The Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award is an honour nurses all over the world are looking forward to on International Nurses Day. This year Margaret Helen Shepherd of the UK won the award organized by Aster DM Healthcare, a major healthcare service provider headquartered in Dubai. Meanwhile, Jincy Jerry, a native of Thodupuzha was among the ten nurses shortlisted for the award. One of the two only Indians selected for the final stage, Jincy is the Assistant Director of Nursing and Infection Controller at Dublin Mater University Hospital.
Her academic pursuits and the long array of awards and recognitions are testimonies to how far and to what extent one can go in the field of nursing. Prix Hubert Tuor Innovation Academy Award, Eli Lilly Prize for achieving the highest grade in Cancer Nursing are few of the several honours apart from many Irish Healthcare Awards she has bagged. She had even won the Distinguished Community Service Award by Heart Care Foundation of India way back in 1997.
Jincy, who came to London to witness the function, shared a few moments with Onmanorama.
Reaching the final stage of the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award
For someone who hails from an ordinary family in Thodupuzha, it is indeed a happy and proud moment to be on this Global stage. It was an honour to make it to the final 10 out of 52,000 registered nurses from over 202 countries. The Guardian's Global Nursing Award was established by Aster to recognize the contribution of nurses around the world. 10 people from different countries have made it to the final list. The winner will get a prize of 250,000 US dollars (2 cr). I consider it a success to make it to the finals. The winner was announced at a ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Centre in London on Friday.
Choosing the field of nursing
You can say that my mother, who was a teacher, inspired me to become a nurse. From my childhood, I used to participate in public service-related programs. Likewise, I was part of all the school events. At school when children used to get bruises while playing, I liked to give them first aid. Though my mother did tell me then that I should become a nurse, I didn’t give it much thought. But the death of my close friend, that too in my arms, was a painful moment in my life. She was suffering from epilepsy. One day, while going to school, she was struck by epileptic seizures and succumbed to death. That day I realized that compassion alone was not enough, you also need knowledge to save lives. That's when I really started to love nursing.
As for the foreign job, I can say that it came to me by chance. After my undergraduate studies, I obtained a BSc in Nursing from Jamia Hamdad, Delhi. Then I worked as a nursing tutor for four years in Delhi and Punjab. In 2004, when I was working in Delhi, a group of Directors of Nursing from Ireland visited my hospital. I was in charge of their orientation that day. After the orientation, they wondered if I were interested in going to Ireland. They offered me a chance to do higher studies along with a job. So in 2005, I joined the Dublin National Maternity Hospital as a staff nurse. In the meantime, I completed my post-graduation from the University of Madras. I finished the rest of my education after shifting to Dublin.
Juggling work and studies abroad?
I could continue my studies along with my job. I completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Cancer Nursing and MSc in Nursing in Clinical Practice from Dublin. And also obtained Graduate Diploma in Health Care Education and Post Graduate Diploma in Infection Prevention and Control Nursing. I have submitted a proposal to the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland for a PhD in Nursing. Postgraduate students take classes at the Royal College of Surgeons and Trinity College of Nursing. I am also working as a presentation speaker at international conferences and as a member of the organizing committee of national and international conferences. Currently, I am part of about eight innovative projects.
Appreciation for work during Covid
A system called robotic process automation was introduced in the infection control department during the pandemic. This was very useful when more patients arrived at the hospital than we could attend to. Through this system, it was possible to increase the productivity of infection control by nurses, reduce medical errors and ensure patient safety. I got the Irish Healthcare Award – Best Covid-19 Response: Public Sector 2022.
About other finalists
It's incredible to reach this stage. Each of the finalists was unique in contribution. It was heart-touching to hear all their stories. We all spent two days together and we all have the deepest respect for each other and their contributions to humankind. The Jury had the most difficult decision to pick one. The award has shed light on the work that nurses do. I'm highly thankful to Aster for giving all nurses this wonderful platform.
Mother is Chinnamma Jacob and father late Jacob. My husband is an IT professional, Jerry Sebastian. We have three sons, Chris, Darren, and Daniel.