Spanish for Health Sciences

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Spanish for Health Sciences

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Health Science, Spanish

  • Language Level


  • Prerequisites

    -Students who have been placed into at least a level of SPANISH 201 at the time of enrollment or native speakers of Spanish can take this class. It is strongly advised that students have a basic knowledge of anatomy and basic body functions at the time of enrollment.
    -There is no formal prerequisite apart from the language requirement. However, it is strongly advised that students have a basic knowledge of anatomy and basic body functions at the time of enrollment.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course is specifically intended for those students getting into the healthcare workforce. The class has been designed to help future health professionals (MD, RN, PharmD, DDS, etc.) interact with their patients and patients’ families in Spanish. At the same time, students will enrich their vocabulary in the target language by learning health and anatomy related words in Spanish. Furthermore, students will be able to read, understand and analyze scientific abstracts and even research papers by becoming acquainted with keywords, expressions and grammatical structures often used in health journals in Spanish. Finally, they will be able to formulate hypotheses following the scientific method in Spanish.

    But this class will not only focus on students’ competence of the language. Future health professionals will also have the chance to visit healthcare practitioners of their interest at their workplace to witness firsthand how the health system works in Spain, and to be able to find similarities and differences, and pros and cons, when compared to the system in their own country.

    Linguistic competence and cultural concepts will be combined with outings to visit a medical museum, a physiotherapist office, a health center, a dental office or a pharmacy. On top of that, students will receive visits from real and experienced health professionals in the classroom to learn about this exciting and rewarding career. If you are a future MD, RN, PharmD, DDS, etc. this is the perfect class for you!

    Week 1
    - Introduction to the course
    - The skeletal system
    Week 2
    - The muscular system
    - The nervous system
    - The respiratory system
    - The circulatory system
    Week 3
    - The digestive system
    - The endocrine system
    - The lymphatic system
    - The renal system
    Week 4
    - Basic Body Functions
      o Cells
      o Tissues
    - Organs
    - Symptoms and illnesses
       o Infectious diseases:
           ▪ Causes
      o Symptoms
      o Cures
    Week 5
    - Deficiency diseases:
     o Causes
     o Symptoms
     o Cures
    - Hereditary diseases:
     o Causes
     o Symptoms
     o Cures
    - Physiological diseases:
     o Causes
     o Symptoms
     o Cures
    - List of most common diseases and
     o Causes
     o Symptoms
     o Cures
    Week 6
    - Medications and Drug effects:
     o Medication History
     o Medication Compliance
     o Types of Medications and Their
      ▪ Herbal Medications
      ▪ Oral Medications
      ▪ Over the counter
    common drugs
      ▪ Side Effects
     o Medical Instructions
     o Interactions in the Pharmacy
    The Scientific Method:
    - Formulating a hypothesis
    - Trial and error
    - Participants analysis
    - How to interpret a graph
    - How to draw conclusions
    - How to write a Bibliography
    - Parts of a research paper
    Week 9
    Interaction with patients:
    - Formulas to find out about the patient’s
     o Past Medical History and current
     o Family Medical History
     o Mental health and nutrition
    - Formulas to calm the patient
    - The Physical Examination
    - How to interact with the patient’s
    - Pediatrics
    - Procedures and Informed Consent
    - History of the present illness
    - The Chief Complaint
    Week 10
    Week 11-12
    Different Healthcare professionals in Spain:
    - The Medical doctor
    o Specialties
    - The Physical Assistant
    - The Nurse
    o Types of nurses
    - The Dentist
    o Types of dentists
    - The Pharmacist
    - The Physical Therapist
    FIELD TRIP (Pharmacy)
    Week 13-14
    The Healthcare system in Spain:
    - Types of facilities
    - Universal Health Care: how it works
    - The Private Sector
    Differences between the healthcare system in
    the U.S and Spain
    FIELD TRIP (Clinic)

    The class will be organized in lecture sessions and discussion sessions. During the lectures, students will be introduced the topic by the instructor, who will use Power Point presentations, handouts and worksheets among other materials. During the discussion sessions the instructor will administer activities to reinforce the topic introduced in the lectures. Students will have the opportunity to work in groups to discuss the contents and fully acquire the information.

    Homework will be assigned periodically for students to work individually and for the instructor to check the student’s comprehension of concepts. The homework will consist of papers, reports and worksheets similar to those worked on in class. The will also have to prepare a roleplay, in which they will represent a medical context/situation where one student will play the role of the health professional and the other/s will be patient and/or patients’ family members. Students will also be evaluated on two examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam.

    During the semester, the students will have the chance to visit a real pharmacy and a small clinic, to observe an actual medical context. They will also have the opportunity to ask questions to both health professionals and patients, and they will write two reports in Spanish to explain the whole experience, what they learnt, how similar or different the interactions were when compared to those in their home country, and to draw general conclusions.

    The final grade will be calculated according to the following breakdown:

    • Participation: 10%
    • Reports on interactions with health professionals: 20%
    • Case Study (Research paper analysis): 10%.
    • Midterm: 20 %
    • Role play: 20 %
    • Final exam: 20%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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