14 May is National Operating Department Practitioner Day

14 May 2018

The aim of the day is to help people understand the role of Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) and the contribution they make to patient care.

ODPs have been around theatres since the 1940s in one form or another. ODP’s gained National Registration through the Health and Care Professions Council in 2004 but in April 2017 they received professional recognition and were welcomed into the Allied Health Professions family. They are highly qualified and regulated health professionals with a distinct and vital part to play in theatre, working alongside medical and nursing colleagues to support patients throughout their time in theatre – and even beyond.

When you come into the theatre, it is the ODP who will care for you. Alongside their responsibilities to you they will also prepare the specialist equipment and drugs needed for your operation. Such is the trust that other professionals have in them that they have the authority to prevent the start of a procedure until they are sure it is safe to do so.

During the operation, they will provide the correct surgical instruments and materials to the surgeon and act as a link between the surgical team and others in the theatre or hospital. Afterwards, they will care for you in recovery until it is safe for you to return to your bedroom and into the care of the nursing team.

One of our ODPs made such a great impression on a patient that she was moved to write and tell us about her experience with us, singling out the ODP in particular for the care she received. Our ODP gave the patient great support during a life-changing time in the patient’s life, not just once but several times. The patient wrote that our ODP remembered her as a person not a patient and came to see her on a number of occasions, even when she was not the ODP caring for her.

A career as an ODP also opens up opportunities to develop a successful and satisfying career. Some ODPs specialise in a number of fields such as critical care, maternity or A&E. Others may decide to move into management or research roles.

So should you need to come into theatre, you can be sure that you are in the safe and experienced hands of our skilled and knowledgeable ODPs.

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