Friday, July 30, 2010

Interview with a Saudi male nurse

I thought it would be interesting to hear from a Saudi male nurse. Nurses in general are not always respected in the society, and sometimes male nurses get an even harder time for their choice of profession. Saudi nurses of both gender are still the minority of the workforce in KSA. Most nurses are recruited from Asian countries, North America, Europe and the surrounding Arab countries. Out of the Saudi nurses there is a higher percentage of males than females than there is in western countries in general. I asked one very inspiring and empathetic Saudi male nurse to be interviewed for my blog and he agreed.
Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed!

What inspired you to become a nurse?
Actually my sister showed me the first sign about nursing. She is also a nurse in childrens cancer centre. After I graduated from high school she mentioned to me about nursing ( I didn't know anything about nursing at that time ) then I read about it, actually I liked it and then applied to the college and they accepted me.

How does one apply and get accepted to a nursing school in the Kingdom?
It was easy to apply in nursing. It was a new college and my grades were very good. I passed English exam and interview.
Where and how long did you study for? Do you specialize in a certain field during your studies?
At King Saud University nursing college. I studied 5 years the 5th year was internship. 
No they didn't have specializing, it was generalized about everything (medical- surgical - ICU- psychiatric- gynecology- maternity. pediatrics- emergency and research) 

Did you mix with the female nursing students or doctors during your studies at all?
No, only in the hospital sometimes.

When did you graduate and where do you work now?
I graduated at 2009 and my internship was in King Fahad medical city then I joined King Faisal Specialist Hospital and I work on surgical urology ward.

In western countries nurses are sometimes looked down upon, do you feel that is also the case in KSA?
What kind of response do you get from your patients?
For me no I dont feel that way but some of my friends they feel the same until now.  
About patients many of them are very supportive and they are really proud of us but there is some of them that don't respect us (I don't know why).

The unemployment rate for Saudi males is very high, was it easy to get a job as a nurse?
Yes it was very easy for me because of my specialty its very rare in my country and they need Saudi nurses.

How old are you now, and where do you picture yourself in the next 10 years time? What are your career plans?
23 years old. After 10 years actually I don't consider a position in management but I´d like to improve my knowledge and my practice by working as staff for maximum 2-3 years then I will complete my studying for master and PHD.

Male nurses are not allowed to treat female patients in Saudi-Arabia. Did the school still educate you on female anatomy? Do you know how to deal with emergency situations like assist in labor and delivery if no one else is available to help?
Working with female patients honestly, it embarrassed  me in the beginning but with the time I got used to it. In emergency situations I will do whatever I have to do.

Family opinion is important in all aspects of life in the Kingdom,what was your families reaction to your choice of career?
My family are supportive about anything I choose for me in my life.

Was Islam a factor in choosing your career? 
Of course Islam teaches us to help other people especially if the others really need us.

Would you like to share with us a memorable experience with a patient, something that made you feel you have made a difference in the patients and their families lives?
I liked this question the most.
I remember one patient he was case of bladder cancer and he was shocked and depressed after the news but I tried my best to solve any problem he will be faced with after the surgery and I even went with him inside the OR. It was really interesting to me and to him because he felt that I am helping him and he trusted me. Then I did a presentation about it, it was really nice and I will send the presentation to you inshallah. It was fantastic I felt like a hero and I was very proud of myself for being able to help.

 Jazakallahu khairan may God bless you on your journey!


E said...

Hi, I am a swedish woman who lives in Riyadh. I like your texts so much. I think you write both informative, interesting and fun about Saudiarabia and life here.

Regards, ES

Layla said...

Hej Rondellhunden!
Tack för din kommentar och välkömmen till min blog :)

excuse my rusty Swedish!

You also started a blog? How long have you been in Riyadh?

E said...

Hihi, jag var inte säker på att du skulle svara på svenska. :) Tycker att din svenska verkar jättebra. Jag och min familj har bott i Riyadh sedan mars i år och planen är att vara här ett par år. Ångrar inte en sekund att vi flyttade hit och trivs bra. Hur länge har du bott i Saudiarabien?