In 2021, we collaborated with the students and staff to celebrate ODP Day here at the University of Bolton Library and we are really pleased to be collaborating with the team to highlight this role and programme here at the University of Bolton.
What is ODP Day?
A day to celebrate the Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) profession and to find more about the ODP role. This year’s theme is ‘’Inspiring the next generation’
With this year’s theme in mind, we’ve spoken to four first year students (this year it’s Emma, Hannah Yarker, Kay and Hannah Walsh) to ask them a little bit more about their roles, studies and also some book recommendations!
My first year as a student Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) has been a fantastic experience to date. I was very apprehensive about becoming a student at my age but what can I say... I have been made welcome on every placement, each placement and mentor have offered advice and invaluable knowledge. The support I have received from the university and the mentors at Bolton have been invaluable. I have learnt so much already and have been given lots of opportunities to get involved, all my placements have been hands on which is the best way for me to learn. I love feeling part of a team and I am looking forward to the future. The book I have found invaluable is 'Caring for the Perioperative Patient' by Paul Wicker and Joy O'Neill. I would recommend this book to future students as it is a good quick reference guide identifying essential core skills and has knowledge and examples of how skills can be applied in perioperative practice when working in scrub, circulating, anaesthetic and recovery.
I started the Operating Department Practitioner course in September 2021 at The University of Bolton. I had worked as a support worker within the NHS for 7 years, across both wards and Theatres when I decided it was time for me to ‘work my way up’ and train in a role I know and enjoy!
The course itself has been really interesting and I feel massively supported by the staff at both the university and at the hospital.
I have covered placements in orthopaedic, emergency, maternity, urology theatres and some paediatric cases so far. I have learnt a lot from these placements and have been able to gather evidence and experience for my academic work. So far my favourite area to be involved in is the maternity theatre.
Hannah’s recommended book for ODP Students:
Wards Anaesthetic Equipment
I would recommend this book as it looks at all the anaesthetic equipment in detail. I found this useful for understanding how to use certain equipment, along with why we use it.
I am a first year Apprentice Operating Department Practitioner or as its better known, ODP. I would highly recommend the Apprentice route to anyone interested in becoming an ODP. It gives you the advantage of being in paid employment, while also studying for a career. Being paid by the Trust you work for, certainly makes you feel like one of the team. The course has a good balance of 30 hours in placement and 7.5 hours a week in university. Working as an ODP, is very much, a hands-on role. So being in placement more than university is definitely beneficial.
I came from a healthcare background. I started off as a Medical Secretary and worked in that field for a number of years. A chance opportunity to train as a phlebotomist for the GP Practice I worked for, made me realize, I enjoyed working directly with people rather than being in front of a computer. I gradually retrained to become a Support Worker working for several GP Surgeries. These roles were always part time, so I enlisted at my local hospital to do bank shifts as a support worker. I worked on most of the wards in the hospital over several years. I started to pick up shifts on maternity. A role came up as a HCA on the delivery suite and I decided to go for that and leave general practice. It was through working as a HCA and eventually a Maternity Support Worker. I was introduced to working in theatres. During that time, I found out about and became interested in the role of an ODP.
I applied in August 2021, through my employer, for the Apprentice role and started in September 2021. I have never looked back. The work is extremely interesting. You rotate round three main areas, surgical scrub, anaesthetics and recovery. Each placement is approximately 6-8 weeks in length. I have learnt many new skills. The work is never boring. When you qualify you are guaranteed a permanent post. You can work in just one surgical area, or move within different ones, there is so much flexibility.
The placements can be hard going in the first few months, as everything is unfamiliar even with a health background, but after the first round of placements things get easier. I have had the advantage of doing a previous degree while working, so understand how to balance work alongside study, due previously studying for a biomedical science degree.
The main issue with our role is the lack of promotion of the role. Many TV dramas include medical staff such as doctors and nurses but never mention the role of the ODP. So many people don’t consider it as a career path. I would recommend it to anyone interested in working in a varied and interesting environment.
I would recommend Care of the Patient in Surgery by Jane C Rothrock. It’s a book you can use at any stage of the course.
I am a first year student Operating Department Practitioner and the experience so far has been nothing short of eye opening! I am also lucky enough to be supported by my Trust to pursue the Apprenticeship route, meaning I'm in practice more than I am in university which is a different experience in itself. I have previous experience within theatres from being a Support Worker and it was hard to try and come away from that role; however it's fascinating to see the patient journey through the different perspectives of areas (anaesthetics, scrub and recovery) and just how involved all members of the theatre team area and the trust they put in each other. Having this opportunity has allowed me to gain insight and knowledge from so many different areas that I can only hope to progress throughout my studies.
A book I would recommend is the Clinical Pocket Reference: Operating Department Practice by Nigel Conway, Nikki White, Paul Ong and Chloe Rich - it's a great form of resource that you can carry whilst on placement and has so much helpful information that you can refer back to in all areas that an ODP covers.
In addition to the book titles above, we have lots of other resources for students studying on the programme. A selection of which are highlighted on a display here.
The display highlights popular books from the programme and also highlights key journals.
Journal of Perioperative Practice and The Operating Theatre Journal. Both of these titles can be accessed electronically with a University of Bolton log in.
You can also check our specialist Subject Guide for the Operating Department Practice programme which in addition to University of Bolton Library resources also includes links to other learning resources Podcasts to support learning in this field.
Huge thanks to Emma, Hannah Yarker, Kay and Hannah Walsh for sharing with us their stories and how much they enjoy studying here at the University and working as an ODP. We hope you enjoy the book recommendations from both the students and from myself as Librarian for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.