Saudi Arabia: Uniformity in Health Care


During my time in Saudi Arabia I had experiences (either as an employee, patient or visitor) at the following Saudi hospitals:  King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, National Guard Health Affairs, Kingdom Hospital, King Khaled Hospital and Habeeb Medical Center.  There was one more hospital which was also a government run hospital in the Mohamadiyah section of Riyadh but the name presently escapes me.  Based on my own experiences and visits, I remember the nurses wearing scrubs.  I do not recall seeing a nurse ever wearing anything less than professional or wearing revealing or tight fitting clothing.  It just seemed to me there was an unwritten code of uniformity and professionalism among nurses.  However, some nurses did wear jewelry such as a necklace, ring or watch.  Some nurses chose to wear a hijjab while others had their hair pulled back or up but not covered.  Therefore, it was with surprise to read this recent article which implies that there has not been uniformity or professionalism by nurses in hospitals under the charter of the Ministry of Health.

I’d like to hear from Saudi nationals and expatriates on their experiences with nursing care in Saudi Arabia and whether the nurses were “professionally attired.”


15 Responses

  1. The governmental institutions you mentioned above are considered for us Saudi Nationals the top class of medical care. So, it is very reasonable that it keep high standard most of the times but in case of the other smaller or “normal” neighborhood hospital, it is a whole another story. While it is still not that common for a nurse to wear a jeans or tight cloths in those hospital, it is still possible to see every once and a while. It is not all about the dress code but also about the quality of services and medical care between he two types vary greatly.

  2. i live in a hospital compound where residents are either doctors ,nurses ,OT, etc and they all dress provisionally, and i have BEEN in Kingdom Hospital many ,many times ,and every time i have been there they are professionally dressed and the medical service is Excellent,as an Expat i have nothing but good things to say in this area!

  3. I have never seen a nurse in saudi inappropriately dressed. Most dress for comfort. the job involves long hrs , standing is stenous, who int heir right mind would wear tight skimpy clothing??

    I read the article, and it has nothing to do with profesionalism.. they forbid the wearing of nailpolish?? why ?? what has that do with nursing or quality care?

    In my opinion scrubs are the best attire in a hospital. if it’s cold scrubs with a long tshirt inside.. it’s warm, does not hinder movement and is generally very comfortable.. OR’s are cramped spaces, I’ve never had any issues in saudi or the US, I did have a few instances in India where the drs have wandered around wardswith a dupatta or a trailing saree, but most wear a coat on top to curtail flyaway clothing..

    If they want to do something they should increase the quality of care not worry about nurses and professionals dress code…

  4. I personally cannot speak to the hospitals. As a dental professional I worked at Al Suliman Habib and one of their affiliates Ajaji. We were issued scrubs made for us and a white coat. All employees received them. The only time I saw any street clothes was from the consulting clinics. But with that they wore a white coat over that. As to the nail polish it is unprofessional to wear anything but clear.

  5. One other thing. Only the assistants had to cover. Not sure if that was due to their country of origin.

  6. Who wants a doctor having tacky nail polish on their finger nails..not professional at all.

  7. All the nurses I have seen here look like….nurses. Uniforms vary depending on venue- either scrubs or a white outfit.

    If the nails are clean and well-maintained I see nothing unprofessional with wearing nail polish.

  8. “Who wants a doctor having tacky nail polish on their finger nails..not professional at all.”

    I have yet to see a dr or nurse wear a tacky nailpolish / or even glaring colour — I always wear a nude / pale nail polish on my very short trimmed nails!!!! i find it neither tacky nor unprofessional. Mostly my patients don’t get to see it since i wear gloves ( almost all the time) , for those in my surgery, they are under so they don’t see my face much less my glove covered hands 🙂

    We frown upon long talons ( cleanliness) but really don’t bother about nailpolish or lipstick… neither should a patient. your emphasis should be on experience, quality care , why would you be so bothered by nail polish tacky or otherwise???? those are personal preferences.. but then again there are all kinds of patients.. if a patient prefers someone their caregiver to be nailpolish guess they’ll just have to find someone else..

    e.g ..I hate beards.. can’t stand them, think they are disgusting but that doesn’t mean i will judge a dr with a beard over his qualifications/care/intelligence.
    — just saying..

    our pedes practitioner wears pale funky colors – diff color on each nail, she also wears multitude of stuffed animal hanging on her scope, and i’be seen her in winnie the pooh scrubs and on accasion cinderella…. tacky???? nooo i call it dedication.

  9. Nail polish can cause problems if it chips and it can carry bacteria. It is frowned upon in Canada and forbidden in many areas of health care.

  10. Lets face it if you are washing your hands as often as you should your nail polish needs to be redone almost every day to keep it chip free. The darker colors hide dirty nails. Why bother?

  11. Acrylics or the new gel polishes don’t have those issues. Let’s face it. Some of you don’t like nail polish ’cause you think it’s harem.

  12. No sandy..i think ure jumping the gun here..thats not what i was personally talking about anyway.having worked in medical clinics there are rules regarding personal hygiene and presentation..and one of those is clean nails..short and with no nail polish..iv always been told by medical staff in the field i worked in (dental area) that it was unprofessional and un- hygienic to do otherwise..this is in australia..don’t know about where u come from and what the rules are over there. Wether i think nail polish is haram or not is not the issue here and shouldn’t be mixed into it.

  13. I have never once had a dentist or hygienist in my mouth without gloves on their hands (the same with doctors) so I have NO idea whether or not they had nail polish on or WHY it would matter. I’ll have to ask them next time I’m there.

  14. Sandy, I am not Muslim so nail polish is NOT haram to me. It also should NOT be on the fingers of health care workers or those who work with food. In fact better restaurants will not allow polish on kitchen workers fingers or in some places even on servers.

  15. Ok. I jumped the gun. Sorry folks 😀

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