Dear fellow caregivers,
You are welcoming a patient from Italy.
Here is a list of useful information to know in the context of their medical care.
Distance Paris ✈ Rome : 687 miles
60.4 million inhabitants / Average salary: $2,872 per month
Literacy rate: 99.2% / Life expectancy: 83 years
Spoken language : Italian
● The most common infectious diseases are: COVID-19, chikungunya, dengue, and Zika.
● Family is of absolute importance in Italian life.
● In the Italian culture, punctuality is not paramount. It is not uncommon for patients to show up for appointments 15-30 minutes late. This is more common for people from the south of Italy.
● Generally speaking, Italian people are very expressive when it comes to communication.
● Italians need to form a close relationship with the caregiver and enjoy talking to them about their personal lives and passions.
Beliefs, Practices & Rituals
● Catholicism is the main religion in Italy and exerts influence on most aspects of daily life.
● Religious symbols are displayed on many public buildings and patients may want to hang some in their rooms.
● Many people are named after saints and celebrate their saint’s day as their own birthday.
● Coffee, wine and cheese all play a major role in Italian gastronomy.
● Meals are seen as a time to share and exchange with family and friends and can last a long time.
Pregnancy and motherhood
● In Italy, abortion is allowed. However, 70% of gynecologists refuse to perform it because of religious beliefs.
● It is not uncommon for Italians to request a priest to provide extreme unction for the sick.
● Catholics may see death as the passage from this life to eternal life and are generally confident in the eventual resurrection of any believing person who dies.
● In Italy, life-extending treatments may not be accepted if they are considered futile.
● Out of religious conviction, assisted suicide/euthanasia is never considered.
● There are no church rules against organ donation and it is an acceptable practice for most Italians.
● Everyone is considered an organ donor, unless they have expressed their refusal, prior to death.
● Cleveland Clinic - Diversity Toolkit