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Vocabulary Words and Phrases in Tagalog for Healthcare Workers

Precy enjoys helping others learn to speak and appreciate the Filipino language. She also speaks Ilocano.

Adjectives and nouns along with Filipino phrases are mostly what people learn and search for when learning how to speak Filipino/Tagalog. But with what's happening around with the pandemic, I think it is also important to learn how to communicate in Filipino/Tagalog when working in the healthcare field or healthcare facility with Filipino patients.

For some patients, specially the elderly, knowing that their healthcare provider and the staff speaks and understands the language make them more comfortable. It helps in making patients feel at ease as they can express their health concerns better or ask questions regarding their health. And that's what I will be sharing this time. If you're working in the healthcare field, read on and familiarize yourself with these helpful vocabulary words and Tagalog phrases specifically for healthcare workers.

Learn some of the most important Filipino/Tagalog words and phrases that will help you assist your Filipino patients.

Learn some of the most important Filipino/Tagalog words and phrases that will help you assist your Filipino patients.

Let's start with some of the body parts commonly used and heard between healthcare staff and patients.

These are vocabulary words not only for healthcare professionals working with Filipino patients, if you're learning to speak Filipino, being familiar with these vocabulary words and knowing how to ask health related questions may come in handy if ever you find yourself needing medical help specially when in the Philippines.

Body Parts in Filipino/Tagalog

Some body parts in Filipino/Tagalog.

EnglishFilipino/Tagalog

head

ulo

ears

mga tainga/tenga

mouth

bibig

eyes

mga mata

nose

ilong

arm

braso

stomach

tiyan

back

likod

feet

mga paa

hands

mga kamay

fingers

mga daliri

body

katawan

scalp

anit

Some patients will also let you know of their health concerns before they're able to see their physician, and one of this is experiencing pain. The word which means pain is masakit. A patient may also tell you he/she is having pain on certain body parts, such as "I'm having a headache," which in Tagalog translates to "Masakit ang ulo ko." When a patient is having pain in the arm, (referring to the table above the word for arm is braso) this will be "Masakit ang braso ko."

While the table above gives you what the body parts are in Filipino/Tagalog, knowing the following Filipino vocabulary words below would also be helpful specially when working directly with patients.

More Vocabulary Words For Healthcare Workers

More important vocabulary words to know as a healthcare staff working with Filipino/Tagalog speaking patients.

EnglishFilipino/Tagalog

medicine

gamot

tablets

tabletas

cane

tungkod

hospital

ospital

clinic

klinik

doctor

doktor

nurse

nars

patient

pasyente

prescription

reseta

vitamin

bitamina

food

pagkain

forbidden/prohibited

bawal

weight

timbang

height

taas

appetite

gana

painful

masakit

alcohol

alak

affordable/cheap

mura

expensive

mahal

food

pagkain

painful

masakit

rash

pantal

infection

impeksyon

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Phrases/Questions A Patient Usually Asks When Setting-Up Doctor's Appointment

Here are some questions and phrases a patient will likely say when setting up a doctor's appointment.

Questions a patient will usually asks when making an appointment for a doctor's visit.

EnglishFilipino/Tagalog

I want to make an appointment.

Gusto kong magpa-appointment.

Is there an available schedule in the afternoon?

Meron bang available na schedule sa hapon?

Is there an available schedule in the morning?

Meron bang available na schedule sa umaga?

I prefer to come (insert day).

Mas gusto ko sana pumunta sa(insert day).

I prefer to come Thursday morning.

Mas gusto ko sana pumunta sa Huwebes ng umaga.

Can I bring someone with me?

Pwede ba akong magsama?

Can you say that again?

Pwede bang ulitin mo uli 'yung sinabi mo?

Do I need to bring my medicines?

Kailangan ko bang dalhin ang mga gamot ko?

If you're working in a medical front office or a medical assistant, this table below is for you. Learn how to ask medical related questions from asking patients if they're taking medicines, smoking or drinking to helpful phrases letting them know you're going to take their height, weight, and blood pressure.

Helpful Phrases and Commonly Asked Medical Questions

EnglishFilipino/Tagalog

I'm (name). I'm a (profession).

Ako si (say your name). Isa akong (say your profession).

Are you taking any medicine?

May iniinom kang gamot?

Are you taking vitamins?

Umiinom ka ba ng mga bitamina?

I'm here to take your blood pressure.

Andito ako para kunin ang blood pressure mo.

Let's take your blood pressure first.

Kunin muna natin ang blood pressure mo.

I'm going to take your height and weight.

Kukunin ko ang taas at timbang mo.

I'm going to take your blood pressure.

Kukunin ko ang blood pressure mo.

Do you drink?

Umiinom ka ba?

Do you smoke?

Naninigarilyo ka ba?

Are you able to stand on your own?

Nakakatayo ka ba mag-isa?

Are you able to walk?

Nakakalakad ka ba?

Are you still taking your medicine/s?

Iniinom mo pa ba 'yung gamot/mga gamot mo?

Did you eat anything today?

Kumain ka ba ng kahit ano ngayon?

What's the reason of today's visit?

Anong dahilan ng pagpunta ngayong araw?

How's the result of my blood draw?

Kumusta ang resulta ng blood draw ko?

How much I weigh now?

Ilan na ang timbang ko ngayon?

I forgot to ask something to the doctor.

May nakalimutan akong sabihin sa doktor.

I forgot to ask something.

May nakalimutan akong itanong.

Do you have insurance?

May insurance ka ba?

Do you have anymore questions?

May tanong ka pa ba?

The following are usually ask by patients from medicine related questions, food and test results.

Commonly Asked Questions and Phrases From Patients

Filipino/Tagalog translations of questions usually ask by patients.

EnglishTagalog

Do I need to continue taking my (insert medicine) Doc?

Kailangan ko bang ituloy inumin ang (insert medicine) Dok?

I stopped taking my (insert medicine) because _____.

Itinigil kong inumin ang (insert medicine) because _____.

Can you do a prescription for me for cough?

Pwede niyo ba akong resetahan ng gamot sa ubo?

Can you prescribe me medicine for cold?

Pwede niyo ba akong resetahan ng gamot sa sipon?

Do I need to take this on empty stomach?

Kailangan ko bang inumin ito ng walang laman ang tiyan?

Can I take this with food?

Pwede ko bang inumin ito ng may kinain?

Can I take this with (insert medicine)?

Pwede ko bang inumin ito kasabay ng (insert medicine)?

Can I stop taking my medicine once I feel well?

Pwede ko bang itigil na ang gamot ko kapag magaling na ako?

How's my blood work result?

Kumusta ang resulta ng blood work ko?

Can I eat (insert food)?

Pwede ba akong kumain ng (insert food)?

Can I still eat (insert food)?

Pwede pa ba akong kumain ng (insert food)?

Common Health Problems And Diseases

Below are some common health problems in Tagalog from the common cold, cough, and headache to health conditions and diseases like asthma and arthritis.

Health conditions and diseases in Filipino/Tagalog.

EnglishFilipino/Tagalog

common cold

sipon

cough

ubo

headache

sakit ng ulo

asthma

hika

arthritis

rayuma

stomach ache

sakit ng tiyan

chickenpox

bulutong

pimple

tagyawat/tagiyawat

constipated

tibi

toothache

sakit sa ngipin

diabetes

diyabetis

chicken pox

bulutong

fever

lagnat

Showing Respect to Elderly Patients

Delight your patients by adding po and opo when speaking to them. These two are used to show respect when speaking with the elderly. "Kumusta?" which means "How are you?" fits when greeting a younger patient such as a kid or a young adult, but for someone older, "Kumusta po?" shows politeness. Po as well as opo means yes but these two are used differently. Po is used to politely answer a yes and no question while opo is used to politely respond.

Knowing these vocabulary words and phrases, not only you're making your patients more comfortable but it's a good start if you're just starting to learn the Filipino language.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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