Me & My Job – John Harrington

Published September 2020

Meet John Harrington, ward manager at the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit.

John Harrington
John Harrington

What led you to your current role?

I started in vascular surgery in 2008 when I qualified, and it gave me a great basis for my career.  Five years later I transferred to a cardiothoracic high dependency unit, where I was appointed to my first charge nurse post.  Within a few years, I felt ready for a fresh challenge that would use some of my previous skills, and that’s what brought me to the unit in Sheffield.  Pulmonary hypertension is such a complex but rewarding area to work within and I’m lucky to be part of a great team. 

What does a typical day look like for you at work? (Before and during the pandemic)

The key features of my day remain the same, even throughout the challenge of Covid-19.   My days can vary however, generally consisting of leading patient care on the ward, whilst balancing management responsibilities such as staffing, budget management and service improvement/updates in clinical practice.  My role focuses on ensuring that everyone has what they require to work efficiently and effectively.  I ensure that the clinic and elective capacity, with flow of up to 30 patients through this area each day, is maintained.  This has been one of the biggest challenges throughout Covid-19; adapting our practice to provide a digital approach to the service.  

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy knowing that we can make a difference and rising to a challenge. It’s like a jigsaw – and I love to solve a problem! The variety of clinical care and management responsibilities make my role enjoyable too.

What’s on your desk?

Lots of post–it notes as reminders – and a coffee machine!  

Tea, coffee or water?

All of them.  I probably have too much tea and coffee, which is why there is a need for a coffee machine in my office.  If I am out for drink, it’s usually a flat white.

Can you tell us a bit about your family and what you like to do outside of work?

I have a beautiful wife, who is also a senior nurse.  It’s nice to have someone who understands the stresses of the role and provide moral support.  I have two young children, George (7) and Evelyn (6) and a dog called Stanley.  I enjoy mountain biking and running and I also occasionally play a round of golf… badly, some might say!