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OCIS Spanish Students Learn About the Importance of Bilingual Applicants in the Medical Field

Dr. Nussey, an ER doctor at Cape Regional Medical Center

Spanish students at the Ocean City Intermediate School and native speakers from around the community were recently invited to learn about the growing need for bilingual applicants in the healthcare field. Dr. Nussey, an ER doctor at Cape Regional Medical Center, stopped by to speak with them about his experiences with Spanish throughout medical school and within the hospital.

This marking period, Mrs. Pontari, Mrs. Daily, and Ms. Miley’s 8th grade Spanish classes have been incorporating a unit on mental and physical health, expressing ailments and giving health advice due to an expressed interest in pursuing the medical field as well as the Spanish language in high school. To encourage their pursuits, Mrs. Pontari believed it would be beneficial for them to hear from someone who actually works in healthcare and deals with individuals on a daily basis who do not speak English. Dr. Nussey’s visit gave the students an inside look into their possible future careers and showed them how knowing Spanish can really give you the upper hand in the medical field.

“As Spanish teachers, it is important to find ways to make learning Spanish important and relevant in our growing Spanish-speaking population. Sometimes connecting their interests and plans for the future with the content they are learning in the classroom helps open their minds to the growing need for bilingualism in today’s competitive workplace.”

-Christie Pontari, OCIS Spanish Teacher

Dr. Nussey told the students that he sees at least ten patients a day in the ER that only speak Spanish, explaining how frustrating it can be to treat them and understand their problems due to the language barrier. He took Spanish throughout high school and college, but expressed to the students how he wished he had taken even more Spanish in college.

The students were able to ask Dr. Nussey questions about his career and experiences, with a popular one being, “just how important are grades really?” Dr. Nussey responded by saying, “grades count. For example, when I applied for medical school, there were 800 applicants and only 60 were accepted.”