When I was in third grade, I fell off the jungle gym and cut my chin. I was bleeding a lot, so I was rushed off to the hospital, where they gave me stitches. What was unusual was that we were in Taiwan, in a small town where nobody spoke English. When I got to the hospital, they numbed my chin and then put a sheet over my face so that only the injury was showing. This was terrifying – I had no idea what was being said, what they were doing to me, or what was going to happen next.
Imagine yourself in a similar situation. You need medical attention and are unable to communicate with the providers. Now consider being the medical provider and being unable to obtain or convey information in a critical situation because the patient speaks another language.