LUBBOCK, Texas — Hispanic healthcare workers in Lubbock told KLBK news about what it means to them as they work on the frontline and representing their heritage.

One big thing for many in the Hispanic culture is family, “familia.”

“Growing up just having that culture and that community and the closeness, it’s just feeling a part of something and knowing that our culture sticks together, and that we stand behind each other,” said Clarissa Prayer, RN, BSN at University Medical Center in Lubbock.

The caregivers at our local hospitals are exactly that.

“I think that’s one of the things that is big in the Hispanic community. And I think if you do that, then you have already embraced the community itself, because that’s what we do,” said Brenda Martinez, Medical Doctor, Emergency Medicine Intern at UMC.

Martinez told that not a lot of Hispanics work in the field but for her it feels gratifyingly that she can be one to help others.

“To be able to understand the culture, understand the language to be able to communicate with that patient population, we want to be healthy in this region. So we need to be able to reach all of our patients…” Martinez said, “I also think that bringing in the minority health care providers helps patients also realize that in patients families realize that you can one day be in that spot.”

Christina Montanez, RN, BSN at UMC, said it’s never to late as she learned from generations before her about how she could be the difference.

“More than anything, I think of my grandmother, and just some of the things that she would tell me when she was in and out of the hospital that she wanted nursing to do. I think she would be so proud now that we make the effort to connect on a different level with our Hispanic speaking patients,” Montanez said.

Prayer said to not forget where we came from and the struggles and achievements and accomplishments that the Hispanic culture has gained here in this country.

“Being part of the Mexican American culture has allowed me to not only delivered more nuanced and patient centered care here at UMC, but it has given me a sense of pride and knowing that my patients, my patients have representation here within our hospital,” Prayer said.