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Young Saudi nurses struggle with expectations versus reality of the job

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Author: AISHA FAREEDThu, 2017-03-23ID: 1490218979944338400
JEDDAH: Young Saudi nurses have difficulties reconciling their expectations working in a hospital with the reality of long hours, intense work and social and family pressures.
Two Saudi nurses presented a study they conducted on intern nurses and the difficulties they face during their internship, which sometimes lead young women to leave the nursing profession.
Noof Janbi and Lama Alsini are Saudi nurses-to-be currently completing their internship at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) in Jeddah. Janbi is studying at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science, and Alsini studies at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz University. Both are members of the Saudi Nursing Pioneers Committee.
Their study, “The Journey Between Ideal and Actual: Experiences of Intern Nurses ‘Becoming’ as They Transition into Clinical Interdisciplinary,” focuses on five nursing students from King Abdulaziz University and eight from King Saud University. Their subjects completed five months of nursing internship.
New nurses, the study concluded, still struggle with uncertainty and fear due to their perceived reality between ideal and actual in exploring the qualitative literature. New interns experience turbulent emotions before clinical placements and their perceptions of the “actual” clinical placements shows that they are “not belonging.”
Despite the changes that have emerged on the Saudi society, nursing as a profession still faces negative perceptions from Saudi society, which, sometimes leads some nursing interns to withdraw from the field. Twelve-hour shifts may not be easy to accept either by the nurse’s family. In some cases, Saudi nurses are deprived from marriage or get divorced.
“Some of the interns had difficulties in separating from their role as students to interns, which is a totally different role,” co-author Janbi told Arab News. “Also, difficulties in adjusting with the new hosptial envioronment and working hours (was a problem).”
One intern, who spoke on the condition that she would not be identified, told Arab News that “before the internship, unfortuately, my expectations were high. However, I was shocked at the beginning that I, as a student holding a baccalaureate degree, don’t participate in the developoment of a treatment plan or rehabilitation of the patient.”
Janbi and Alsini relied their experiences for part of the study, which addressed emotional rediscovering, identity adjusting, competence and boundaries.
The study’s findings showed that new nurses still suffer from identifying between the ideal and actual perceived reality, which can cause an emotional roller coaster and make them give up nursing.
Janbi and Alsini recommended in-depth orientation and explanations to new nurses and emotional support for the interns to avoid emotional instability.
The study’s authors also recommended educational programs on how to deal with nursing interns, starting gradually with the duties (new nurses can start working eight hours, then 10 hours and later can achieve the 12-hour shift) to reduce physical exhaustion and help cope better. The study also recommended that help should be provided to nurse managers to plan improved clinical and educational practices of a nurse intern by having a better understanding of the expectations verses the actual experience of the job.
“I am sure the international guests would agree with me, that these are presentations (done by Saudi health professionals) that should not be just kept in Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Mustafa Bodrick, a fulltime consultant in nursing education and practice at the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. “I think that they should look into international conferences. These ladies should go and speak and fly the flag and show what Saudi nurses are actually doing in this part of the world to contribute to the global advancement of nursing.”
Bodrick invited the two authors to the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties to present their paper in order to be taken into consideration.
Bodrick asked for a copy of the paper. He said he believes that “there is a moral obligation to pass this research on to all the deans in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
He said the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties’ intention is to partner with Janbi and Alsini as to how to respond to their recommendations.
“In Islam, we talk about intentions and actions – we should not only talk about intentions, but actions have to follow,” Bodrick said.
The paper will be submitted to the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties to be published in its journal.
Nursing is a difficult field, said Dr. Rosemarie Lawrence an acting education coordinator and intern coordinator for King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Jeddah.
“When I first started in this country many, many years ago, there was a stigma attached to nursing, as if nursing had no place, no belonging, but things have changed,” she said.
Many people now realize that nursing is an amazing field of a career.
“Saudi nurses are growing and they started believing in themselves. They do not have to be great; they just need to believe in themselves, because once they do, that way growth comes. ”
From a Saudi nurses’ perspective, nurses in the Kingdom try their best to improve the image of nursing as a profession in the country.
“We support them through involving them to be part of the organizing committee of this international symposium, to put them in the right direction,” said Amna Hamzah Al-Shelali an education coordinator in the Nursing Development and Saudization Department at KFSHRC.
Al-Shelali told Arab News that King Faisal Specialist Hospital is planning to have an advanced nursing diploma in October 2017. “This comes within our responsibility to developed and support our Saudi nurses to be in a very specialized area like oncology – as cancer, according to statistics, is No. 1 disease in the Kingdom. So we are trying to develop them in this specialty.
“As you saw today, there were educators, coordinators, nurses and undergraduates from Jeddah and Riyadh interacting and exchanging experiences. We are trying to link and think as to how to improve and have a lead, not only in Saudi Arabia, but regionally and internationally. So proudly, I say that we are in the front,” Al-Shelali said.
Main category: Saudi Arabiarelated_nodes: Some hospitals have 100 percent Saudi nursing staffKing Faisal Specialist Hospital hosts 8th International ‘Nurses Transforming Healthcare’ SymposiumKKUH focuses on Saudi nursing skills

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