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Language Barrier And Healthcare System in Middle East

Many people faced language difficulties, but all of these can be avoided if people speak English, a language widely known as a "Universal Language."
In recent years, people from around the world drawn to work in Arab countries for a variety of reasons - better pay, free accommodation and transportation, tax-free, sophisticated equipment, full month paid leave, and so forth.

Indeed, the attractive offers are truly amazing and encourage everybody in the country to pursue their chosen fields in Middle East, especially healthcare professionals who are in demand in these regions.

Although there are good benefits for the expats in their host country, language barriers have caused problems in Arab world throughout the years. Let's take, for example, thousands of Indian nurses being hired by Arab employers each year.

It is true that majority of manpower supply is coming from India, and Arab countries would not either survive or progress without the presence of these people. If you would take away all of them, the whole countries in Middle East would certainly be destabilized.

However, for instance, language barrier comes into play when a large number of Indian nurses do speak in Arabic and English. Similar troubles for Arab people who could not understand and follow exactly with their conversation.

I don't think lack of Arabic or English proficiency is the only reason why they often ignore the importance of these widely used dialect in Arab world. Of course, they can speak and understand very well if they want to. It's just most of them are comfortable talking in their native language.

That's not actually a major concern when they are at home or in any other private places. But the big issue is when they still speak the same language at work. Whether you're a Filipino or Egyptian, everyone must follow the rules and regulations in the healthcare facility. It would be unfair for other members of the medical team who do not understand Malayalam and other 17 languages in India.

Based on my personal experience working as a staff nurse from countries of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, I could say that some Indian nurses are very hardworking and good people. I think the problem is their high regard for senior nurses. I understand that it is just a sign of homage for elder people.

But sometimes, seniority poses a threat in healthcare systems. I know it's very common for them, but you must act accordingly. This doesn't mean that you always have to listen and do all your senior's orders even though you know what is right or wrong.

This is one of my worries since most of my senior nurses are Indians. Even though I have some suggestions, I'm afraid I might disrespect them. How many times I have reminded them to speak in only English language, so that I could understand their conversation, yet they simply ignore my advice.

In my opinion, this would definitely damage the entire healthcare settings in Middle East and in any parts of the world. The vital data that should be delivered clearly to everyone in the nursing unit is compromised because of this. As I have said earlier, it's not right for other members of the medical team if they don't understand the same language.

What if it's an emergency and most of your colleagues are still talking in their own language, how would you react? What would you do then? Of course, you would not feel right because the life of the patient would be at stake if you do not work effectively and efficiently.
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Published: 1/23/2014
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