WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Cicily George worked as a nurse for 10 years in India before coming to the United States. Her experiences in her career there and working as a Putnam Hospital Center employee here have been as different as the countries themselves.
“The nurses are highly regarded here,’’ said George, who came to the United States in 1997 and has worked for Putnam Hospital Center for seven years. “It’s not like that back home. Here you have an opportunity to excel in education and do research. You’re much more independent here. The opportunity for education and status as a nurse is much more appreciated in the United States.”
Through her hard work, George has earned increased responsibility at Putnam Hospital Center, and became the Charge Nurse on the 4 North Unit for the hospital’s night shift in 2009. She was also nominated by her supervisors for an Excellence in Nursing Award last year. In the nomination form, they said, "Everyone who comes in contact with her can tell she is passionate about her vocation. She is dependable and displays talent in managing challenging assignments with ease. Her attitude is infectious.”
George received her training in India at Christian Medical College and Hospital, a facility founded in 1900 by American missionary Dr. Ida Scudder. She needed to wade through a three-year approval process to come to the United States.
“I feel like I’m a better nurse than I was in India,’’ said George, who is pursuing her Masters degree in Nursing Informatics with financial assistance from PHC, a member of the Health Quest network. “My knowledge has improved so much. The education and experiences I’ve had at Putnam Hospital Center have helped me improve a lot.”
George found an instant home at Putnam Hospital Center, whose employees were quick to embrace her. “There are a lot of cultural differences,’’ George said. “Putnam Hospital Center was very kind. You see lots of mixed nationalities here. I didn’t find it very hard to make the transition. I felt comfortable with other employees pretty quickly."
Besides her co-workers, George also enjoys the patients and the physicians. “I can talk to physicians here and they’ll listen to me,’’ she said. “I didn’t experience that in India. There’s more cohesion here. I love coming to work. I don’t have any stress. It was a lot more stressful in India.”
George moved to America with her husband and two children. She misses family members in India, but she does not regret her decision to leave.
“For me it was the right decision,’’ she said. “Immigration has actually stopped in India, and they’re not letting any more Indian nurses leave. I was lucky to come. I enjoy my work because it gives me more confidence every day. I’m a person that wants to learn more all the time, so I feel fortunate. I’ve been lucky to have this wonderful opportunity.”