Unfortunately, while we were trekking, Brandon stubbed his toe pretty bad. It was fine at first, but after several re-stubs, his toe really began to hurt and look infected. As per directions from a nurse friend, he drained the fluid and his toenail pretty much fell off. The skin on the toe was extremely red, and it became clear that we needed to take him to a doctor. We had never been to an emergency room abroad before. Being from America, we were nervous about how much this visit would cost. We went to a pharmacy close to our Airbnb, and the staff was extremely helpful. They told us where we needed to go, and provided us with directions. The clinic was within walking distance from our place, so we headed off.

When we arrived at the clinic, we supplied the receptionist with his passport and she put us on the list to be seen by the doctor. After a very short wait of 15 minutes, he was called into the room. The doctor came and looked at his toe. He was extremely surprised that Brandon had removed the nail, and concluded that it must have been very infected. He cleaned the area and wrapped it up. He also prescribed some antibiotics for Brandon and provided him with cleaning instructions.

With the prescription in hand, we headed to the counter to check out. The cost of the visit was only €25! We paid an additional €5 for the bandages and cleaning supplies, but that was it. We were so relieved and happy that we were in and out in less than an hour. We went to the pharmacy and paid €12 for the antibiotics and cleaning solution. What a painless, cheap way to visit the doctor!

5 Tips When Visiting the Emergency Room Abroad

  1. Ask a nearby pharmacy for advice on where to go for your specific problem.
  2. Bring your passport or any other documentation with you.
  3. When you arrive to locate the information desk and wait patiently for someone who can speak your native language to assist you.
  4. Be patient. Know that just like in the US, the clinic needs to see patients with injuries and ailments that are more severe before seeing those for something considered minor.
  5. Make sure that if you need any documentation of your visit that you obtain the name of the clinic, name of the doctor, fax number, and phone number that the clinic can be reached at.

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