Operating Department Practitioners (ODP) have been working within the NHS for over 50 years under varying titles. The role is very similar to nursing but specifically situated in theatres and they are involved in each phase of a person’s operation. It is such a varied role that spans a variety of specialisms including Resuscitation, Critical Care and ITU.
It is a hidden but very important role within the NHS and unfortunately we are now seeing a decline in students studying the profession and therefore are currently having problems recruiting ODPs nationally.
The College of ODP’s and UNISON have therefore declared Monday 14 May 2018 as National ODP Day, and our ODPs came out from behind closed operating theatre doors to show healthcare colleagues and the public more about their profession and how important ODPs are to the NHS and to delivering excellent perioperative patient care.
Tom D’souza, ODP and Clinical Practice Educator at Ashford and St Peter’s commented, “ODPs are such a crucial role within theatres and its unimaginable these days for an anaesthetist to provide safe care to a patient in the operating theatres or elsewhere in the hospital without the support of trained ODP/Anaesthetic Assistant (as stipulated in AAGBI guidelines). Many ODP’s go on to teach in universities, work in different areas of healthcare and are very successful.”
Ashford and St Peter’s Consultant Anaesthetist, Dr Alenka Miles adds: “ODP’s are right hand staff for Anaesthetist and very important members of Perioperative Team.”