Nursing/Children Specialist Hospital Saudi Arabia
Title: Challenges facing overseas nurses practicing in Saudi Arabia
Biography: Obeid Al Rashoud
Introduction: Saudi Arabia being the largest country in the GCC is experiencing rapid growth and development in the healthcare sector. The increased demand for qualified nursing workforce has led to the recruitment of overseas qualified nurses (OQN) to match the healthcare sector demand and contribute to exchange of knowledge and experiences with local nurses. However, differences in culture, customs and language are expected to have an impact on the effectiveness and quality of life of OQN in Saudi Arabia.
Aim: To explore the factors associated with professional and personal challenges facing the OQNs in Saudi Arabia for ultimately formulating a set of recommendations to be employed first in ministry of health hospitals than in private hospitals in Saudi Arabia to effectively engage the OQN in their working environment to ensure successful communication, productive work and improved quality of life.
Methods: Prospective, qualitative, phenomenological study. We approached 23 OQNs. Our research tool was a qualitative interview assessing the contextual practice, accommodating to the Saudi culture, communication barriers and cultural differences. Thematic analyses were used as the data analysis technique.
Results: Two significant issues that affected the day-to-day professional practice of these nurses. The first was that the overall Saudi Islamic Culture was pervasive; and the second was that communication obstacles due to language barriers often presented insurmountable difficulties in their professional practice.
Conclusion: It appears that the language barrier is the pressing issue to be addressed by Arabic courses offered to OQNs in all hospitals. The areas of future research identified from the study include, exploring the views of hospital administrators to the challenges faced by OQNs, as well as the impact of these nurses on the quality of patient care. This links direct to the important area of strategies to increase the numbers of local Saudi nurses.