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Overview of Cancer Care and Oncology Nursing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
American Journal of Nursing Science
Volume 6, Issue 4, August 2017, Pages: 324-332
Received: May 30, 2017; Accepted: Jun. 5, 2017; Published: Jul. 13, 2017
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Dhuha Youssef Wazqar, Medical Surgical Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mickey Kerr, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
Sandra Regan, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
Carole Orchard, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
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Cancer prevalence is increasing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While the exact etiology of this trend is unknown, it can perhaps be partially attributed to an increased life expectancy and changes in lifestyle habits. One of the main challenges to the provision of appropriate cancer and palliative care is the critical shortage of oncology healthcare professionals, including nurses. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is characterized by its Islamic faith, culture, and unique traditions that may contribute to uniquely stressful situations for oncology nurses working in Saudi oncology care settings. This article provides an overview of cancer care and oncology nursing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia based on literature reporting challenges experienced by nurses delivering this care within the Saudi Arabian healthcare system and its cancer care services. Published literature written in English on cancer care and oncology nurses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were identified through a search of publicly available databases such as Medline, CINAHL, and Google Scholar as well as government sources. Reference lists were hand searched. Search terms used were Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian healthcare system, nursing education, nursing, Saudi nurses, oncology nursing, cancer, and cancer care. Common challenges facing oncology nursing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are related to high job demands, staff shortages, communication and language barriers, and cultural differences that may lead to stressful work environments and reduce the quality of care provided to their patients. While many steps have been undertaken by the Saudi Ministry of Health to reform the healthcare system, a number of challenges remain. The need for greater availability of cancer care and palliative care settings in all Saudi regions is strongly indicated. Nursing administrators/managers should take these factors into consideration to enhance the Saudi oncology care nursing work environment and to improve the quality of nursing care for patients with cancer and their families.
Cancer Care, Communication Barriers, Oncology Nursing, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Review, Saudi Culture, Staff Shortages, Job Stress
To cite this article
Dhuha Youssef Wazqar, Mickey Kerr, Sandra Regan, Carole Orchard, Overview of Cancer Care and Oncology Nursing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, American Journal of Nursing Science. Vol. 6, No. 4, 2017, pp. 324-332. doi: 10.11648/j.ajns.20170604.17
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
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