Seha Medical Screening
I took the kids with me to my medical screening today at Seha Disease Prevention & Screening Center. We’ve been living in Al Ain for two months, and I finally have the opportunity to acquire a visa. My wife is an ADEK teacher and she gets to sponsor our family while she works for ADEK.
The kids didn’t need a medical screening because they’re under eighteen, but I wanted to take them anyway. Having the boys was a terrifically horrible idea that worked, but I’ll explain that later. I thought that I’d provide a walkthrough, so you can know what to expect if you go or if you just want to laugh at my pain.
The short and sweet walkthrough is at the very end for those that don’t read.
The medical screening center is located on 131st street (click here to see it in Google Maps), not far from Jimi Mall.
If you’re walking in just after 10 a.m., as I did, you’ll be in for a tremendous surprise. There will be way too many people in the room. Expect a long wait.
My wife provided a word of caution. She read that the best time to go is around 2 p.m. But (bruh) that’s my nap time. Either that or I’m writing, so…no. I refuse to sacrifice my free time AWAY from the kids to wait in line. No.
I don’t recommend the same thing for anyone going without kids. I got skipped in line, which is why having them was great.
In Al Ain, parking is always a sign that you’re about to have a good time. Seha is only four minutes from ADEK’s Al Ain office. Those that are local know the horrors of that parking lot. If you have kids and you can’t cross the street, finding a spot near the office can be flat out awful around 10 or 11 a.m. Fortunately, Seha has a much better lot. Unfortunately, you will find yourself in a long line because there is only one way to enter the lot that I know of.
After spending 30 minutes in ADEK’s parking lot with the kids two weeks ago, I was ready to partake in the hunt. My “game face” wasn’t needed, though. A lot of people are entering and exiting simultaneously. I found a pretty decent corner spot that helped with getting the kids out. It wasn’t great for walking with them, though.
Main Entrance vs. Medical Screening
Upon my arrival, I had to choose between two doors. Me being me, I entered the first one I saw.
I walk inside and think, Yas! I can do this. I’ll be out in no time.
Me: Where is the medical screening?
Receptionist: [waves at me like a fly]
Me: Right there? Koo!
I walk into an office room.
Me: Medical screening?
Random clerk: Out back!
Me: Out back?
Random clerk: Yes. Next door.
There were too many people. My ticket read 0485. The number displayed overhead read 0385.
I looked at my number like it just punched my sister in the face.
Before I could decide to just go home, I was told, “Go to any desk.” The ticket distributor pointed at my boys and gave me that look that says, “We don’t want to hear your children screaming all day.
Being the loser that I am, I didn’t arrive prepared.
First, the clerk sent me away to obtain copies of my passport and residency. This only costs 2 Dhs, which is like $0.50.
Then, she shooed me politely, telling me to bring cash. Yes, I thought that this mess was free. (Don’t judge me). Yes, I also believed that they would accept my debit card.
The ATM is only 4 minutes away. That’s 15 minutes with two children that have tiny, itsy-bitsy legs that go 0.50 miles per hour. Sigh.
I returned and received my receipt. Then, the clerk told me to go through a door. However, she was talking on the phone beneath her niqab (a veil that covers the face). She has on a Bluetooth headset, so I think she’s talking to me in Arabic. I was LOST.
After a quick recovery, I ventured through the mysterious door. There, I was met by a single man, worthy of the title Security Guard. I passed him my papers and he directed me to a room with a nurse or doctor. Nurse doctor. Noctor. Durse.
Me: Sit Kairo and Kalel.
Durse: [stares at children rudely]
After exiting the durse’s room, the Security Guard says, “Go straight.” At this point, I’m starting to feel like I’m in a video game and the guards are like my sensei.
Me: [Nods at sensei]
We head straight. I’m lost.
Another guardish looking guy sees me. Not wanting to flat out ask sensei what to do, I utter:
Me: Go straight. Go straight.
Guard: [Points] Go straight.
Me: Sensei has saved me again!
I walk into a waiting room with several overhead displays–one for each door–down a creepy hallway. I wait, sitting the kids on a seat at a turtle’s pace. But several other guys enter the room, and they don’t wait.
Me: Get up, bums! Why are you sitting on the job?
Kalel: Daddy! Daddy!
We roam through the hallway, looking inside of various rooms. Everyone that I pass looks just like me. Confused.
Finally, I say to myself:
Me: Self, just walk into a room with an empty chair.
There will be blood
Being timid, I kinda step into the room. The nurse waves at me over to her station, wearing a neutral face that says, “I could do without you, but I’m a professional, so please enter.”
Good enough! I summon the children and my nurse’s eyes light up.
Me: [These kids are too freakin’ cute. Mommy better step up her sword skills if she wants to defend against these women.]
I sit. Pass the nurse my papers and sacrifice my arm to the gods.
All the while, Kairo tries covering my ears. The nurse is eating this adorable goodness up. I start wondering if she’ll ever remove the needle because she keeps looking at them. Even the neighboring nurse stops what she’s doing to give Kalel a hi-five. Her patient gets impatient and grumbles:
Impatient jerk: Can I go?
Impatient jerk: Are you done?
Nurse: Another one?
Nurse: No? Aww.
Impatient jerk: Can I go?
Medical Screening: Final Test
I start growing confident in my direction, so I walk down the hallway boldly, telling the kids to follow. Then, I see him. My final sensei.
Me: Sensei! I have finally arrived. What now?
Sensei: Iijgoht hoigoawu gihuwatoat.
Me: [Nod and smile. Nod and smile]
Knowing that sensei is too wise to provide an answer at this level of the game, I follow the direction of his finger. However, after only two steps, he throws in a plot twist, setting up my ultimate challenge.
Sensei: They may not enter! Have them sit down.
Me: Oh! So now you know English?
Me again: [stares at 1 and 3 year old] Sit down. Take a snack. Don’t move.
Kairo: I want two snacks.
Me: You get one.
Me: [splits tortilla in half and waits.]
Kairo: [Eats] What about crackers?
Me: Eat! [Abandons children]
With my heart pounding out of my chest ( the consequence of abandoning my children), I enter the boss level room. There, I find Man Behind Glass, and I know what I must do.
I surrender my final paper and follow his instruction.
Man Behind Glass: Sit.
I walk to a chair that sits in front the only machine standing between Kalel (who is prone to disobey and run) and me.
I look up and see instructions that tell me to hug the machine. (I’m serious. I had to hug it.)
Not to my surprise, it smelled like a musty motorcycle driver on the hottest day of the summer. However, I think of sensei and my children!
Man Behind Glass: Head up!
With that, I complete the game.
How about the kids?
I walk out, expecting Sensei to have an angry expression, cursing my failure as a father. However, both of my boys were both sitting with their snacks. It should be no surprise. These guys make excellent choices all the time. Still, I was so happy that I let them watch Paw Patrol once we got home.
This post is long enough, so I won’t add more. If you have any questions about the Seha Medical Screening process, leave a message below.
Short & Sweet
- Take a copy your residency paper and visa. Also, have 250 Dhs on hand.
- You can also have them copied at the center for 2 Dhs. I recommend this because you’ll likely have a wait anyway.
- Go to the medical screening, located on 131st street (click here to see it in Google Maps).
- Don’t enter the Main Entrance. Go through the door on the right and stop directly at the counter to receive a number.
- Wait for your number to display on the overhead and receive your receipt/checklist.
- Go through the doors on the left.
- From here, you’ll have a lot of different steps. My only recommendation is, don’t be timid. If no one tells you what to do, ask a guard or walk directly into a room. You don’t have to sit in any waiting room unless instructed.
- You need to have your blood drawn and receive an X-Ray. That’s it.