I have been interested in nursing and patient care from the age of 14 years old when I chose to follow the footstep of my eldest sister who was a working as a nurse. Her attitude towards nursing inspired me so much so that I wished to be like her and make a contribution to caring for people who are in hospital. Consequently I enrolled at King Saud Nursing College, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and I qualified in 1989 when I was successful in attaining my Diploma in General Nursing. Subsequently, I undertook a variety of roles in gynaecology, antenatal care and in particular medical care.
In 1998 I successfully completed a Bachelor in Nursing and then a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration at King Saud University, Riyadh. This higher academic level of education further enhanced my passion to take care of the patients with evidenced based knowledge.
In my role as a Hospital Nursing Director for the last ten years, my work was concerned with coordinating, planning and directing the overall clinical nursing practices in the hospital. After reading various works of literature in this field, it soon dawned on me that effective management of diabetes requires a multi-disciplinary approach. I also realized that health care professionals are only responsible for a small percentage of the care as 95% of caring is managed by the person with diabetes. Furthermore, diabetes care does not take place in isolation and the consistency of support networks is perhaps more important than all the medication because families and friends play a major role in supporting, motivating and empowering the person suffering from diabetes.
To this end, I made a conscious decision to act as a changemaker and bring about some changes, particularly at a time when the prevalence of diabetes is so volatile in Saudi Arabia. Thus, I was successful in my application to undertake a higher academic degree such as Ph.D. to explore the following research problem:
The role of professional and social support systems as determinants of self-care among adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
I arrived in Manchester September 2014 eager to begin my doctoral studies in a new country as an international student from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I chose to travel to the UK for my degree to broaden my academic and personal horizons.
This unique – University of Salford – is widely famous in my country for its outstanding performance in the educational research, and the academic staff is well known in their fields of expertise. In my opinion, a supervisor with a high reputation in the research field is crucial and tempting and I was searching for that level of knowledge and experience, which I found at School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Science. My supervisor is helpful to guiding and directing me, and I learned numerous research skills from him, as well as, acquired insightful knowledge related to my research and overall personal development.
I found the facilities and resources at the University of Salford outstanding. The university is well organized and the support team is always available and helpful.
The diversity of my fellow research students from all over the world and the sheer range of subjects make a large academic community of mutually supportive researchers. We are encouraged to share our work via a series of seminars on the research approaches and issues. For example, I had the opportunity to participate in several seminars in the university such as I was one of the speakers on International Nursing Day, and I presented my research project on the celebration of Postgraduate Research Day. I was also one of the organizers and speakers on the event of Saudi National Day at University of Salford. In addition to this, I gave a lecture to new students of Master’s Degree at University.
My first year of studying Ph.D. at University of Salford was quite busy because I spent a lot of time reading relevant literature, attended seminars and workshops, which helped me to understand the research methods and methodology. In addition to this, I prepared for my interim assessment research proposal, which was scheduled in late June 2015. The interim assessment was the most important evaluation event in my Ph.D. work. The examiners were extremely helpful, friendly, and gave some valuable comments. Following this, my supervisor and I were asked to leave the room. The most stressful moment was the waiting time for the results outside the office with my supervisor. After a period of 10 minutes, we were informed that I passed my interim assessment and can now consider myself a real Ph.D. student. The interim assessment was a turning point for me in this research work. Although, I completed all the preparations work, for example literature review, research methods, I felt that the second year would be the year marked as the initiating year of the research and hard work.
The city of Manchester is a great place for studying. It is known as the “best student city”. The city is multicultural and lively, and the city has lots of tourist attractions, museums, galleries, and on-going events throughout the year.
University of Salford vibrant campus is only a short travel from Manchester central. I found myself in a middle of great things happening, which influence my personal development and my learning, which I am planning to take back to my home country when I graduate! Finally, I can say that at the University of Salford, challenges may seem big but they fill my life with excitement and help me to realise my dreams with more confidence and enthusiasm!
Ph.D. student second year at University of Salford,
School: Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work & Social Sciences.