Casto Lopez Gallardo, staff nurse, shares his thoughts about his role at the trust and some of the challenges and memorable moments.
What does a day in the life of a nurse look like?
'Emotions', that’s the word I would use to describe the daily life of a nurse. Our main duty is to look after the patients in every single way and treat every patient in a different way as every one of them has different needs and emotions, so we must be emphatic and put ourselves in their position before being able to look after them, without forgetting their relatives. This can sometimes be challenging but this is where we have to show why we are nurses and why we love this profession. In the theatres environment, we have to make sure that they will feel comfortable, they will understand everything and explain to them what’s going on during the time they will be in our department. At Moorfields, we are outstanding in this aspect.
What makes your job rewarding?
Patient recognition and wellbeing is what makes you go home with a smile feeling fulfilled. Thinking that you are helping to save people’s sight is very rewarding; is there any sense more important than sight? For me it is very important because my grandfather was blind due to glaucoma and I saw how he suffered not being able to see the things around him. What made him sad was not seeing his grandchildren grow up, so working here I feel that I am helping people to keep admiring and seeing the world around us.
What are the challenges?
There are a lot of challenges. During our day we interact with lot of different people, patients, relatives, doctors, other nurses, so you always have to be focused and ready to do the right thing in every moment. You also need to be emotionally strong because as I said the role of a nurse can be emotional. Even if an emotion affects us more than we expect, we have to keep working and looking after the rest of the patients giving our 100%. There is another challenge very important for me and that is to keep yourself up to date with all the techniques, knowledge and protocols, as we work in an environment that never stops growing and moving forward to improve.
When did you decide you wanted to become a nurse and how did you set about pursuing this goal?
Well for me the decision to study nursing was a bit weird. Actually I didn't know what to study, just that it had to be related to health sciences as that is what I enjoyed best at school. I started studying nursing because the programme attracted me the most, without knowing how my life was going to change after that. Today I can say it was the best decision of my life.
What is something your colleagues would not know about you?
I think there are not many things my colleagues don't know about me. I love what I do and nursing showed and taught me lot of things and lessons for life, and that’s who I am. Rather than knowing what they don't know about me, I know what they know, that I am an emphatic person, always giving my best for the patient and the team I work with.
What attracted you to a career in nursing at Moorfields?
There is no better place than Moorfields for a nurse to develop a career in ophthalmology and its reputation in educating and teaching makes it a great place to be, to work, to learn and to feel how eyes are unique.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in nursing?
Go for it, it is the best profession you can choose if you like looking after people. It can be hard sometimes because we have lot of challenges, we work long shifts, weekends, nights, but the reward and recognition, and - most important - the feeling you get at the end of the day are worth all of it.
What’s the best/most memorable thing anyone has said to you at work?
I can remember lot of things I have been told that made me proud of doing what I do. I won't choose one because all of them, coming from patients, relatives, nurses or doctors have the same meaning for me and that is that I did the right thing becoming a nurse.