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Health care staff across the country are praising the song “Despacito,” Justin Bieber’s hit collaboration with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, for enhancing interactions between Spanish-speaking patients and Spanish-impaired providers.  Gomerblog interviewed staff at University Hospital to ask how this cultural phenomenon has changed their practice.

despacito“Before “Despacito,” residents had to conduct their entire history and physical by just asking “dolor?” but “despacito” doubles their clinical Spanish vocabulary to finally get at the root of their Spanish-speaking patients’ medical issues!” declared Dr. Wasp, chief resident.

Intensive care charge nurse Pearl LeBLanc compiled a comprehensive list of the assessment questions graciously provided by Justin Bieber:

“Dolor despacito?” Translation: “pain slow?”

“Despacito dolor?” Translation: “slow pain?”

“Some of the younger nurses are even able to apply some of the harder lyrics in their patient care. Just yesterday I heard a new grad nurse say “suave suavecito” to a patient while inserting an NG tube!” Pearl added.

Third year medical student Ash Snow explained his own innovative use of this game-changing word: “If I point to a patient’s body part, instead of being limited to asking “dolor?” I can ask  “despacito?” This morning I pointed to my Spanish-speaking-only-patient’s severed femoral artery and asked “despacito?” She shook her head.  Only then did I know just what she needed-a tourniquet and mass transfusion protocol! Thanks Justin!” he gushed.

“Medical education isn’t what it used to be,” sighed attending physician Dr. Earnest. “Back in my day we learned the phrases  “Bailamos?” and “Living La Vida Loca?” to  enhance the social history interview of our Spanish-speaking patients. Nowadays these young physicians have very few pop culture references to awkwardly insert into their inadequate interviews. Justin Bieber is just what the world needs!”

At press time the perfectly- well-functioning interpreter phone was seen on a shelf accumulating a layer of dust poquito a poquito.


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