Medical Spanish: Key Phrases for Healthcare Settings

Learning Medical Spanish can be incredibly beneficial for healthcare professionals and patients alike. Effective communication in healthcare settings is paramount for accurate assessment, compassionate care, and patient safety. Let’s delve into some key phrases that healthcare professionals might use in such environments.

Dolor – Pain. This is a fundamental term that denotes discomfort or an unpleasant sensation in the body.
¿Dónde tiene dolor? – Where do you have pain?

Fiebre – Fever. It refers to an elevated body temperature, often a sign of an infection or illness.
¿Tiene fiebre? – Do you have a fever?

Náuseas – Nausea. This is the sensation of unease and discomfort in the stomach with an urge to vomit.
Estoy sintiendo náuseas. – I’m feeling nauseous.

Alérgico – Allergic. This word is used to describe an adverse response by the body’s immune system to a substance.
¿Es alérgico a algún medicamento? – Are you allergic to any medications?

Medicamento – Medication. A substance used in treating disease or relieving pain.
Por favor, tome este medicamento cada ocho horas. – Please take this medication every eight hours.

Síntoma – Symptom. This refers to any sign of a disease or disorder experienced by the patient.
¿Qué síntomas tiene? – What symptoms do you have?

Infección – Infection. This is the invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are not normally present within the body.
Creemos que podría tener una infección. – We believe you may have an infection.

Cirugía – Surgery. A medical procedure involving major incisions to remove, repair, or replace a part of the body.
La cirugía fue un éxito. – The surgery was a success.

Presión arterial – Blood pressure. The pressure of circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels.
Vamos a medir su presión arterial. – We are going to measure your blood pressure.

Respiración – Breathing. This involves inhaling and exhaling air to facilitate gas exchange within the lungs.
Tome profundas respiraciones. – Take deep breaths.

Dieta – Diet. In medical settings, it’s the regulated selection of foods as for medical reasons or cosmetic weight loss.
Debe seguir una dieta baja en sal. – You should follow a low-salt diet.

Historial clínico – Medical history. It encompasses all the information about a patient’s past health issues, treatments, and related family health history.
Por favor, cuénteme sobre su historial clínico. – Please tell me about your medical history.

Examen físico – Physical examination. A thorough investigation of the body for signs of disease.
Necesitamos realizar un examen físico. – We need to perform a physical examination.

Tratamiento – Treatment. The management and care of a patient for the purpose of combating a disease or disorder.
Vamos a comenzar con el tratamiento hoy. – We are going to start the treatment today.

Understanding these key phrases is just the beginning. Being able to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients involves not only knowing the vocabulary but also understanding cultural sensitivities and nuances of the language. Regular practice, immersion, and interaction with native speakers can greatly enhance linguistic proficiency in medical settings.

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