To mark International Nurses Day, we spoke to Sergio Castaño Jiménez, a paediatric nurse at Sanitas’ Hospital La Moraleja. Here, he shares his experience of working as a nurse, his thoughts on more men pursuing a career in nursing and how to adopt a healthy, happier lifestyle.
How did you get into nursing?
I studied medicine at university and worked at the local hospital to gain practical experience. There I spoke to several nurses about their role, which made me wonder if this line of work would suit me better.
After a few months of careful thought, I left university and to consider my next move. My friends’ mother worked as a nurse in paediatric ward, so I visited her and asked her advice. Whilst there I saw how deeply the nurses cared for the children and the support they gave patients during a very difficult time. The visit helped make my decision.
In 2005, I started a nursing degree at Malaga University, specialising in paediatrics.
What is your favourite thing about being a nurse?
It is that I can really help the people in my care. I don’t think you get that feeling in every job. I have also built friendships, and I am part of a team that saves lives.
In your experience, do you see more women entering the nursing profession than men?
Yes. I believe nursing is traditionally seen as a women’s profession, though I’m not sure why. Both men and women make exceptional nurses. Male nurses are as caring as female nurses and we make a great team when we work together. Young male students ask me about nursing and I always encourage them to look into it as a career, because looking after people is so rewarding.
What is you proudest achievement so far?
The creation of my Instagram page - @hablandoderaciones. I started it a year ago, with the aim of helping people with diabetes. The page helps promotes healthy living through recipes with minimal sugar, saturated fats and flour content. Now, I have over 4,000 followers and often receive feedback from people who have diabetes, thanking me for giving them information on eating the right foods.
Can you tell us about a day you’ll never forget?
I get asked this question a lot and it is hard to answer because I have many. One memory that stands out is with a six-year old patient called Miguel, who had leukaemia. He is a huge Real Madrid fan, but had outgrown the official sports kit. I bought him a new kit that fitted him. When I gave it to him, he couldn’t believe it. He was so joyful and asked his mother to frame it in his room and said it was the happiest day of his life.
Spreading awareness of a healthy lifestyle is important – how do you stay healthy?
I believe a good diet is essential to a healthy life. Since cutting out saturated fat and sugary foods, I have more energy and feel happier. This is the message I try to push out on Instagram and to my patients.