Health professional advising a Spanish-speaking patient

Spanish for Health and Social Services Professionals

Improve communication with your Spanish-speaking patients

The Spanish for Health and Social Services Professionals certificate program is ideal for a wide range of health and social service-related positions, including doctors, physician assistants, nurses, CNAs, emergency responders, psychologists, child advocacy and social workers, counselors and other allied health professionals.

Montclair State University recognizes the importance of helping health care and social service professionals improve the way they communicate with Spanish-speaking patients. Montclair State University’s fully online Spanish for Health and Social Services Professionals Certificate will provide learners with: language and conversational skills relevant to a variety of health care and social services professions; the interpreting tools to facilitate communication; and an appreciation for the rich cultural background associated with Spanish-speaking patients. The program employs a communicative approach, which embeds vocabulary and grammar in the activities relevant to the delivery of health care and social services. After an introductory language module, learners will build on prior language capabilities as they approach activities such as patient intake, symptom diagnosis, post-visit follow up and medication instructions, and interacting with payment agencies, including Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. These are addressed from the dual perspective of conversation and interpreting.Cultural aspects are discussed throughout the program to ensure the learner appreciates the foundational attributes and expectations that patients bring with them as they request care.

Spanish for Health and Social Services Professionals

Courses are fully online with optional weekly special topics sessions conducted by the course facilitator. The course facilitator is also available to answer learner queries as they arise.

Course offerings:

  • Language Foundations
  • Spanish Conversation
  • Interpreting
  • Latinx Culture

Certificate can be completed in less than 6 months

The certificate is designed to be completed in 24 weeks, with a commitment of seven hours per week. Alternately, a learner can complete the certificate in 18 weeks on the fast track, which would require 10 hours per week. A basic level of Spanish is assumed — please discuss this with an Admissions Representative.

Upon certificate completion, participants will:

  • Build a vocabulary of Spanish terms associated with the health care and social services fields
  • Acquire working knowledge of Spanish in a variety of health and social services settings
  • Appreciate the background of Spanish-speaking patients, recognizing differences across a variety of Hispanic cultures
  • Understand belief systems and traditions that form Spanish-speaking patients’ perspectives about health care
  • Interact with Spanish-speaking patients with more confidence