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Many different people in various roles may be involved in the discharge of a patient—whether from the emergency department, an office, or a hospital environment—from the nurse or medical assistant reviewing with the patient the medical condition treated, medications, or test results, to the clerical staff making future appointments or scheduling procedures. This chapter covers the basics required for end-of-visit instructions given to the patient. And in cases where the discharge instructions may be lengthier or more complicated, there is an opportunity at the end to offer the use of interpretation services, if needed.

In particular, social workers deal with a variety of emotionally and culturally sensitive issues involving many psychosocial nuances. As such, social services would be an example of when you should utilize interpretation services. However, particularly in hospital settings, time is often spent waiting for interpretation services to become available. We have supplied questions and phrases in this chapter that you can use as a quick initial needs assessment until you can accomplish a more detailed interview through an interpreter.


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You have …

Usted tiene …

  • an infection.

  • una infección.

  • a broken bone.

  • un hueso roto.

  • a concussion.

  • una concusión.

  • muscle strain.

  • una lastimadura muscular.

  • a sprained [body part].

  • una torcedura muscular [body part].

  • distención muscular.

  • esguince muscular.

  • congestive heart failure.

  • insuficiencia cardiáca congestiva

  • high/low blood glucose.

  • azúcar alta/baja.

  • high/low blood pressure.

  • presión alta/baja.

  • diabetes.

  • diabetes.

  • a tumor.

  • tumor.

You had a/an …

Usted tuvo un/a …

  • heart attack.

  • ataque al corazón.

  • ataque cardiáco.

  • stroke.

  • accidente cerebro vascular.

  • asthma exacerbation.

  • exacerbación asmática.

  • heart failure

  • exacerbación de la insuficiencia

  • exacerbation.

  • cardiáca congestiva.

  • infection.

  • infección.

  • drug overdose.

  • sobredosis de droga ilegal/ilícita.

Your [body part] [see “Anatomy,” in Chapter 3, “Vocabulary”] is/are …

Su [body part] esta/están …

  • infected.

  • infectado/s.


  • bruised.

  • magullado.

  • not functioning correctly.

  • funcionando incorrectamente.

  • too high.

  • muy alto.

  • too low.

  • muy bajo.

  • overactive.

  • sobre activo.

  • underactive.

  • poco activo.

  • broken.

  • roto.

You have a serious condition that requires …

Usted tiene una condición seria que requiere …

  • treatment.

  • tratamiento.

  • medications.

  • medicamentos.

  • medicinas.

  • follow-up visits.

  • visitas de seguimiento.

  • hospitalization.

  • hospitalización.

  • emergency treatment.

  • tratamiento de emergencia.

You are doing fine.

Usted está bien.

Your condition requires follow-up visits.

Su condición requiere vistas de seguimiento.

You should be fine once the required treatment is complete.

Usted mejorará después que el tratamiento sea completado.

You will be able to go home …

Usted podrá irse para su casa …

  • without medicine.

  • sin medicamentos.

  • sin medicinas.

  • once the treatment is complete.

  • cuando el tratamiento sea terminado.

You are/are not contagious.

Usted está/no está contagioso/a.

You must always wear a mask.

Debe de siempre usar/utilizar una máscara

You must wear a mask only when you go out in public.

Cuando usted salga afuera y crea que va a estar en contacto con gente, debe de siempre ponerse/utilizar una ...

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