|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2011 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 438
Changing Language: Response to a Change in Conducting Weekly Rounds
Kamkar Hospital, School of Medicine, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran
|Date of Submission||24-Dec-2009|
|Date of Acceptance||08-Feb-2011|
|Date of Web Publication||10-Aug-2011|
M K Moslemi
No48, Jaafari, Baqeri, Abbas Abad St, Somaiieh Ave, Qom
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Moslemi M K. Changing Language: Response to a Change in Conducting Weekly Rounds. Educ Health 2011;24:438
Ward rounds are an essential teaching activity for undergraduate trainees in hospital settings. These involve complex tasks requiring not only medical knowledge but also communication, clinical, technical, patient management and teamwork skills. Learning has to adapt to rounds and complement the clinical and emotional needs of patients.
We instituted a change in language for our routine daily activities, including rounds, journal clubs and in-house conferences. We changed our official language from Persian to English with the intent of better preparing our students for increased access to the scientific literature and to preserve patientsí privacy in critical conditions. In our culture, speaking about some diseases like cancer can induce great fear in the patient, and his or her family. Likewise, speaking about infertility at the bed of a young male may create a sense of guilt or shame in him. Changing the language may permit us as providers to speak more freely. All of the formal speaking remained in Persian and only scientific discussions were in English, to preserve patient-centered communication. In this context, we looked at student and intern responses to the use of the English language as a change in their educational program.
This study was conducted by one senior consultant with more than five years experience in urological teaching practice, working at a major university hospital: Kamkar Hospital, serving the Qom province of Iran. The Urology ward is a 50-bed facility (30 for males; 20 for women and children). Over a one year period, from March†2008 to March 2009, a total of 132†students and interns (monthly mean=11) participated in our month-long urology teaching program, with 68†students and 64†interns. There were three weekly (every other day) ward rounds, with every round lasting between 45 and 75†minutes.
Our language change, which was instituted in March†2008, meant that all discussions, problem-solving and history presentations of patients were conducted in English. Before this time, all ward teaching activities were presented in Persian. During the period of change, observations were made on language and potential effects on clinical discussions. The language and comments made by the consultant in charge, who was an experienced academic urologist, were judged on comprehensibility and clarity. These components were addressed through a questionnaire on the last day of the teaching period. In addition, on the first day of the teaching program, students and interns were asked about the change of the ward teaching language from Persian to English.
At the beginning of the period, 75 students (57%) were opposed to changing the ward language. The most commonly given reason was inadequate knowledge of the English language. By the end of the period, 30†students (23%) were opposed. Additionally, 121†students and interns (92%) reported comprehensibility and clarity of the English rounds at the end of month-long rotation. Implementing effective urological ward rounds is a time consuming and elaborate task, requiring adequate planning skills. We observed that with using the English language as the official and scientific language of the ward rounds, especially in urology, we can preserve patients' privacy, ensure better concentration of learners, promote the reading of original scientific references instead of translated papers and strengthen studentsí English language skills.
Mohammad Kazem Moslemi
Associate Professor of Urology Kamkar Hospital School of Medicine
Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran