And George W. Bush’s last White House press secretary has weighed in.
A) English isn’t even our official national language and B) we’re a nation of immigrants so C) fuck you with EXTREME prejudice, Dana Perino
I saw this on Twitter and nearly fucking exploded.
a) DO NO HARM YOU FUCKING TWATWAFFLE. DOCTORS WILL DO WHAT THEY CAN TO TREAT YOU. (GOOD) DOCTORS WANT TO HELP YOU, EVEN IF YOU DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH. DO NO HARM. LANGUAGE MAY BE A BARRIER, BUT BARRIERS CAN BE BROKEN
b) I work in an Emergency Department of a major hospital. We have live translators and a special phone service designed FOR THIS EXACT REASON. You need someone who speaks Farsi? Great. Call the Language Line. Yes, it’s sort of a pain. Yes, it takes some extra time. But it’s imperative to patient care, so THEY FUCKING DO IT.
c) And if it’s one of those 150 languages Dana Perino thinks are absurd? Once a patient came in and only spoke a very specific language to a very specific, small country in Asia (I’m being vague as to make sure I’m not violating privacy laws). That language was not one of those languages that is on our Language Lines. The doctor was, understandably, disappointed, and trying to find ANYONE anywhere that spoke the language. One of the ultrasound fellows actually managed to get through to the patient by speaking the language of a neighboring country, a much more common language which the patient also spoke a little bit of. That patient’s doctor literally hugged the dude who translated. PS. that dude technically isn’t an employee of the hospital, but a student of an outside institution that was doing some of his training here. He was under no obligation to help but he did anyway. Because THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD DO. HELP OTHER PEOPLE. And IT’S A LOT EASIER TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE IF YOU SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE, DANA PERINO.
d) Seriously, I cannot tell you how many times I have deeply regretted never learning Spanish, or that my mother never taught me Tagalog. I could have helped so many freaking patients, and I’m not a medical professional! Actually, I’m thinking of taking a Spanish medical terminology course for this exact reason.
e) tl;dr: sit on a fucking cactus, Dana Perino. Language is valuable. It helps people connect. It makes it easier to help people. But you probably don’t know what that’s like.
Reblogging for that commentary because holy shit yes.