Posted by: vftmom247 | 2012/05/28

German Hospital Stay

German Hospitals


As some of you know, it has been an interesting week around here. I spent about a week in the hospital here – kidney stones. It was a bit of a learning experience for both me and the hospital. I think they learned a little about dealing with DSOL (Deutsch as a Second Language) patients – namely, if there is a German speaker in the family, deal with them on treatment plans. I learned that I have a little more German than I thought – could converse with both roommates adequately.

So how are German hospitals different from American? Well…you have to bring a lot more stuff to the hospital. I’m not talking your basic entertainment and medical needs. German hospitals don’t provide towels, washcloths, basic toiletries. This is actually a good thing, considering the dye allergies around. Yes, sheets are provided. One thing I really liked was that German hospitals don’t make you lounge around in those fashion-plate backless gowns. You can wear normal clothes! This is great for two reasons: 1) When you’re under the weather, lounging in your own yoga pants and t-shirts just is kind of like chicken soup…you at least look like you’re not feeling as bad as you are, 2) For we DSOL people, when the nurse tells you to put on the hospital gown, you know some kind of procedure’s gonna be done. You don’t even have to stay in your room when you’re in the hospital – they let you roam fairly freely – another reason why the normal clothes are a good idea.

German hospitals are also really efficient. They do a lot in a smaller space. The room my procedure happened in was about half the space of an American surgical/procedure room. The patient rooms aren’t quite as big, and patients can do a lot more to aid in their own care. It was fine for me to grab bottles of water from the unit storage space. I got to tell the nurse when my IV antibiotic was finished. Just kind of affirmations that you are still a normal, capable person. Did I mention that the nurses (Sisters, in the German system – thanks to the Catholic Church) mostly spoke at least a little English?


Although…you still get the midnight vitals check, the food is still not that great, and it’s no fun being away from your loved ones, and having to rely on someone else to look after the spoiled cat. So that is the gist of Ginny’s experiences in a German hospital.



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