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OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY: MEET SALMA ALMUKHAINI
Name: Salma Almukhaini
Degree & program: PhD in Nursing
A strong desire to learn about equity-based care led Salma to Dalhousie’s School of Nursing where she is studying to improve the quality of nursing care in her home country and how “caring science” can be used to benefit the treatment of Muslim patients.
What is the focus of your research?
My research focuses on the role, development, and utilization of Master’s-prepared Omani nurses working in the governmental health care system. I am exploring the different roles of these nurses and whether the health care system is utilizing them to the maximum of their educational preparation or if there are certain areas where these nurses could be better utilized. I am done with my data collection and currently doing my analysis.
Can you describe a moment or experience at Dal that made you happy?
There were many moments and experiences that really made me happy at Dalhousie. Most of them were related to support I received from the faculty at the School of Nursing and from my supervisors. The first happy experience I had at Dalhousie was during my first semester in Fall 2018. I was taking a course titled “Nursing science, philosophy, research and practice” coordinated by Dr. Lisa Goldberg. As a course requirement, I made an oral presentation and it was about embodying care science as a philosophy of care for Muslim patients. Dr. Goldberg showed her great support for me as she liked the presentation a lot. She told my supervisors and graduate nursing coordinator about it. As a result, I was requested to make that presentation at a doctoral seminar at the School of Nursing.
Additionally, in collaboration with Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Jean Watson (the founder of the theory of human caring using caring science) I published an article about how to use caring science to provide care to Muslim patients, in the Advances in Nursing Science journal in 2020. I believe it is a privilege to publish an article with an impactful person such as Dr. Watson as a co-author. Considering the increased number of Muslim patients in Canada and internationally, optimizing care for them by providing patient-centred care is very critical. Therefore, that article was a great addition to the literature.
Another happy moment was when I received a PhD award from the School of Nursing. It made me happy and gave me more encouragement to work harder. I received a lot of support from the School of Nursing which works hard to support and highlight the achievement of its nursing students.
Why did you choose Dalhousie?
I think my luck is what brought me to Dalhousie University. I really believe that I am a lucky person and the best thing that happened in my PhD is that I am doing it at Dal. I started my PhD in 2017, 40 days after delivering my first daughter Leen, while at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. After a year, my husband got accepted at Dalhousie University to do his residency training in the orthopaedic surgery program. To maintain the unity of my family, I transferred my PhD study to Dalhousie University, which was a transformational event in my professional life. I have a rich experience as I did my Bachelor of Nursing in my home country (Oman), my Master’s in the United States, my first year of the PhD in the UK and the rest of my PhD in Canada. Having my education in these great countries was an eye opener for me and has added a lot to my personal and professional life.
What makes Halifax feel like home? What do you like best about the city?
I really like living in Halifax. It is a quiet small city, away from big city noise, and people are very nice here. I can walk safely in the street without fear because of my visible religious identity. The weather is really cold especially during winter, but I got used to it and I will miss the snow and all winter activities like skating, when I get back to my country. With the increasing number of Arab immigrants and refugees the number of Arab grocery stores and restaurants have dramatically increased. So, everything is available. Now we can even find Halal food and stuff everywhere, not only in Arabic shops.
What advice would you give to future international students from your country?
I am the first PhD Nursing student from Oman at Dalhousie University. It is not common for nurses from Oman to do their higher education in Canada because of the distance and the cold weather. I really advise nurses who would like to do their PhD to consider Dalhousie University in particular for their studies and once they are here to take every opportunity to learn and to enhance their research experience as it is a really rich research environment and there are a lot of great opportunities here.
If you’ve needed it, where at Dalhousie have you found support?
I would like to acknowledge the support I always receive from my supervisors. At Dalhousie, the International Centre provides great support and guidance to international students.
What services at Dalhousie have you found useful?
I think writing and editing services are good at Dalhousie and international students might benefit from using them.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
After completing my PhD, I will stay in Canada until my husband completes his residency and fellowship training. I am looking for a postdoc opportunity at Dalhousie and other universities, especially in the areas related to immigrant and refugees’ health or advanced practice nursing.
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