Mark Bowers is the cardiac catheter lab manager at Harefield Hospital where he holds matron responsibilities. The cardiac catheter (cath) labs at Harefield specialise in primary PCIs, boasting one of the fastest door-to-balloon times in the country. It also treats a variety of other cases for emergency transfers and ambulance patients.
Mark began working as a radiographer at the Royal Brompton Hospital in 1994. He left in 2000 to move to Harefield Hospital where he continued working as a specialist cath lab radiographer and superintendent cath lab radiographer. In 2009, Mark became the cardiac cath lab manager.
In his new role, Mark became responsible for the day-to-day running of the labs, which includes managing staffing levels, operational issues, and high standards of infection control - a priority at Harefield. Mark and his staff do this by making sure that everyone understands and follows proper protocol, including strict sterilising techniques and regular updates about infection control. If someone is known to carry infection, the area is completely quarantined and deep cleaned.
Another part of Mark's job includes recruiting new specialists. This involves looking for potential staff who can bring knowledge about new and advanced cath lab procedures, and fit in with the rest of the team.
During his time as a cath manager, Mark has seen a variety of changes. As well as an increase in radiation protection, he's seen the development of a fourth catheter lab, an electronic scheduling system, as well as the redevelopment of the department and the constant improvements in procedures technology.
Not without its challenges, Mark says that one of the biggest is dealing with irate cardiologists. On the flip side, he says that the most rewarding aspect of the job is seeing happy staff, health patients and watching hard work pay off.