Survey of Saudi nursing staff infuriates expat nurses

Published:  16 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia
The survey undertaken amongst patients in Saudi hospitals and their relatives has hit a sour note amongst expatriate health professionals working in the same hospitals.

Saudi’s King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science’s College of Nursing was responsible for surveying several hundred patients and their families. The poll questioned about Saudi nursing skills, communications skills, nursing basics, patient care, clinical skills and decision-making.

Between 89 and 95 per cent of respondents praised Saudi nurses on most points covered in the questionnaire. Unfortunately, it seems that the expatriate nursing community working in Saudi hospitals don’t agree with the results of the survey, with comments such as ‘incredulous’ and ‘unbelievable’ going the rounds.

Expat nurses were quick to respond with their own professional opinions, saying that, with Saudi nurses, cell-phones take preference over patients and male nurses are known for taking overlong breaks outside the facilities. Many said they had heard Saudi patients refusing to be cared for by Saudi nurses, opting instead for care from expat nurses.

Representatives of Saudi nurses are urging their expat counterparts to understand that the new generation of locally-trained heath professionals differs greatly from those who trained in the past. They point out that, once foreign health professionals’ contracts end, they leave for their home countries, it’s possible that the Saudization programme will prevent their being replaced.

Training courses at the nursing college are focusing not only on medical skills, but also on English language skills, essential in the field of medicine for research as well as communication with expatriate patients. Clipping new nurses' wings with criticism doesn't help provide the best teamwork, according to a representative from the college.
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