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Demand for bilingual workers continues to rise

Hiring Hoosiers
Posted at 5:30 AM, Mar 13, 2019

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INDIANAPOLIS — Do you speak more than one language?

If so, employers like Eskenazi Health don’t just want to hire you, they need to hire you because the demand is so great in the healthcare industry.

Jennifer Rivera is just one of the more than 350 bilingual employees who work for Eskenazi Health.

“Me llamo Jennifer," Rivera said. "I’m a registered nurse, I currently work at Eskenazi in the outpatient clinic. I’m able to communicate with the patients, sometimes they come in and they’re scared because they don’t know how to communicate.”

LEARN MORE | Careers at Eskenazi Health

The Spanish-speaking nurse at says she notices a sense of calm come over patients once they learn she can understand, and then in turn, help them.

“It helps me advocate more for my patients and their needs,” Rivera said.

Aside from Spanish, Eskenazi sees patients who speak Burmese, a number of African dialects, French, and Arabic. That means they need employees who can speak those languages too.

“We have nursing team members, we have social workers, physical therapists, individuals in the billing office, so when you think about it, everyone touches the lives of our patients in some way, and there’s an opportunity for staff if they’re multilingual or bilingual to exercise their gifts here at Eskenazi Health,” Christia Hicks, VP of Human Resources at Eskenazi Health, said.

It's a gift that goes beyond the walls of the exam room.

“I think just being able to talk to them in their own language helps them feel at ease and then they are able to explain in more detail what’s going on," Rivera said. "The tension is gone in the room, and they open up and they might tell me something about their kids, or their home life.”

Eskenazi Health also offers “Bridging the Gap” free to bilingual employees. It is a six-week course of study where they are able to learn everything from medical terminology to interpreting ethics, encouraging development to meet the needs of patients.

LEARN MORE | Bridging the Gap at Eskenazi Health