Internationally Trained Nurses Bring Skill and Compassion to St. Mary’s

May 4th, 2017

From left Printo Jolly Cherian, Deepali Ranbhise and Libin Varghese are internationally trained Registered Nurses who work at St. Mary's.

From left Printo Jolly Cherian, Deepali Ranbhise and Libin Varghese are internationally trained Registered Nurses who work at St. Mary’s.

*May 8 to 14 is National Nursing Week 2017.

Ask Registered Nurses Deepali Ranbhise, Libin Varghese and Printo Jolly Cherian what they like best about working at St. Mary’s General Hospital and they reply in unison – teamwork.

All three were trained in their native India and arrived in Canada in 2012. Printo and Libin started working at St. Mary’s in 2014 and Deepali, in 2015. The potential for better prospects in Canada prompted them to come, but pulling up stakes was tough.

“I had no friends and no family here, no one to guide me,” Deepali recalls of her early days in her new homeland. She studied on her own and passed the Ontario College of Nurses exam, but being half a world from her loved ones was “really difficult.”

There was a lot of adjusting, including adapting to Canadian winters. New to shoveling snow Libin, ended up with pneumonia and was hospitalized on the Chest Unit at St. Mary’s, where he required surgery.

They are grateful for the support from their peers at St. Mary’s, which eased their career transition, and provided a sense of community.

“They really became a part of the ICU family as soon as they started working here in ICU,” says Carrie Hurst, Program Manager for the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and Coronary Care Unit at St. Mary’s. “They are very well respected by their colleagues and work so well with the team.”

Printo says that while the path from his homeland to his current role was challenging, he feels privileged to be a part of St. Mary’s. “Compassion and respect for each other are the most important factors for a team to work together,” he says. “I can proudly say, I am part of a wonderful team where we work together to meet the mission of SMGH.”

Deepali agrees that everyone on the team supports one another. “You never feel like you are alone. There is always someone there to help you.”

The trio had worked in critical care in India where training is robust. All three have enriched their skills by taking additional courses at Conestoga College. They love the challenge and complexity that critical care nursing provides.

“It’s like a jig-saw puzzle you want to solve,” says Libin.

Carrie says what she values most about the internationally trained nurses, aside from the skill, knowledge, and experience they bring from their previous positions, is the compassion they show to patients. “They are committed to making a difference in our patients’ lives by providing quality and compassionate care.” For Libin, the impact that nurses can have is his greatest reward. “You go home with a sense of accomplishment. Your thoughts were translated into actions that were beneficial for patients and families.”

Deepali adds that while hospitals in different countries may vary in their processes and techniques, compassion is universal.

“No matter what part of the world you are from, patients and families really appreciate that you are there for them.”