Former Faculty Furthers Field of Medical Language Competency

Attending a student cultural event at IUBAT
Melodie Hull, seen above with students in Bangladesh, is a former volunteer instructor with IUBAT and is currently publishing an article regarding the need for language competency in healthcare settings.  Melodie has also been involved in many other written works, amongst them, textbooks that focus on medical English and healthcare terminology.  In commemoration of Melodie’s achievements, we have invited her to talk about teaching in Bangladesh and her prolific work as an author.

1) What was your role/responsibilities with the Bangladesh Health Project?

I taught several classes, one of which was on disaster nursing.  I used an example of disaster nursing at IUBAT and the adjacent community, wherein the students explored the potential role of nurses, the integration of other professionals at the university, and the logistics of how to work with spontaneous, emergency-response teams (for example, working with engineering students to solve problems such as collapsed buildings, access to water, flooding, etc.).  As a consultant and researcher, I also co-created a 100+ page summary of findings and recommendations for medical and nursing English, and English language education at the university level (and above).

Melodie teaching Nursing in Bangladesh 2009
Teaching in an IUBAT classroom.

2) What is your current position/role (i.e. are you a practicing nurse, writing/teaching full time)?

I am a nurse-educator, academic and scholar.  I am full-time nursing faculty in the BSN program at College of the Rockies (in Cranbrook, BC), and part-time nursing faculty with Thompson Rivers University Open Learning (in Kamloops, BC).  I am fairly well-published and have presented at numerous nursing education, nursing, psychiatric/mental health, and medical English conferences worldwide.  I hope to speak at a mental health conference in Europe this year, if I am lucky.  My publications have largely been either nursing articles and textbooks, or in English language/English for specific purposes/medical English journals and textbooks.  I have been cited by others for a number of these topics.

1999 Teaching in Chiapas
Teaching at English summer school in Chiapas, Mexico.

3) Can you please share more about your publications and your most recent article?

I wrote a textbook published by F A Davis Company, Philadelphia, USA in 2010: Medical English Clear & Simple: a Practice-Based Approach to English for ESL Healthcare Professionals.  This book sold quite well internationally, but less well here in North America.  As a result, like many books of this genre by other experts, this book is no longer in print.

I have another textbook still on the market: Medical Language: Terminology in Context.  This is a new approach to medical terminology, asserting my stance that medical language (which includes medical English) is an advanced subset of language and should be learned in the context of real healthcare situations.  This book is designed for all health and allied health students.

I have been working for years, drawing attention to the need for language competency in the health professions.  My latest article on this topic is currently in press and pending publication for February 2016: Hull, Melodie: Medical language proficiency: A discussion of interprofessional language competencies and potential for patient risk.  International Journal of Nursing Studies. 

Teaching on Route 5, Cancun, Mexico
Teaching on Route 5 in Cancun, Mexico.

Melodie, thank you for sharing the extensive amount of accomplishments in your career, for which you have gained international recognition for.  The BSN students at IUBAT were lucky to have someone so well-versed in medical language instruct and guide them, and we hope to read many more of your publications in the future.