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Latinos, Health and Opportunity

Latinos, Health and Opportunity

The pandemic has revealed gross health disparities and critical need to recruit more bilingual healthcare workers.

by Richard Sandoval

Months ago we wrote about taking account of your assets personal and professional. Now after having lived under the restrictions caused by COVID-19 we must face the reality that many of the jobs that were in industries considered safe only a year ago have be eliminated. Just as businesses have learned to pivot and change their course to survive, you need to do the same and plan a course for yourself in 2021.  

Early in my career I was in the defense industry. Layoffs and downsizing were a reality of the industry. I am not sure that I thought I would spend my entire career working for a company that sold military items to governments. However in my position I learned processes and communication skills that have assisted me throughout my career.  

As a content producer I receive a tremendous amount of information about health and economic trends. Recently I was invited to hear several presenters talk about the lack of Spanish speaking doctors and other workers in the healthcare industry. I had seen similar reports before, but now with our current economic situation I took notice and feel it is important to take a closer look at what might be a new career path for many of you reading right now.   

“Our nation needs a healthcare workforce reflective of the communities being served,” said Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. “Being bilingual is an asset, and we hope more people will seek out careers in healthcare or better navigate care for their loved ones thanks to this English Readiness course.” 

Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) partnered to establish Futuro Health in January 2020 with a $130 million commitment.

Whenever anyone asks me for career advice, I say get yourself ready for the next opportunity. Right now that next opportunity is the healthcare industry, especially if you speak Spanish. There are no cost programs that will help native Spanish speakers and here is one opportunity. 

Futuro Health launched a campaign today called “Tu Nuevo Futuro” to offer 1,000 Spanish dominant speakers in Southern California a tuition free, healthcare-specific online English readiness course. Registration is being taken over the next six weeks. The program seeks to build a diverse pipeline of students who want to pursue a career in the healthcare industry. In California alone, there is a demand for an estimated 500,000 new allied healthcare workers between now and 2024.

Allied healthcare roles include a wide range of clinical, administrative and support functions, such as medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, care coordinators, health IT specialists, licensed vocational nurses and others. This training course is a great opportunity to improve English language skills for those who wish to pursue a career in allied healthcare and provide care to patients, seniors, a family member, or become certified healthcare professionals as a long term career path.

Spanish dominant students may sign up for the English Readiness for Allied Health course by visiting www.tunuevofuturo.com to enroll or calling 1(855) 463-8580. The campaign seeks to connect with native Spanish speakers who need to improve their understanding of medical terminology in order to advance in career pathways in allied health. Students need to be at least 18 years old, live in California and be willing to study 3-6 hours per week for the duration of the course that is typically completed in 3 to 5 months. 

Although you didn’t directly ask me, I suggest you share this information with your friends and family members that are struggling to find answers of what to do next career wise. Encourage them explore opportunities in the healthcare industry.

A Bit more for you . . . 

Why should Spanish speakers interested in a career in the healthcare industry take this course? 

As a healthcare worker, they will use English every day with patients and as a member of the care team. This course is for Spanish speakers who want to improve their English vocabulary and ability to communicate effectively in a healthcare setting. It is a great opportunity to improve English language skills for those who wish to pursue a career in allied healthcare and provide care to patients, seniors, a family member, or become certified healthcare professionals as a long term career path.

What are the benefits to this English Readiness course? 

  • Personalized course content offers up-to-date, real-world lessons.
  • Ability to study wherever and whenever, with short lessons, or on-the-go with the mobile app.
  • Improve speaking skills with a teacher and learners from around the world.
  • Frequent assessments mean the content is suited specifically to the student’s level.
  • Personalized learning experience tailored to their interests and personal goals.

How many spaces are available for this course?  

Futuro Health is offering 1,000 Spanish speakers the opportunity to improve their English language skills. The goal is to attract more bilingual speakers to pursue their interest in healthcare.

Who is eligible to apply? 

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Live in California
  • Be willing to commit 3-6 hours a week to study

How do prospective students apply? 

Students may sign up for the English Readiness for Allied Health course by creating a profile on the Futuro Health website: www.tunuevofuturo.com.

How much does it cost?

This is a limited time offer at no cost to the student, specifically the first 1,000 qualified applicants who enroll in this pilot program. The training and education membership fee is being absorbed by a union of frontline hospital workers in order to create this opportunity for new students who are interested in healthcare careers.

Will a student need a computer and Internet access to participate in the program? 

Yes, students need access to a working computer, smartphone or tablet with Internet connection.

What are the topics covered in this course? 

  • Introduction to allied healthcare
  • Scheduling and billing
  • Medical history
  • Basic nursing skills
  • Examination procedures
  • Medical charts
  • Diagnosis and treatments
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Radiology
  • Social work and mental health
  • Legal and ethical standards
  • Safety and infection control

What is the length of study for this course? 

3-6 months (self-paced)

What are some of the Learning Outcomes?

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of allied healthcare workers.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the healthcare professions by watching healthcare professionals in a range of daily tasks and responsibilities.
  • Understand the day-in-the-life of a healthcare worker by listening to conversations between workers and patients.
  • Enhance English fluency.

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