What does an Operating Department Practitioner do?

An Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is a vital part of the operating theatre team, to provide a high standard of care to patients of all ages, at every stage of their operation.

ODP Primary

Get to know your patients

The role of an ODP allows you to provide individualised and skilled care for patients at all stages of their operation – from when they arrive in the operating theatre department, to discharge from the recovery room. This means that if you enjoy the patient care side of things, but also want to be hands-on then this could be the perfect role for you.

Gain a range of clinical skills

As an operating department practitioner, you will work across three main areas within the operating theatre; anaesthetics, surgery and recovery.

You will be responsible for preparing the environment and all of the necessary instruments and equipment in readiness for an anaesthetic, surgery or recovery of patients.

By gaining such a diverse set of skills, across lots of different areas within a clinical healthcare setting you will acquire the essential experience and competence to progress within your career if you wanted to – the possibilities are endless!

Team player

As part of a multi-disciplinary team, you will be responsible for providing, compassionate, high quality safe care whilst working in an acute fast-paced environment. Patient safety and good practice depends not just on highly performing surgeons’, but also on effective surgical team working that enhances the performance of the team and results in good patient outcomes. You will therefore, also need excellent communication, organisational and problem solving skills.

As an ODP, you will be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and on registration you’ll have the protected title of Registered Operating Department Practitioner.

Why study Operating Department Practice?

Fantastic employment opportunities 

Operating Department Practitioners are a valued role of a theatre team, so training to be an ODP means you will be highly employable nationally – with a starting salary of approximately £23,023 (NHS Band 5 – July 2018).

Career progression opportunities

There are excellent career progression opportunities for ODP’s to go into many different roles, including management, education or advanced clinical roles such as surgical care practitioner or physician’s assistant.

Make a difference 

If you want to be part of a team that really makes a difference to people’s lives then caring for patients when they are at their most vulnerable during an operation could be for you.

Successful completion of the course (Diploma or Degree) gives eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

What should you do next?

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