Your cultural background

If you are not used to Dutch culture, your contact with your doctor and nurse may seem strange to you. Language can also be a problem. Maybe you have other ideas about being sick or about the treatment.

Of course it is very important that you can actually understand what the doctor and nurse are telling you. And it is just as important that you can make clear to the doctor and nurse what you want to tell them. Which language do you speak with your doctor and nurse? Do you speak Dutch? Can you understand Dutch properly? Is a translator/ interpreter present during the consultation? Or does the doctor or nurse make use of a translator via telephone? Orcultuur do you bring along a family member, friend or acquaintance who can translate everything for you? Do you still feel free to talk about everything if someone else is there? If language is an obstacle, try to find a solution together with the doctor and nurse. If you pretend that you understand everything, but in fact you do not really understand everything, you are the one who will suffer the most from that. It can be bad for your treatment

Doctors in the Netherlands often consult with their patients about what the best treatment will be. In other countries that is not always the custom. If your doctor asks you questions or lets you have a say in deciding about the treatment, that is not because your doctor is uncertain. It is simply the Dutch way of doing things.

Shaking hands
It is the custom in the Netherlands that the doctor (or the nurse) shakes hands with the patient at the beginning of every consultation. That is also the case if one person is a man and the other is a woman.

Doctors and nurses think it is important that you come to your appointment on time. Especially doctors often have little time to spend with you. While in other countries it is often customary to have a little chat before getting started, many Dutch doctors do not do that.

Consultation with doctor and nurse
You might not be used to talking about yourself, but you are allowed to do that with the doctor and nurse. It is also normal in the Netherlands for you to ask doctors and nurses questions and to say what you think.


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