Essentials to learn basic Spanish for medical personnel

When we need to learn a new language due to work reasons, the goals and contents we have to learn are very specific.

But, where to start? How do I find these so specific and focused on my needs contents?

For this reason, I’ve decided to create this post about Basic Spanish for medical personnel to help you to start to learn Basic Medical Spanish.

Basic Medical Spanish

To start to learn the most basic of Spanish focused on the health field, we should divide the contents according to what we want to communicate to the patient.

If this is your first contact with Spanish, it’s possible you may find some phrases and words difficult to understand and pronounce.

That’s why in this post you are going to find Basic Spanish for medical personnel for beginners.

Basic Spanish for medical personnel: The Alphabet

If you need to learn Medical Spanish but you are beginner, the first thing you must learn is the alphabet.

In fact, learning the alphabet in Spanish is going to be very useful because this is going to allow you to know the most basic thing about your patient: his name.

Proper nouns change from one language to another and usually, at the beginning it’s difficult to get used to them and their pronunciation.

It is exactly for this reason that it’s important to learn well the alphabet in Spanish so you can ask your patient to spell his or her name to write it down and talk to him in the right way.

This audio about the Spanish alphabet for Medical Spanish can help you to start to learn Basic Medical Spanish.

Check it out and repeat 😉

Audio 1:

Audio 2:

A Anestesia Anesthesia
B Bacteria Bacterium
C Corazón Heart
D Dosis Dose
E Espalda Back
F Fémur Femur
G Gemelo Calf muscle
H Halitosis Halitosis
I Ibuprofeno Ibuprofen
J Jeringa Siringe
K Ketamina Ketamine
L Labio Lip
M Magnesio Magnesium
N Nacimiento Birth
O Operación Surgery
P Paciente Patient
Q Quemadura Burn
R Radiación Radiation
S Sacro Sacrum
T Tacto Touch
U Úlcera Ulcer
V Vacuna Vaccine
W weber Weber
X Xerosis Xerosis
Y Yeyuno Jejunum
Z Zurdo Left-handed

¿El paciente or la paciente?

Another content I want to show you to learn more Basic Spanish for Medical personnel is how to form masculine and feminine words in Spanish.

Look at this:

Words finishing in -a are usually feminine: la cadera (hip), la boca (mouth), la espalda (back)

Words finishing in -o are usually masculine: el ojo (eye), el labio (lip), el dedo (finger)

 *Exception: la mano

Words finishing in -e are sometimes masculine or feminine. In most cases, these words are masculine but it’s not a rule: el pie (foot), la madre (mother)

There are some words finishing in -e that we can only know the gender of by the article.

This happens with the noun “paciente”.

If you only say “paciente”, we can’t know if we’re talking about a woman or a man so you need to write the article “la paciente” if our patient is a woman or “el paciente” if our patient is a man.

More basic Spanish for Medical personnel

We have just seen how masculine and feminine in Spanish work so now we’re going to see how we can change the words in singular we have seen above into plural.

I promise it’s very easy because you only need to add -s or -es.

You only need to add a final –s to words finishing in -a, -o and –e: Caderas, bocas, espaladas, ojos, labios, dedos, manos, pies y madres

You need to add -es to the ending of words finishing in consonant: habitación-habitaciones

Pay attention! If a word finishes in –s, it’s not necessary to add anything else: análisis

But, what happens with the articles that go with these nouns?

I`ve created an infographic for you to see very clearly how to turn articles into plural.

To sum up, you only need to add -s to the feminine article and change into “los” the masculine article.

basic spanish for medical personnel

Personal pronouns in Medical Spanish

Yes, personal pronouns are one of the concepts of Basic Spanish for Medical personnel and it’s very important to know them because it can help you to refer to your patient without repeating all the time his name.

But you need to pay attention because you need to choose the correct personal pronoun to not appear rude to him or her. I’m going to talk about this in more detail.

Unlike English, in Spanish is not necessary to say nor to write in each phrase the personal pronoun. The reason is that the verb still tells us which person we’re talking about. Even then, you must know how to talk with your patient to be able to use the correct verb form in each case.

To make your learning easier, I’ve created an English-Spanish comparative table to better understand the personal pronouns.

Yo I
Tú/ Vos You
Él/ ella He/She
It -(sometimes lo)
Nosotros/ nosotras We
Vosotros/ Vosotras You
Ellos/ ellas They

The best personal pronoun to talk to your patient

As I told you above, you need to choose the correct personal pronoun to talk to your patient and I would like to give you an advice: Always use the pronoun USTED.

Why? Because it’s the way we show our respect to the other person in Spanish. If you don’t know your patient, it’s better to use “usted” to show respect to him or her and show a formal but cordial relationship.

Here’s an example to better understand what I just said:

Context: You want to ask to your patient if she wants a glass of water. In Spanish, you should say:

ES: ¿Quiere usted un vaso de agua?

EN: Would you like a glass of water?

While in English you use “would + verb” to show respect and not appear aggressive and rude, in Spanish we have the personal pronoun “usted” that make the same function as “would”.

More concepts to learn Basic Spanish

In this post, we have seen the most basic Spanish for Medical personnel concepts but there are more contents that can help you to communicate in Spanish with your patients.

I’ve made a list with other interesting post about basic Spanish to help you to learn more. These posts are:

What did you think of this post to learn Basic Spanish for Medical personnel? Did it help you? Don’t forget to write your comment 🙂