Tipping of hospital staff

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I'm wondering how common it is IN GERMANY for a patient to tip nurses and other direct caregivers after staying in hospital for anything from a night to a few weeks. Do any of you give them something for their "Kaffeekasse"? My German physician friends tell me this is perhaps not expected but very much welcomed by underpaid staff lower on the totem pole, so I always do it (a fiver for a night or two, up to 20 euros if I've been there a week or longer and they've been especially attentive). But does anybody else do this? I've never been in hospital in any of the other countries I've lived in, so I have no idea how it works elsewhere.

 

What do you think?

 

Ciao,

Liebling

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Tipping is for suckers! It should be banned.

 

As an American who has worked in a hospital, I have never ever heard of tipping the staff. Occasionally, the family of a sick member will bring a flower arrangement or snack basket to the nurses station, but slipping a fiver is about as stupid as it gets. One patient is taken care of by about 6-8 people per day.

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I'm wondering how common it is IN GERMANY for a patient to tip nurses and other direct caregivers after staying in hospital for anything from a night to a few weeks. Do any of you give them something for their "Kaffeekasse"? My German physician friends tell me this is perhaps not expected but very much welcomed by underpaid staff lower on the totem pole, so I always do it (a fiver for a night or two, up to 20 euros if I've been there a week or longer and they've been especially attentive). But does anybody else do this? I've never been in hospital in any of the other countries I've lived in, so I have no idea how it works elsewhere.

 

What do you think?

 

Ciao,

Liebling

Why should someone tip hospital staff?

 

Health insurance costs are already the biggest rip-off scams going on in Germany. so, absolutely no tipping!!

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I agree tipping is faux pas. As Eurovol suggested a selection from the conditorei would be nice for the nurses station it would be best. If there was a nurse who you liked in particular maybe flowers or a card of thanks.

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Tipping medical staff gives me the shudders. Even giving them "presents" is something I've seen and heard of only here - thank goodness it seems to be rare.

 

It would be horrible if good treatment became tied to good tipping. I think it's under unethical practices in the states (though eurovol can correct me if I'm wrong).

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Both here in Germany and back in Canada, I would usually get a box of chocolates or similar goodies for the nurses to share. It's just a token thank you, but has always been appreciated. Never have I given any money tips to anybody in a hospital, though, except perhaps to add a few coins to the cup in the cafeteria.

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I think it's under unethical practices in the states (though eurovol can correct me if I'm wrong).

I would consider it unethical and it goes against the code, but not sure if legally there are any regulations against it (would be a state by state thing anyway in the states). Most hospitals and clinics do have a code of conduct and there is a line on accepting "gifts". Cards are very welcome and many nurses stations have a collection. A lot of children's wards also have a collection of photos of kids that have gotten better and written a letter or drew a picture. When you're dealing with death, it is always nice to hear the good stories and the thank you's. Bribes just cheapen it all.

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Since the responses have been so fiercely against it and assuming (perhaps wrongly) that my German physician friends aren't totally off their rockers, I googled it and found that -- for good or ill -- it's apparently pretty common for German patients to tip. Common enough to warrant inclusion in the tax code, anyway. See, for example,

http://www.focus.de/finanzen/news/kurse-und-notizen-steuertip-trinkgeld-im-krankenhaus_aid_163218.html 

. I wonder what % of German patients do it, and whether it's a generational thing. I guess I'll ask my German friends more about it.

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I'm German, and I've never heard of tipping hospital staff. Granted, I have also never been a patient in a hospital before, but I've also not heard of anyone else doing it... honestly it does seem weird to me as well. Chocolates or cookies or something might be a nice gift, but money? I would have never even thought of that.

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I baked a cake for the staff to share as a way of saying thank you, but tipping has never crossed my mind. It just doesn't seem like one of the tipping-type professions.

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We usually give 10 or 20 € "für die Kaffeekasse". Don't know how common it is, though.

My wife used to be a nurse and works in hospital administration, so she should know if it was considered unethical.

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Time before last the staff of the pneumo/cardio ward got a bottle of 18-year-old whisky. Last time, the male nurse of the ICU got a hug and a heartfelt "thank you so much". I considered bringing the staff there chocolate chip cookies later on but couldn't face going back.

 

I would never give the staff money, they might be accused of having stolen it. But they do appreciate cookies, chocolate, whisky or a gift basket.

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No idea about Germany (although I am a native), but my former girlfriend was a nurse in Tyrol just across the border in Austria. In their hospital, tipping was absolutely common and in fact expected, but the Austrian mentality is really different ...

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Last time I was in hospital (Rotenburg/Wümme), they had a Sozialkasse for disadvantaged people to be bought daily papers, chocolate, etc from the small shop. However when I saw someone who seemed to be far better off than myself,being given cash for fags from the 'Kasse', and no it wasn't 'Wechselgeld', I decided not to contribute.

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Its normal here. Nurses here don't get paid anywhere as well as they do in the UK, a nurse even with all the qualifications and running a ward probably won't take home more than 1700 EUR per month.

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...tipping hospital staff?? - you have got to be fucking kidding! A bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates for the nurses by all means. But CASH? - no way!

 

Sorry, but this really has wound me up! And, whats more, the bloodsuckers here who pass themselves off as doctors/dentists etc get more than enough from ripping off my insurance company and therefore, ultimately, me! Thank god for the NHS (for all its short-comings) where, in my experience, patient care comes first, without expectation of a monetary back-hander!

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I've got a tip for German nurses - give some better fucking service, don't smell like ciggies when you're treating a patient, pay attention in class and learn how to give a shot properly, and don't assume all foreigners don't speak your language - some of us understand the snickering and laughing.

 

This was at a Uni Klinik where most if not all of the nurses were under 25 years old. My German friends that visited me while I was 'in' were apalled by their behaviour.

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Well the only thing I have heard of was to the Hebammels and that was usually a token item like a bottle of wine or box of chocolates. It was never expected or demanded but often given none the less and it is much appreciated.

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OK you guys out there getting all hot under the collar about the immorality of tipping hospital staff - this is such a funny read - - Try thinking of it from this direction: flowers + chocolate = tip (I admit I have never in my 10 years on the wards ever heard of anyone receiving cash!!!). If you are an overworked, underpaid hospital worker (and that can include ward doctors, nurses, ward personnel) and a patient or their relatives brings in a huge box of chockies and an impressive bunch of flowers, then guess which patient gets all their telephone calls put through? Guess who gets the first shower? Do you think it will be more likely that the unpaid overtime they do they will prefer to clean your (god forbid) filthy bed, or do you think they might just leave that to the next overworked shift guy? Any hospital ward is a horrible place to be, and this is really the time in your life you want people to be kind to you, and nothing helps oil the wheels of consideration than a little overt gratitude. My tip to you, is that you give the big flowers and chockies at the start of your stay, not at the end. Don't worry about cash, unless you are thinking of getting a ward named after you, and then it better be big!

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