Amber, Daniel, Deborah and Zoe - Anaesthesia, Scrub & Recovery
Amber, ODP, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
I was working for a letting agents when I first heard of the ODP role on a student forum, I applied the next day because I wanted to work in the theatre environment and it was important to me to be directly involved in patient care.
I completed my degree at London Southbank University and worked at the Royal London Hospital before moving to Lancaster.
Working in Day Case Theatres for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust I have had the opportunity to work across a wide range of specialities.
My current role as an ODP is to care and advocate for all patients undergoing anaesthesia and ensure that the highest standards of safety are maintained at all times. I do this by maintaining standards of cleanliness and appropriate stock levels at all times, undertaking daily maintenance and safety checks of all anaesthetic equipment, and completing all relevant documentation in order to provide the best possible care. Following a surgical procedure I will care for my patient in recovery, watching for signs of nausea or pain until they are able to be safely returned to the ward.
I personally find the role to be very fulfilling, especially in cases where you can see immediate results from the work that we have done and how patients' lives are impacted. I particularly enjoy working in ophthalmology where patients often come in twice when having cataract surgery - when they return for the second procedure they sometimes tell us about how the sight they have regained after the first procedure has improved their quality of life and they can take part in their hobbies again.
Operating department practice is a rewarding and ever expanding career that can provide you career progression opportunities not only in the theatres but in education, research, the resus team and many other areas. It allows you to care directly for patients and continuously obtain new knowledge and skills, working in many specialities within a multidisciplinary team.
Daniel, ODP, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
I always knew 9-5 behind a desk was never for me, but I always wanted to work in healthcare. Theatres always appealed to me due to its dynamism, its ever-evolving nature, and how no two days are the same. Also scrubs are comfortable! After serving in the military as a medic I decided to come out. I was offered a few support worker jobs, but the one I decided to go with was in the Post-Operative Discharge Suite. It was connected straight to theatres and I got to meet the surgeons and anaesthetists and theatre staff and help look after patients following surgery. I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
Becoming an ODP I could study and work specifically in theatres. After qualifying from a university in Newcastle, I worked in orthopaedic scrub for a year while my wife finished her ODP course after taking a break to have our twin daughters. We both landed a job at Furness General Hospital where we have been ever since.
Currently, I am an anaesthetic and recovery ODP. I assist the anaesthetist in preparation for anaesthetising patients for a wide variety of elective and emergency work. This also includes obstetrics and helping out in A&E if there is an airway emergency. I also look after patients post-operatively, making sure they meet discharge criteria, before they return to the ward.
The best thing about being an ODP is the variety. Even if you only work in anaesthetics, there’s so many ways it can be done. General anaesthetic, spinal anaesthetic, nerve blocks, sedation, and combined with the patient's individuality - no two cases are the same.
Why become an ODP? It's a challenging yet rewarding career that brings out the best in the people that look after patients at their most vulnerable.
Deborah, ODP, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
I am an Anaesthetic ODP and I work through all specialities including Resus, A&E, Maternity and inter hospital transfers.
I wanted a career that was people focused and filled with variety and challenges. I liked the fact that you can work in a team or autonomously to deliver quality care to patients.
I was lucky enough to obtain an opportunity to retrain as an ODP. It meant dropping bands and giving up a few things, however there was always my registration and a career at the end of it, which maintained my focus.
Since qualifying, I have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic in a major trauma hospital with difficult airways, and even undertaken critical care inter-hospital transfers.
I now work in another hospital across lots of specialities and have a good choice of variety and challenge in my role including A&E, maternity and inter-hospital transfers.
I am Advanced Life Support (ALS) qualified and I am undertaking training to enable me to teach this to others.
As an ODP you are involved in all levels of patient care and utilised in several areas of the hospital. Our skills are always sought after and we play a valuable part of the theatre and wider hospital teams.
ODP’s are versatile, flexible, calm professionals who people turn to or request in a life or death emergency.
If you want a job that is never boring but challenges and changes every day then this is the job for you.
Zoe, ODP, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
As Operating Department Practitioners within LUHFT, we are highly skilled members of the Perioperative care team, with the specialist knowledge needed to care for our patients in all three key areas: anaesthetics, surgery and recovery.
Working on our Aintree site, we are the regional Major Trauma Centre for the North West, and we provide the full range of services and clinical expertise for patients who are severely injured from all areas of the region.
We possess the expertise needed to support the Anaesthetist to care for patients in challenging and critical situations, such as attending emergencies in A&E and offering support within the Critical Care department. The role is varied, challenging and very rewarding, and we love making a real difference to our patients lives.
We have a fantastic team ethic and spirit, which is a reflection of the city as a whole. Liverpool is a vibrant, forward thinking city that welcomes people of all backgrounds. There really couldn’t be a better place to live and work.