Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Foreign Languages and Literature

First Advisor

Cecilia Tocaimaza-Hatch


Language barriers in healthcare settings can cause many difficulties for both the patient and others involved. These issues, such as problems in communication and decreased comfort levels, can worsen patients’ understanding and impair their experiences in healthcare settings. This area requires attention and further research, as it has been found that these challenges in communication increase the issue of patient safety. They also cause a reduction in patients’ satisfaction with the treatment (Al Shamsi et al., 2020). In this study, a survey was distributed throughout the Omaha area to better understand the prevalence and severity of issues regarding difficulties faced by non-native English-speakers in healthcare settings (e.g., poor communication and issues understanding their prescription medication). Though limited survey responses were collected (n=14), the participants indicated that these issues may be relevant in Omaha’s community. All participants reported being able to speak at least one other language in addition to English and responded that they could speak English “well” to “very well.” Thirty-five-point seven percent of the participants of this survey reported seeing a doctor who did not speak their native language. This can lead to the reliance on other methods to effectively communicate with healthcare personnel. Twenty-one-point four percent of participants reported having experienced a problem in understanding a medical situation due to it not being explained in their native language. These responses indicate that issues of communication and comfort level are relevant among the Omaha Metropolitan area and requires improvement.