Saudi Arabia

  1. Hi, I'm considering traveling to Saudi Arabia, I actually have a contract but haven't signed yet. Has anyone been to SA? Would you like to share your experiences?
    Thanks in advance...

    ------------------
    •  
  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   mollie
    am wanting to go to Saudi or Iraq!! I know you asked for info
    from someone who has gone, but I hope you will share with me how you have obtained a contract, ect. I look forward to hearing from you.
  4. by   SusanJean
    My sister-in-law's parents, both in the medical field, have left SA after living there for a dozen or so yrs, for safety reasons.

    They lived/worked there, under contracts, because the compensation was excellent...but finally felt risk over-road any benefit.

    I have no personal knowledge of the present situation, am just passing along what they have told me.
    SJ
    PS. Best of luck w/ your decision.
  5. by   babylynn
    Quote from 3651bht
    Hi, I'm considering traveling to Saudi Arabia, I actually have a contract but haven't signed yet. Has anyone been to SA? Would you like to share your experiences?
    Thanks in advance...

    ------------------
    can you tell me how i can find a company that are sending nurses to saudi arabia.
  6. by   LYNNORA
    Helen Zeigler is a Canadian based company that recruits for Saudi hospitals. I went there through them. No complaints.
  7. by   trbelch
    I went to SA through Helen Zeigler. I was there on a three month locum tenens contract. It was the perfect test run. I was there long enough to get a feel for the culture and living conditions but not enough time if it was unbearable. I had no fears for my safety while there. Use common sense in your activities as always. Most importantly, get involved and have a social life. It will save your sanity. If anyone invites you to do something - go! I met wonderful people during my short stay. It was a great experience overall but adjusting to the culture was difficult and trying at times.

    Read as much about the culture and traditions as you can. For women it is harder but strangely you get used to the differences. Like not driving - they drive crazy over there and you couldn't pay me enough to drive in SA!!! Wearing an abaya - went around in t-shirts and shorts under my abaya, even went on a job interview wearing t-shirt and shorts!

    Embrace the differences and try not to get too frustrated at the inconviences, there will be many. Travel out of the country as often as you can to save your sanity.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  8. by   babylynn
    what kind of money did you get for going to saudi.
    Quote from trbelch
    I went to SA through Helen Zeigler. I was there on a three month locum tenens contract. It was the perfect test run. I was there long enough to get a feel for the culture and living conditions but not enough time if it was unbearable. I had no fears for my safety while there. Use common sense in your activities as always. Most importantly, get involved and have a social life. It will save your sanity. If anyone invites you to do something - go! I met wonderful people during my short stay. It was a great experience overall but adjusting to the culture was difficult and trying at times.

    Read as much about the culture and traditions as you can. For women it is harder but strangely you get used to the differences. Like not driving - they drive crazy over there and you couldn't pay me enough to drive in SA!!! Wearing an abaya - went around in t-shirts and shorts under my abaya, even went on a job interview wearing t-shirt and shorts!

    Embrace the differences and try not to get too frustrated at the inconviences, there will be many. Travel out of the country as often as you can to save your sanity.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  9. by   trbelch
    I made 17,000 SR per month. That was for a three month locum contract. Had I signed a one year contract my salary would have been 16,000 SR per month. That's about $4255 per month tax free.
  10. by   Jessy_RN
    Good luck in everything you do. This sounds interesting too.
  11. by   jnette
    We have an Allnurses member who went to SA early this year..Riyadh... she will be returning this month.

    If you are still here when she does, and wanting to know more, keep this thread bumped up and vivsible. Or I can pm you when she returns stateside.
  12. by   fergus51
    Quote from trbelch
    I made 17,000 SR per month. That was for a three month locum contract. Had I signed a one year contract my salary would have been 16,000 SR per month. That's about $4255 per month tax free.
    I don't see the real benefit then. I take home more than that after taxes. Granted I have to pay for my rent, but the travellers I work with don't and they are all making about as much.
  13. by   mattsmom81
    I wouldn't want to go there personally. A coworker of mine went years ago with a group of nurses in HCA Columbia. She was in a car accident there. Healthcare facilities are not like the west, one is NOT in the US, and Americans aren't exactly favorites over there.

    By the way my friend ended up paralyzed for life. Obviously she does not recommend nurses go there.
  14. by   weetziebat
    hi - i am on my home-leave vacation from my job in riyadh, saudi arabia, and can tell you my feelings and experiences working there.

    i first worked there from jan. '91 to jan. '98, then again for three months in 2002 and went back in march of this year on a one year contract.

    personally, i love it there. i have noticed a significant difference in the appeal of living there now due to lack of westerners though. most of the nurses there now are filipino and south african. it used to be more like living at a very socially active resort but, i assume due to safety concerns, few american, canadian, british, irish, australian or new zealand nurses seem to go there now. this can make for a lonely time.

    but, even though i did have concerns about my safety, i believe the u.s. goes overboard in warning people away. there is a very strong feeling against terrorism in saudi arabia and the saudi government is doing its utmost to fight terrorism.

    there are frequent security force attacks against terrorists reported on the local t.v. and in newspapers there, but i find i always feel safe. i often walk the streets alone, either in the morning or evening, shopping, and never have felt in any danger. of course, i also cover my hair (according to muslim custom) and follow local customs, which may draw less attention to me. but, in my opinion, there are far more reasons for being afraid in any large american city, such as n.y.c, chicago, miami, l.a. etc. than in riyadh. now, there is no way i'd ever go to iraq but that is another matter entirely!!

    and, although i was amazed, i have met no one who was less that very welcoming and friendly towards americans. working in the e.r. i see many saudi's and always hear "welcome. we like americans and are glad you are here." they have awareness that our civilian feelings have nothing to do with our government's actions.

    as far as working conditions - i work 44 hours a week (much more laid back than working in the u.s.), have 45 vacations days a year - which, along with sick leave, weekends etc, means i get ~ 10 weeks vacation a year. i live in a lovely 2 bedroom apt. with rent and utilities paid. there are company buses to take you shopping twice daily, and you are totally free to take taxies around town to shop or visit on your own. being on the other side of the world and having plenty of vacation time (by u.s. standards) means it is lots easier to travel. uniform allowance is provided, and english is the language spoken in all hospitals. learning at least a smattering of arabic is convenient but not absolutely necessary.

    i've read the previous posters note about the hospitals there and her co-worker's very unfortunate experience, and can only say that i have been hospitalized twice there, along with a visit to an e.r. in another part of the country and have found the care excellent. in fact, due to the number of nurses and the up-to-the-minute facilities, i find the care better than in the u.s. health care and prescriptions are free of charge. but that is just my experience.

    as far as the pay goes, king faisal hospital in riyadh is now offering 18,000 riyals per month, or ~ $4,500. a month salary (tax free). my salary is much lower because i work in an eye hospital connected with the ministry of health, but the main reason to work there is no longer mainly the salary but just the opportunity to work in another country and learn first hand of a totally different culture. you find yourself changed forever by the experience and i would never discourage anyone from doing that.

    good luck, and if any questions feel free to pm me. i went through 'saudi arabian international' recruiters in houston and liked them very much, but perhaps for a first timer helen ziegler would offer more information about living conditions and what to expect.
    Last edit by weetziebat on Oct 9, '05

close