Today, 14 May, is National Operating Department Practitioner Day! And we are #NBTProud to celebrate all our amazing Operating Department Practitioners and the vital role they play within NBT.
Meet Natasha, Cara, Chloe, Sameena and Sarah - five of our inspirational Operating Department Practitioners and find out how they advanced their career working here.
With over 25 traditional operating theatres within the Brunel building, and a further five interventional radiology suites to provide additional neurosurgical and vascular interventions, our ODPs provide care for patients of varying dependencies across a range of surgical specialities and play a major role in each phase of a patients’ operation.
👋 Meet Natasha
Meet Natasha, an Operating Department Practitioner who rotates between Anaesthetics and Recovery every three months, whose highlight of her day, in both areas, is to chat with our patients and help them to relax.
“I wanted to be a Paediatric Nurse since I was very young, however, I spent one week in a Nursery School for work placement and very quickly decided that was NOT the job for me! I knew I still wanted to work in healthcare, but I was unsure what to do. After some looking around, I decided I liked the idea of working in a surgical Theatre… the instruments, the exact steps to follow and the sterile working. I didn’t want a repetitive job and working as an ODP every day is unique with a surgical list for different departments from Trauma to Urology, to Obstetric, to Neurosurgery.
“I knew when I qualified that I wanted to work in a busy hospital with a variety of specialities. I am certified to work in Anaesthetics, Scrub and Recovery; however, after University I chose to take a dual role in Anaesthetics and Recovery where I rotate every three months between them, without needing to re-train.
“I used to be a very shy person and this role has massively helped my self-confidence and sense of personal responsibility.
“Anaesthetics ODP is all about the care of the patient during surgery. You are responsible for making sure the patient goes to sleep and wakes up safely, you are there to support and monitor their breathing, blood pressure and pain management whilst they are being operated on.
“My favourite part of my job in Anaesthetics is anticipating my Anaesthetist’s needs. I have to think one step ahead of them and work out what they might need before they ask for it. You have to have a second, third and fourth plan in place in case something doesn’t go as expected. I like that I can trust my knowledge and skills to navigate me through these unexpected moments to help my patient.
“Recovery ODP is a combination of care both before and after an operation. You are constantly monitoring the patient’s vital signs, providing pain management, and assessing them for either discharge or transfer to a ward.
“Recovery is very much a team area. I work the assigned surgical list(s) within a team of nurses, health care assistants, nursing associates and students. Depending on the speciality and number of patients, you could be working alone or with as many as six people. I do enjoy working one-to-one with patients, and you get a great sense of satisfaction that your individual actions have made a visible impact on the patient's day as you minute-to-minute watch your patient getting better.
“Both areas allow me to do the thing I love most about my job, the close interaction with the patient. The one-to-one nature of an ODP’s role means that you get the daily opportunity to do the personal nursing side of hospital caring. The highlight of my day in both areas is to chat with the patients and help them to relax.”
If Natasha inspires you, you could work here too. Take a virtual tour of our Theatres and Medirooms (our pre and post-operative rooms) and find out why a career here might be right for you at www.nbt.nhs.uk/TheatresTour
👋 Meet Cara
Meet Cara, a student Operating Department Practitioner who works within our Theatres department which has given her the incredible opportunity to build on her qualifications and core skills.
“Working within the Theatre department at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) has given me the incredible opportunity to build on my qualifications, confidence, working relationships, and core skills, and become a valuable member of the team.
“The perioperative department functions on great communication and team work. Mentors, and colleagues, from all areas of the Multi Disciplinary team become your friends, and your primary support network throughout the day.
“There are no two days the same here, which is what attracts me to the job. The nature of Theatres is not something you can find in many other job roles and will keep you busy and motivated to continue caring and learning.
“My favourite part of this role is working alongside like-minded people, who also enjoy the fast paced, fulfilling, and engaging structure of Theatres. The nature of this department requires consistent awareness, risk accessing, planning, communication, and care. North Bristol NHS Trust gives you the opportunities and tools you need for these skills, and to step out of your comfort zone into a completely different world.
“I feel privileged to work here, and I am proud to be able to be there with patients’ throughout their journey with us at NBT.”
If Cara inspires you, you could work here too. Take a virtual tour of our Theatres and Medirooms (our pre and post-operative rooms) and find out why a career here might be right for you at www.nbt.nhs.uk/TheatresTour
👋 Meet Chloe
“As a degree student, I carried out all my university placements in Anaesthetics, Scrub and Recovery in Southmead Theatres. On completion of my course, I successfully applied for a job and have been working here in the department I trained in ever since!
“Southmead provides fantastic learning opportunities for anyone wanting to work in Theatres as the operations carried out are so varied. From elective, routine minor procedures, to obstetrics, trauma and major emergency surgery, the range of patients and skills required to treat them are very diverse which makes it a great training environment.
“Working where I trained has given me a great start to my career as I was already familiar with the department and people so could concentrate on honing my skills as an independent practitioner.
“Operating Department Practitioners possess the skills to be used everywhere. We are highly trained in airway management, resuscitation, blood transfusion and other clinical emergencies. We are essential members of the wider team and often act as a link between the Emergency Department and Intensive Care to safely transport patients requiring surgical intervention.
“It is an extremely rewarding role and one I feel privileged to be able to call work!”
If Chloe inspires you, you could work here too. Take a virtual tour of our Theatres and Medirooms (our pre and post-operative rooms) and find out why a career here might be right for you at www.nbt.nhs.uk/TheatresTour
👋 Meet Sameena
Meet Sameena, a student Operating Department Practitioner, who chose the ODP course because she wanted to support patients when they are most in need.
“The healthcare industry has always piqued my curiosity, especially Operating Theatres, and I know I will have a great deal of job pleasure from this worthy career.
“Additionally, an ODP career requires a steadfastly dependable caring individual who can run well in a multi-professional team, with good teamwork abilities, and the ability to adjust to situations while keeping composure. I see myself as a compassionate, enthusiastic person who can engage with others, use initiative, and I have good people skills.
“ODP work can occasionally be challenging and demanding, as well as gratifying and fulfilling. I think I have the traits necessary to be a competent ODP and I have the drive and commitment to succeed.”
If Sameena inspires you, you could work here too. Take a virtual tour of our Theatres and Medirooms (our pre and post-operative rooms) and find out why a career here might be right for you at www.nbt.nhs.uk/TheatresTour
👋 Meet Sarah
Meet Sarah, a student Operating Department Practitioner who after 15 years of working in Theatres is still learning new things every day and could never imagine working anywhere else!
“The role of being in Theatres involves patient interaction and provides a rewarding feeling of helping others. The unique line of work gives me such pride to be able to say I do this for my job. I have learnt so much over the years and being able to work alongside educated and registered colleagues, who are recognised in their field areas, has helped my development. Their guidance, advice, and sharing of knowledge has given me the confidence to pursue my career and work towards my dream job of becoming an ODP.
“The environment itself is like nowhere else, there is a variety of machinery and equipment we handle and a team dynamic that is like a second family. There can be challenging situations however these are resolved as a team, supporting each other to ensure the best outcomes.
“As no two days are ever the same (if you are a person who becomes restless with the same activities, then Theatres will be the place for you) it challenges you and pushes you out of your comfort zone, developing your situational awareness of ongoing events and prepares you for emergency situations.
“Training is provided to work in the environment and even after many years of being in Theatres I am still learning new things every day and wouldn’t change it for anything.”
If Sarah inspires you, you could work here too. Take a virtual tour of our Theatres and Medirooms (our pre and post-operative rooms) and find out why a career here might be right for you at www.nbt.nhs.uk/TheatresTour
Take a virtual tour of our Theatres and Medirooms (our pre and post-operative rooms) and find out why a career here might be right for you at www.nbt.nhs.uk/TheatresTour