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Patient-Centered Guides

June 3, 2002

New Help for Spanish-speaking Parents
to Advocate for their Child in the Hospital

SEBASTOPOL, CA -- All parents are anxious when their child enters a hospital. Although parents know their child best, the hospital can be a confusing or chaotic environment in which to advocate for the child's best interest.

Spanish-speaking parents face greater challenges. The report from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine, "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care," points out barriers faced by Spanish speakers in getting good healthcare. For example:

  • Ethnic minorities tend to receive a lower quality of healthcare than non-minorities

  • Hispanics are three times more likely than whites to have no health insurance, however only one-half to three-quarters of the disparities in health care can be explained by income and insurance coverage, alone

  • Language differences can result in patients not understanding treatment options or doctors not understanding the patient's report of symptoms or history

  • Stereotyping, biases, and uncertainty on the part of healthcare providers can contribute to unequal treatment

  • Patients may face additional barriers of geography, cultural familiarity, and high time-pressure of clinical encounters

To meet the needs of parents, the award-winning Your Child in the Hospital has been translated into Spanish, Ayudando a su Hijo en el Hospital, by the culturally-competent team of Mario and Oralia Tercero and the PlaneTree Health Library of San Jose, CA.

This indispensable guide is for Spanish speaking parents taking their child to the hospital, whether for stitches, outpatient surgery, or extended stays. Children who are reassured about what lies ahead have less anxiety and cope more easily with procedures and treatments. Well-prepared parents can be calm and effective advocates for their children in a situation that can otherwise be traumatic. Ayudando a Su Hijo en el Hospital is a practical book of tips and wisdom from veteran parents that will help make any hospital stay easier. Topics include:

  • Preparing your child
  • Going to the emergency room
  • Dealing with doctors
  • Making the most of the room and facility
  • Coping with procedures (to minimize discomfort and trauma)
  • Keeping family life going
  • Keeping in touch with school
  • Handling insurance claims
  • Getting financial assistance
  • Resources for parents (in both Spanish and English)
The book also features a journal where a child can note personal experiences opening communication, giving the child a measure of control, and allowing the parent a window into the child's experience.

About the author

Nancy Keene has written or co-authored five health books for families. She is co-creator of the Patient-Centered Guides series and Editor of pediatric titles. Nancy is a tireless advocate for children's health issues, including pediatric clinical trials, childhood cancer, late effects of childhood cancer treatments, pediatric pain relief, and emotional support for families. She frequently speaks for professional and parent groups and works with national pediatric advocacy organizations and committees.

About the translators

Mario and Oralia Tercero are affiliated with PlaneTree Health Library in San Jose. Oralia works with two PlaneTree libraries, helping Spanish speakers access health information. The PlaneTree Health Library is in the forefront of cultural competence in health information.

See also, "Mario and Oralia Tercero Come to America and Discover a Health Library," the translators' own fascinating story.

About the book

Ayudando a su Hijo en el Hospital
By Nancy Keene
Translated by Mario & Oralia Tercero and the PlaneTree Health Library, San Jose, CA
$13.95, 192 pages, ISBN: 0-596-50012-2

A complementary review copy is available for the media; a copy of the English title Your Child in the Hospital is also available.

About Patient-Centered Guides

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Patient-Centered Guides is a wholly-owned subsidiary of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. O'Reilly is recognized worldwide for its technical books that provide value to people who are experiencing information pain. O'Reilly publishes books that make a difference in people's lives.

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