To the hospital

Just because you have to go to the hospital does not necessarily mean that your life is in danger. So don’t worry too much right away. It is wise to prepare yourself for being ill. Being ill often means that you cannot work (for a while), do the housework, drive a car or cycle. It can change your life dramatically.

How do you get to the hospital?

  1. In the event of an illness, your GP will determine whether it is necessary to further examine you in a hospital. This does not mean that you will be admitted immediately. You first make an appointment with a doctor (specialist) in the hospital for a short examination. The results of this test will determine your further treatment. You may not be admitted to hospital. You will then receive medication or physiotherapy, for example. Your doctor monitors the progress of your illness or condition. You may also be admitted, for example for further examination or surgery.
  2. Through emergency care. For example, you have an accident and suddenly end up in the hospital.
  3. You have a chronic illness and you regularly visit the hospital for check-ups or treatment.


Outpatient clinic

If you have been referred to the hospital by your GP and you do not have an emergency, you will not be admitted immediately. First, a doctor (specialist) will look at what exactly is wrong with you. This investigation will show whether you should be admitted or not.You therefore first make an appointment with a doctor at the hospital’s outpatient clinic. This actually works in the same way as the consultation hours with your GP.

What are you taking with you?

To visit the outpatient clinic, please bring:

  • your appointment confirmation
  • your referral letter
  • your punched plate (if you already have one, otherwise it will be created for you the first time)
  • your proof of insurance
  • an overview of the medications you use


Day admission

For simple operations you only need to stay in the hospital for one day. During these operations you will be monitored and cared for for a few hours. If everything goes well, you will go home again during the day. In every hospital, such a day care department is called differently, for example day care department or day hospital. Sometimes your treating doctor decides that it is better for you to stay in the hospital. Then you will end up in a nursing ward.


After an operation you may sometimes not eat for a short time. If you go to the hospital for a day admission, you can approximately adhere to the following times:

  • If you are treated in the morning, you are not allowed to eat, drink (including water) or smoke after 00:00.
  • If you are treated in the afternoon, you may only eat a rusk with toppings and a cup of tea between 00:00 and 08:00. After 8:00 am you are not allowed to eat, drink or smoke.


Recording for a longer period of time

For extensive examinations and major operations, you must stay in the hospital for a longer period of time. Depending on the examination or operation and your subsequent recovery, such an admission can take a few days to a few weeks. The hospital will give you a wristband with your name, date of birth and department. It is important that you continue to wear this band during your stay in the hospital. They then know who you are, even if you cannot explain it yourself, for example during operations.

What do you get to eat?

You often hear people complain about the food in hospitals. But still, it’s all not that bad. It is quite tasty and nowadays you can choose from several menus. You can also indicate how much of which dish you want. In some hospitals you get bread in the morning and evening and hot food in the afternoon. In other hospitals you get bread in the morning and afternoon and hot food in the evening. For all three meals you will receive a selection form on which you can indicate what you would like to eat. There is a choice of different types of bread, toppings and drinks for the bread meals. There is a choice of various hot dishes for the evening meal. Your choice is tailored to your diet. And your religious beliefs are also taken into account. During the morning, afternoon and evening, the nutritional assistants come by with hot and/or cold drinks, such as coffee and tea, milk, buttermilk, soft drinks and fruit juice.

Operating room

The operating rooms are isolated within the hospital. This section is difficult to access because the environment in this section needs to be controlled. Everything that goes in and out must comply with certain rules. This applies to goods, personnel, patients and even to supplied air. Bacteria should absolutely not feel at home in the operating department.


You will be fasting all night or morning before the operation. You may have already been given a sedative. It is normal to feel a bit tense. The preparation room is directly adjacent to the operating room. Here you see the anesthetist again who has already visited the department. The anesthetist and anesthesia assistant prepare you for the operation. They check who you are so they can be sure they are sedating the right person. You will be given an IV, your blood pressure and heart rate will be measured. The anesthesia is started in this room. From the preparation room you enter the operating room.


When you are in the preparation room, the operating team (surgeon, assistants) is preparing for the operation. After entering the operating room, you will be placed on the operating table. The anesthesia equipment is connected and the anesthesia causes you to fall asleep. You will not notice the rest of the operation unless you receive an epidural or other local anesthesia. The part of your body where they operate is made sterile with a disinfectant. The remaining equipment is set up and the operation begins. If you are completely anesthetized, the anesthetist will ensure that you can breathe on your own again and are almost conscious at the end of the operation. After this, the nurses in the recovery room take over the care. You can sleep late and recover in this room. The anesthetist will still keep a close eye on you and will indicate when you can return to the department.


It will not surprise you that you will heal faster from an outpatient procedure or an operation under local anesthesia than from a major operation under general anesthesia. Your condition before the operation also affects the time you need to recover.

First day

The first day after your operation you are still weak and your body breaks down the anesthetics. You will be given strong painkillers for the pain. You’re lying in bed and you can’t do much yet. You are not allowed to move much because of your surgical wound or because of muscles that were cut during the operation. They must first grow back together and become strong. You cannot walk to the toilet or shower. That is not always easy.

After the first day

You will feel better and better over the next few days. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment or operation, this phase lasts longer or shorter. The surgeon who operated on you will visit you to examine the wound. The anesthetist will come by to ask whether you are still in pain or not. If you are in pain, he can prescribe painkillers.

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