When I was offered the Public Relations Assistant position for the BYU College of Nursing Dean’s office, I had no idea that my experience learning a second language would come in handy.
I am an English and Portuguese double major. I served my mission in Curitiba, Brazil where I first learned Portuguese, and I now study the language every day. While I haven’t once had the privilege to use my Portuguese language skills in the office or on assignment, I have used the skills I acquired while learning the language.
Nursing has its own set of words, a different vocabulary list if you will. Every day I come into the office and learn a new set of words whether about anatomy, about treatment, or about the organization of the nursing program itself. Just like a foreigners accept you while you struggle to speak their language, the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Nursing accepted me while learning to navigate the tower, the Mary Jane Rawlins Geertsen Nursing Learning Center, and the lingo.
In every interview I held, I had to ask questions to clarify basic nursing concepts and nursing programs. Frequently I had to Google definitions. Some days were harder than others were; however, I will always remember my experience learning this new language.
While I was learning new terms and definitions, I was also exposed to an environment of love and mutual support. The College of Nursing claims to be teaching the Healer’s art, and from my experience talking with faculty, staff, and students, that teaching is fulfilled. The students have a wonderful source of professors and advisors to look to for help. These professors and advisors not only teach and guide here at BYU but they also do clinicals on top of having their own families.
The language that I learned here does not only incorporate terms and definitions, but also behavior and practice. Nurses are incredible, and I hope that if I ever need to go to the hospital that I will be in the care of a BYU nurse. Their language is love and respect. I hope to one day become fluent in this language of mutual support and perfect charity, so that I to can practice a form of the Healer’s art.