NEARLY 6,000 nurses work in Sheffield, caring for people in hospitals, clinics and in their own homes, writes Health Reporter Ben Spencer. This week, to celebrate International Nurses Week, The Star is profiling a different nurse each day as part of our series celebrating the unsung heroes of the NHS.
NURSING is a bit of a family passion for John Bryer.
“My father was a psychiatric nurse, and I met my wife Christine when she was a trainee nurse at the Northern General Hospital,” the 60-year-old said.
While Christine, 57, has moved on to project management for the NHS, John is still working on the wards at the hospital where he started as a trainee 42 years ago.
“I started training here at the Northern General in 1970,” he said. John is now a charge nurse, leading a team of 30 other nurses and support workers on the 25-bed Chesterman One cardiology ward.
“I suppose the buck stops with me,” he said.
John’s team care for patients undergoing angiograms and other heart investigations at the world-leading cardiothoracic centre.
“It is a great place to work,” he said.
“You meet people from all walks of life, and you get great satisfaction out of helping people every day.”
John grew up in Parkwood Springs, where the ski slope now stands.
He was a pupil at Hillfoot School and then attended Chaucer Comprehensive School.
He left school in 1968 and then he spent two years doing his pre-nursing training in what is now Leopold Square, before starting at the Northern General.
John, who now lives with Christine in Firth Park, said: “Nursing is a profession I am proud to be a part of.
“I know we are never going to cure all our patients, but it is wonderful when you get someone in for a valve replacement and you see them a couple of years later and they are doing really well.
“The nature of the job is that people do pass on.
“But there is a satisfaction with helping them have a dignified and peaceful death.
He added: “Of course there are good days and bad days, but most of the time you can go home knowing that you have done a good job and helped people.”
n A life-long ambition: see tomorrow’s Star.