Salma Sharhan is the first Emirati nurse in the UAE.
“They made fun of me but I treated them” -Salma Said
Salma Salem Al Sharhan was born in Ras Al Khaimah in the early thirties also known as “Florence of the UAE”, in recognition of her 520-year career in nursing. She was named after the celebrated English nurse, writer and statistician who laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment, in 1860, of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. She is not married and her brother died few years ago and now she lives in Saif Bin Ghobash hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, which is considered her home. She was given a Permanent room there and also the Ministry of Health decided that they will not retire her where she will receive her full salary.
Salma did not study nursing, but when she was fourteen years old, one of the sheikhs in Ras Al Khaimah made her a nurse, where he trained her and taught her the definitions of some of the tools used at the time in treatment. She treated at the Nakheel Pharmacy in Ras Al Khaimah which was a pharmacy composed of three rooms and a clinic. The clinic belonged to the British Council where it was based on the care of the health sector in the UAE, and then she was trained her by first doctor in Ras Al Khaimah which was a British named “Fayroz” , where taught her all the basics of nursing. Then they moved to the Palm Hospital, which was opened in 1961 by the British Council.
Salma’s advice to all the nurses out there is to preserve the secrets of patients and to welcome them with a smile always, and to put up with them because the nursing profession requires great patience .. We wish that all the nurses follow her advice and we would like to say that we are proud of her; she is a role model that we should learn from her as she opened the way for the UAE women to work in the field of Nursing. Also, Salma stressed that the most important thing is to maintain the ethics and also work hard in serving the UAE..
Recently she won Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences as an appreciation for her work.