I’ve lived multiple lives working in several different professions. One life I lived was in healthcare. My first job was a pharmacy technician at Walgreens, I don’t count 2 weeks at McDonald’s. I started working in the pharmacy at age 16 throughout high school, undergrad, pharmacy school and even after.
In those 15 years I’ve met so many people from various walks of life. Many of them had a tremendous impact on my life.
I remember many of them, like Guadalupe a young immigrant mother from Guatemala. Her son had a strep infection and she was prescribed an antibiotic. The pharmacist filled the prescription with directions in English without knowing she didn’t speak any English. Her being timid and not asking for a translator or the staff not thinking about the language barrier, she assumed how much she needed to give him. That dose— was way too much.
She came back in crying and scared. Be mindful, this was my life before I could relate to the worries and cry of a concerned mother. I still felt for her and her despair. I pulled reference material that was available in Walgreens system and tried my best to help her. I was able to with absolute no formal Spanish classes.
I promised myself from there on it was my duty to learn another language specifically Spanish. I empathized with her. I thought of all the other patients who go to healthcare facilities that can’t speak English and may not get proper care because of a language barrier.
Here I am now, years after going to libraries checking out books to continue my journey of learning Spanish and speaking to regular people in Spanish despite my horrible accent.
My focus has shifted a tad bit with conversational Spanish being a priority to both a dual focus now. I speak Spanish in my home daily thanks to my husband. Now I am focus on learning to be able to have a new career if needed with being able to check Bilingual on applications or add fluent in Spanish on my resume.