I was quite amazed that doctors, nurses, tea & coffee ladies and the cleaners all seemed to dress the same, it was the stethoscopes, cleaning cars and coffee pots that distinguished them. I also discovered where the (small) staff lunchroom was, and yes you’ve probably guessed it... all wearers of white coats were seen entering this room for their breaks.
One of the (real!) nurses asked me once where I was from and when I mentioned Ireland she told me about a holiday she had there some years back. She loved the country but brought up an interesting experience where she noticed one stark difference between the Dutch and Irish cultures. She was with her mother who was taken into hospital and was amazed by how the nurses all seemed to walk some predefined ‘respectful’ distance behind the doctors, and seemed to kowtow to their every need. She found it amusing compared to her situation as a nurse in the Netherlands where the doctors and nurses would openly discuss cases each sharing their areas of expertise. I laughed when she described the look of the head nurse’s face when she began questioning the doctor about a procedure he wanted to do on her mother. I can only imagine what the head nurse thought of this Dutch nurse who not only dared question a doctor but probably also did it in true Dutch direct style!!
Image by Waldo Jaquith , Flickr