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Saudi women nurses quit due to social pressure

Half of Saudi women who enter the nursing profession quit because of social pressure and a lack of understanding about what the job involves.


April 10, 2010 11:04 by

Half of Saudi women who enter the nursing profession quit their jobs, according to Sabah Abo-Zanada, director of the Scientific Society for Nursing under the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties.

Speaking at a National Dialogue event (a regular town-hall style meeting that occurs in various parts of the Kingdom to promote public dialogue on various important issues) in Najran, Abo-Zanada called for a national council on nursing to promote the profession.

Abo-Zanada said there are two major reasons why Saudi women quit the profession. The first reason is misunderstanding of what the job entails. The second reason is the social stigma and lack of familial support Saudi women get when they decide to enter the field.

“Both reasons make quitting the job a fast decision,” said Abo-Zanada, who pointed out that the nursing sector in Saudi Arabia, which is dominated by foreign workers, comprises half of the health-care work force.  Furthermore, she added, approximately 80 percent of the contact patients have with health care professionals is with nursing professionals.

Abo-Zanada also underscored the importance of placing a high social value on nursing staff — as well as providing quality human resource training — in order to reduce the number of incidences of medical malpractice.

“Developing programs will limit mistakes and/or prevent them from happening at all,” she said.

- Arab News


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  1. Miss Anne Thropic on April 11, 2010 1:51 pm

    So, we have the sad situation of some Saudi women becoming nurses without realising what a hard job it can be, while others, who are presumably find it rewarding, are forced out because their families frown upon their daughters working in such a job? And there we have it – another one to add to the long list of reasons for unemployment amongst Saudi nationals, especially women…

  2. Gulf nursing on May 20, 2010 1:05 pm

    Well, as far as my opinion is concerned, women should be there in medical profession as everyone likes to be treated his wife or daughter from a female rather than a male and for such reason females should be in this profession but I think that there should be nurses treating the patients of the same sex and not of the opposite sex.

  3. Andrew on May 20, 2010 4:04 pm

    Considering the global shortage of trained and competent nurses, beggars can’t be choosers.


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