Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are a vital part of the multidisciplinary operating theatre team, providing a high standard of patient focused care during anaesthesia, surgery and recovery, responding to patients’ physical and psychological needs.
ODPs also manage the preparation of the environment, equipment and act as the link between the surgical team and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital.
If you enjoy working as part of a team, enjoy a challenge, passionate about caring and want to make a difference to someone’s life, then yes, this career is for you.
The ODP job is unique. You’ll be working alongside surgeons, anaesthetists and other healthcare staff in a team where everyone has to work closely together. The operating theatre is a really fascinating environment to work in. One moment you could be helping to deliver a baby, the next helping to save somebody’s life. Each day can go from routine to the unexpected.
Here is a flavour of an ODP’s job description:
When students qualify, they can expect to work in the operating theatre and within the whole of the perioperative environment of NHS and private hospitals. They may work on the scrub side (surgery), on anaesthetics, in recovery or might mix and match work in all these areas. You may also work in other critical care areas, such as intensive care units, accident and emergency and community health services. ODPs can also take teaching roles within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
In terms of the salary, people will start on NHS Band 5 and there is the opportunity for salaries to rise quickly. Demonstrating advanced skills will enable you to move into Band 6 and then potentially Band 7. Please see our Pay and Benefits section for more information.
As mentioned above, there are many career progression opportunities for ODPs. Depending on what you want to get out of your career and which path you want to go down, there are opportunities to progress to a Band 6, Band 7/Band 8, management level.
Some examples but not all the roles you can progress into:
To become an ODP, you will have to qualify from a recognised university course in Operating Department Practice. The profession of ODP has a governing body called the HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council), and they state that the minimum qualification to register as an ODP is Diploma level. However, only a handful of Universities offer the Diploma in Operating Department Practice, as most offer the 3-year degree programme.
|Where can I train in Wales?||Cardiff University, but majority of time spent on placement in hospitals, where arrangements can be made to be placed closer to home if requested.|
|Is there funding available?||Yes, for further information about available funding and eligibility please visit Student Awards Services.|
|Are there postgraduate opportunities?||The HCPC website provides details of approved postgraduate programmes in the UK.|
|How do I get experience?||To find out about work experience and volunteering opportunities in NHS Wales visit our Work section.|
|How do I apply for a job?||To train - UCAS
Once qualified - NHS jobs. Visit our Work section for more information.