Thursday, April 23, 2020

Useful Spanish vocabulary and phrases: GOING TO THE DOCTOR’S



There are different reasons and emergency degrees in order to go to see a doctor. First of all, if you need to call an ambulance (ambulancia) it means it’s something serious (grave), and it can be an emergency (urgencia). In Spain, in case of emergency you should dial 112 (for ambulance, fire department and police).
For a mild illness (enfermedad leve), a common illness (enfermedad común) such as a cold (un resfriado), the flu (la gripe), an allergic reaction (una reacción alérgica), an injury (una lesión), an ache (una molestia), etc., you can go or call your healthcare centre (centro de salud) and schedule an appointment (pedir hora) with the doctor. A way of saying it could be:
“Me gustaría pedir hora con el médico.”
“I would like to schedule an appointment with the doctor.”
In the social security centres, a family doctor or G.P. (médico de cabecera o médico de familia) will first see you. If the problem is more specific, they will send you to a specialist (especialista). If you have a private medical insurance, you can directly make an appointment with the specialist. Some specialties are gynaecology (ginecología)orthopedic surgery (traumatología)paediatrics (pediatría)neurology (neurología)psychiatry (psiquiatría), dermatology (dermatología), podiatry (podología), etc.
First, they will schedule an appointment (dar hora), then you should go to the appointment (acudir a la cita), on the day and time they told you. You then will probably have to wait for a while in the waiting room (sala de espera) until a nurse (enfermera) calls your name (te llama por el nombre). Once inside the doctor’s office (consulta del médico), you should tell him/her your problem. The doctor will probably ask:
“Dígame qué le pasa.” (Tell me your problem)
Among the various answers, you can say:
  • Tengo dolor de cabeza /espalda/ pie… o Me duele la cabeza / la espalda / el pie… (My head / back / foot aches)
  • Tengo fiebre (I have a fever)
  • Me pica la mano/el pie/ el dedo… o Tengo picores en la mano / el pie / el dedo… (My hand / foot / finger itches)
  • Me ha salido un sarpullido o me han salido granos (I have a rash)
  • Se me pone rojo (It gets red)
  • Tengo / siento / me dan calambres en el estómago. (I have cramps in my stomach)
  • Tengo ardores (I have acid reflux)
  • Me duele la mano / el codo / la rodilla / el dedo, etc. al estirarlo / doblarlo/ girarlo… (My hand / elbow / knee / finger aches when I strectch it / bend it / twist it)
  • No puedo mover la mano / el cuello / el hombro… (I can’t move my hand / neck / shoulder…)
  • Tengo mocosidad (I have mucus)
  • Tengo tos (I have a cough)
  • Me cuesta respirar / doblar la pierna… (I have trouble breathing / bending my leg)
  • Estoy afónico/a (I’m hoarse)
  • Me he dado un golpe (I hit something)
  • Me he torcido el tobillo (I twisted my ankle)
  • Me he caído (I fell)
  • Me he cortado (I cut myself)
  • Tengo alergia a… o soy alérgico a… (I’m allergic to…)
  • Me he clavado un cristal / clavo… (I got a splinter of glass / nail in my foot)

After that, he/she will ask questions such as:
  • ¿Le duele aquí? (“¿Te duele?” if he/she says “tú” to us) > Does it hurt here?
  • ¿Le duele más cuando le aprieto o cuando suelto? > Does it hurt more when I press or when I release?
And this is the time when the Spanish lessons come in handy, we should remember the “imperativo”:
  • If he-she says “usted” to us:   /  If he-she says “tú” to us:
  • Turn your head > Gire la cabeza  /   Gira la cabeza
  • Open your mouth > Abra la boca  /  Abre la boca
  • Say, “ah” > Diga: “Ah”  /  Di: “Ah.”
  • Stare here > Mire aquí  /  Mira aquí
  • Breath in and hold > Coja aire (o inspire) y aguante  /  Coge aire (o inspira) y aguanta
  • Breath out > Suelte el aire (o espire)  /  Suelta el aire (o espira)
  • Cough > Tosa  /  Tose
 When the doctor gives you a diagnostic (te diagnostica) for your problem, he/she probably will prescribe a treatment (recetar un tratamiento). The treatment can be oral (it should be ingested like pills [pastillas]syrup [jarabes], etc.) or external (tópico) (it should be applied on the skin like a cream [crema] or ointment [pomada]) so you can either take it (tomártelo) if it’s oral or apply it (ponértelo) if it’s external, every given time (cada X tiempo): every 8 hours, every 12 hours (cada 8 horas, cada 12 horas), once per day three times per day (una vez al día, tres veces al día), etc.
Depending on the problem, the doctor might ask you to have some tests done (hacer pruebas). There are different types of tests: radiography (radiografía)blood or urine analysis (análisis de sangre, análisis de orina) which are usually done while fasting (en ayunas), ecography (ecografía)CAT (TAC)

After the tests and the treatment, the doctor can give you a medical leave (darte la baja). Being on sick leave means you should rest (hacer reposo). If you are working, you should stop working until the doctor discharges you (dar el alta) and you can go back to your normal life.
We hope you don’t have to use this vocabulary very often, but in case you have to, at least you will be prepared! And for you, what are the most useful phrases and vocabulary for you when going to the doctor’s in Spain?

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