In Spanish, there is a very special word: confianza.
As applied to the relationship between patients and health care providers, confianza is a term bursting with meaning. It goes far beyond the literal translation of "confidence." Confianza implies a deep and abiding trust and respect.
How can you earn the "confianza" of your patients? Speaking Spanish will usually go a very long way! In fact, in many cases, it simply won't be possible to gain a patient's confianza without speaking some Spanish.
Speaking or even trying to speak Spanish shows a genuine respect for the patient's culture-something that is very important in the Latino community.
When you greet a patient, be sure to shake hands, and do it again when you are done. This demonstrates a real warmth. Take an interest in your patient beyond what is clinically necessary. Ask about their general well-being and about their family and children. This will show them that you are genuinely caring and empathetic, and that you have time for them. Do not appear to be rushed.
Earning the patient's confianza will pay off in great benefits. They will more openly express their feelings, they will be more likely to open up with you about their medical problems, and they will be much more likely to listen carefully and follow your advice.