital’s 2,000 Registered nurses originally from the Philippines, the national language of the Asian-Pacific region is occasionally spoken during lunch and breaks in the workplace.

Being able to speak Tagalog with friends, , helps connect Filipino nurses, whose numbers have continuously grown at the healthcare facility through “word of mouth” social networking.

Nearly A hundred Filipino nurse practitioners ended up being sponsored for permanent resident status. if someone who doesn’t speak Tagalog is present, the Filipino nurses talk in English as a courtesy.

Most foreign-trained nurses have a very fairly clear idea of when it is or isn’t proper to speak a native language in the office environment, the topic of nurses speaking non-English is a high-priority concern among hospital facilitators , who is being  contacted for consultation on cultural diversity issues, including the hiring of Filipino nurses.

Language is a touchy subject – some Filipino Nurse practitioners feel “targeted,” while some native English speakers feel “left out.”

“My stand is employees should be able to communicate in  their native language in break rooms, (but) away from patient’s rooms, especially recovery rooms or in instances when patients are somewhat confused and don’t know whats going on

“There’s absolutely nothing regulatory or statutory that will require nurses or other staff to speak English in the workplace.

The California statute was nullified in 2001 when the state Legislature amended the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to prohibit employers from forcing employees to speak only in English without a valid business necessity.

Foreign-trained nurses bring a needed part of linguistic and cultural abilities to hospitals that are struggling to serve more diverse communities and any language policy needs to be “consistent and non-disciplinary” with an emphasis on prevention of unwanted incidents.

If a language-related problem happens, it should be analyzed with outcome-based criteria – whether a patient was harmed, she says. “If it is a safety issue, the incident must be treated and reported as such. Language is usually only one aspect in these rare occurrences.”

Filipino nurses represent more than 75% of all foreign-trained nurses in the U.S., which might be why many have indicated the feeling of being “targeted” over the language issue.

“What we’re dealing with is mostly a perception – it shouldn’t be viewed as a serious issue,  Filipino descent most of the times converse in Tagalog.

“We  have no formal rules on language, but we all know the rules of courtesy and we’re all professionals.

The need not only to orient foreign-born nurses to the health care culture in America, but also to equally emphasize educating native English speakers to increase understanding of other ethnic groups and the realities of the multicultural makeup of the nation.

“It’s crucial that we dispel myths,“For example, many nurses do not know that a large number of Filipino nurses are U.S. citizens.”

However, most Filipinos are also proficient in Tagalog, the national language, or some 80 variations that can result in different “accents” that might make their English hard to comprehend for some people. Some of the more common and widely used dialects are Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Waray-Waray, Ilongo, Cebuano, Pangasinan, and Zambuangueno.

Nurses are trained to not always give up the Filipino accent nevertheless rather to enunciate or articulate their speech – such as speaking more slowly – for ease in understanding. “The key is comprehension, not the accent,” says Cantos.

Filipino-trained nurses are helping alleviate a nursing shortage predicted to reach 600,000 by 2020 as the majority of today’s U.S. nurses reach retirement age and more RNs are needed to care for aging baby boomers.

A generation of nurses who came to the U.S. from the Philippines in the 70s and 80s have filled vacancies in rural and urban private hospitals, worked hard, bought homes, and become highly valued clinicians and residents, she says.

Filipino Nurses have made a big contribution to our country and are wonderful role models for what newly arrived nurses can accomplish.




Evelyn Good

I'm the founder of Filipino Asian Community in Florida, my goal is to Promote, Encourageand Strengthen the Filipino Asian Community in Florida.
I’m also a Realtor and Real Estate Investor.I specialize in residential real estate in central Florida. my area of expertise includes short sale, investing in Pre-foreclosed homes. I describe myself as a realtor for average people, as a hardworking person with practical knowledge and real world experience, I will be able to employ the necessary creativity and technical savvy to help average home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning or selling their homes .

Latest posts by Evelyn Good (see all)

Tagged with:

Filed under: American LifestylesUncategorized

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!