Generosity comes in many forms, wholeness and generosity are inseparably linked and there’s beauty in such experience. My name is Sara Alrumikhani and I am the director of the Patient Experience Department at the Saudi German Hospital in Jeddah, and this is a glimpse into my world.
Helping a new generation of Saudi students and graduates find their professional and personal path is something I am passionate about and has become a life goal for me.
I was born to a Qassimi father and Syrian mother, and raised in Jeddah. My father, Abdullah, was a very kind man, but firm. It was important to him that we grew up with high moral values and learned that respect for others and yourself can go a long way.
My mother, Amirah Tello, was strict but fair and raised my siblings and I in a way that ensured we understood the difference between right and wrong, and that the passage of time should not change our morals. She taught us that kindness goes a long way and bad manners had no place in our household, which is something that never changed with time. She is very traditional and I love that I, too, hold on to these moral values because that is the way I was raised.
My parents raised us to be generous in everything and accept diversity, and made sure we understood that there is no room for discrimination of any kind whatsoever.
I gained my master’s degree in health administration from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, US. My time studying there was an important period of my professional and personal development.
After returning to Saudi Arabia, I joined other graduates of US colleges in sharing our experiences with prospective Saudi students planning to study abroad. This graduates’ initiative led to the formation of Generations for Generations (G4G), which I describe as my second family and my baby. Since early 2013, the group has been dedicated to helping students seek the right path and be good representatives of our country, Saudi Arabia.
In 2016, G4G expanded its mission and goals to help recent graduates develop a career plan. The group offers advice on a range of topics, including job searches, writing resumes and interview techniques.
Our main reason for changing and evolving is to keep pace with demand. There has been a decline in scholarship numbers, with restrictions in some fields of study that Saudi students can pursue based on job-market needs. Those were clear signs to the team of a need to make a change by providing a new program that is more relevant and of greater value to the next generation in their personal and professional journeys.
We are heading in the right direction, because the decision to change is supported by facts. We will succeed, as we did with the previous vision, because we have the resources, skills, enthusiasm and, most importantly, the reputation we have built and the trust we have gained.
Through my work with G4G, I appeared on programs such as “Kalam Nawaem” on MBC and “Sayedati” on Rotana Khalijiah. I have also taken part in discussions on youth improvements in Jeddah with Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, the deputy governor of Makkah region.
I have decided to dedicate my efforts to the next generation of Saudis, to help them seek the right path and to be good representatives for our country.
Meanwhile, I worked as a customer-care manager at Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, one of Jeddah’s leading medical facilities, and was promoted to patient experience director, a position I held until July 2019.
I then moved to the Saudi German Hospital, where I established its Patient Experience Department. I am its director and have several units under my supervision. Patient experience is related to patient satisfaction, and the need to care for people from the moment they arrive at the hospital until they leave.
As director of the department, I tend to look at this issue from a personal perspective: how would I feel if I was in a patient’s shoes? As a perfectionist, it is important to me that every person in the hospital gets the right training and plays a key role in a patient’s thoughts, feelings and well-being.
Our behavior makes a difference to them; a few thoughtful words, a show of compassion, even a simple gesture of kindness can go a long way.
The care I give to training patient-experience officers is a reflection of who I am, the way I was raised, my education abroad and my experiences in life. I want to spread this culture of kindness in my community, just as I learned it growing up.
Kind words and actions provide fertile soil in which more of the same will grow.