Operating department practitioner
Operating department practitioners (ODP) support operating theatre staff and provide care to patients at all stages of an operation.
1. Entry requirements
- a diploma or degree in operating department practice approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- to be registered with the HCPC
- an enhanced background check which your employer will arrange for you
2. Skills required
- practical skills
- the ability to concentrate for long periods of time
- problem solving and organisational skills
- the ability to act calmly under pressure
3. What you'll do
You’ll support patients before, during and after surgery. This will include assessing them after surgery to make sure they can be taken back to the ward.
You’ll usually work within an anaesthetic, surgical or recovery team, but you might also work in accident and emergency, intensive care, day surgery clinics, maternity units or resuscitation teams.
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- preparing the operating theatre and equipment
- making sure specialist equipment is available for specific procedures
- monitoring theatre cleanliness
- ordering and rotating items of stock and drugs
- providing the surgical team with the items they need during an operation
- monitoring instruments
- keeping accurate records
Highly Experienced: £35,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week on a shift system covering evenings, nights and weekends.
Overtime and on-call duty is also common in order to deal with emergencies.
You’ll work in sterile conditions in pre-operative anaesthetic areas, operating theatres and recovery rooms. These areas are clean and light but can be warm.
You’ll wear surgical clothing and a mask.
Working in the theatre can be emotionally and physically demanding.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you may be able to progress to team leader or senior ODP and manage an operating theatre unit.
You could also move into education, training and research.
Some ODPs take further training approved by the Royal College of Surgeons to work as surgical care practitioners.
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Last updated: 13 September 2017