Interview with Pauline Lagmay from KFSHRC hospital in Jeddah

Work&Life Story

Pauline is English, coming from a small countryside area called Crewe and Nantwich in the county of Cheshire. This is in the North West of England fairly close to the ancient city of Chester and also close to Manchester Airport. She is currently working at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah Branch. Her hobbies are horseback riding, swimming, sometimes snorkeling at the beach/reef, dining out with friends, walking and reading.

Pauline, what has brought you to Saudi Arabia? And specifically to King Faisal in Jeddah?

I came to Saudi Arabia way back in 1987 as a Critical Care Staff Nurse in one of the Military Hospitals in Jeddah, with a plan to stay for one year only to save some money! Look what happened! I am still here and you may wonder why. I truly enjoy my life and work here, the people, the weather, the city, the country. It has been so easy to grow my nursing career here throughout the years, as well as have the chance to travel to many countries for holidays and work with multinational/multicultural teams. The culture and history of Saudi Arabia is truly fascinating, and the people are warm and welcoming, with patients and their families very appreciative of the care they receive. I applied at King Faisal Jeddah on the advice of a friend working here and was fortunate to be hired in a hospital which has a great working environment, and a full range of professional development, opportunities.

What did you think about Saudi Arabia before travelling for the first time?

I thought it would just be like a desert only and got a shock looking through the airplane windows and seeing the beautiful lights of Jeddah City for the first time, and also the Jeddah Fountain, which is the largest in the world. Jeddah is an amazing city, a wonderful combination of the old and the new. Also I did not expect to find everyone so kind and helpful and so very welcoming. In fact I thought I would only have a life of work, eat and sleep and brought a lot of books to read with me, but it took me a long time to read them, as I was always too busy with various social and sporting activities. I learned to snorkel here on the fabulous coral reef of the Red Sea and also took windsurfing lessons in my first year here.

Do you have any social life in Saudi? How do you spend your free time?

My social life is a little quieter now than it used to be, as I am a little older now than I used to be, but I ride horses three times a week, walk every day, shop and dine with friends and occasionally go to the beach. Our Employee Social Club does some great trips for staff both locally, nationally and internationally, which are well organized, not expensive and truly enjoyable. In addition Cinema is opening here this year and already there are some very good live entertainment venues for music and the arts.  I still love to travel and one of my favorite places for short break close by is Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The Dancing Fountains on the lake by Burj Khalifia (the tallest building in the world) are something I recommend you experience at least once in your life! There are various sporting, recreational, cultural and entertainment opportunities and the shopping is amazing, from Old Downtown Balad Souk and historical area to huge  Modern Malls in the city.

What do you like most about living in Saudi? And on the contrary – what drives you crazy sometimes?:)

I love the sunshine and blue skies, the people both local and international, the safety and security, the chance to travel, and all the good friends I have made along the way. What drives me crazy sometimes—sandstorms! Fortunately they do not happen too often!

What is your most favorite food in Saudi?

There is so much variety of food available here! For fast food and very cheap you cannot beat Al Baik, (Shrinps or chicken) with fries and it is famous here in Jeddah. Local food is very good too, foul and tammees, falafel and bukhari rice and chicken. For fine dining I enjoy a breakfast or a lunch by the sea at the Park Hyatt Hotel. All types and all levels of cuisine are available here.
KFSH in Jeddah was the first hospital in the whole Middle East to receive the MAGNET accreditation – can you introduce that a bit to our candidates? How did the hospital prepare for that?

We are proud to be the first hospital in Saudi Arabia and the GCC to get Magnet Accreditation. (The First in the Middle East was the American University of Beirut Hospital (AUB) in Lebanon). We worked very hard as a collaborative team to achieve that.  Magnet organizations are recognized for superior nursing processes and quality patient care, which lead to the highest levels of safety, quality, and patient satisfaction and nurse satisfaction. For more information about Magnet please have a look at this web site We are approaching the time for a site visit 5-7 March for Magnet redesignation but we are all confident because the principles and way of working have been well enculturated within Nursing and the whole hospital.

The hospital currently has some 300 beds, correct? What is the plan for the upcoming years?

We currently have 350 beds and the plan for the coming years is the Mega project with Centers of Excellence of Neurosciences, Oncology, Pediatrics and Cardiovascular at a different site which will be an 850 bed hospital complete with its own campus of accommodation, shops, and recreation areas.
Thank you, Pauline. 
Do you want to join KFSH international team and write your own work&life story?
On March 10 - 11, 2018 KFSH representatives are coming to G5 Plus to meet and interview our candidates face to face. 
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