... the above seems to be the pervasive thought when we are asked to "please press one for English".
Admittedly, I have had my moments. In the past I have even been challenged for not speaking Spanish. I always resented the assumption that I should know it because my last name was Fernandez.
Yet, here I am at thirty four years of age reconsidering my previous attitude and deciding once and for all that I am going to learn Spanish. What prompted this "unpatriotic" decision?
I had a patient who could speak no English, an elderly person in critical care who needed total assistance. They could not communicate their needs to the staff. This language barrier was impeding their recovering.
I could not help but think of my Abuelita. She speaks perfect English and has done so since she came to the United States in her mid-twenties. All four of her children speak English and were required to do so at home. As she has gotten older and started to mentally deteriorate she communicates alternating between the two languages. Eventually she will forget the English she spent the majority of her life time using.
If she were to be hospitalized will she be treated as an ignorant immigrant because she can't articulate her needs in English?
I can't hold on to these preconceived stereotypes when every day a new experience challenges me to look beyond them. The more I think I have things figured out the more I realize I have a lot to learn.