In the Netherlands, the first line of support that you receive at your GP office, whether you telephone or are at the front desk, is with the Doctor’s Assistant. However, for many internationals, who and what the role of a Doctor’s Assistant is and what they are able to do can be a bit of a mystery.
The role of an assistant in the medical clinic in the Netherlands is vast and essential to the smooth running of the clinic. Part of an assistant’s duty is to answer the telephone and that in itself is a great responsibility. They have to “triage” the person calling in, which means they have to ask vital and pertinent questions to assess if the person needs to be seen immediately by the doctor or if they can wait for another day. They also provide valuable advice on a wide variety of ailments and illnesses and are able to discuss lab or test results with the patient.
However, a doctor’s assistant does much more than answer the telephone. Did you know that assistants go through an intense and formal training of 2-4 years. During their studies they learn not only about the human body (anatomy) and all of its functions but also study pharmacology, physiology and take laboratory training.
They are fully qualified and trained to provide a variety of treatments and tests for patients both independently and under the doctor’s orders.
For example: treatment they may provide without a doctor’s order include: Pap Smears, urine tests, blood pressure checks, injections, glucose testing, removal of ear wax and other treatments.
Under the direction of the GP they can provide: EKG testing, visual exams, remove stitches, treats wounds and warts, and again other treatments and tests that the doctor requires for diagnosis.
Here at SGE International, we have wonderful assistants who are fluent in both Dutch and English. To schedule an appointment with one of them, you may do so on the SGE International website (www.sgeinternational.nl) or call the clinic during office hours at 040 7116730.
If you are uncertain or have questions whether or not you need to see the doctor or if it is a treatment that the doctors assistant can provide, please do not hesitate to call and speak to the assistant. They are always happy to help.