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Operating Department Practioner (ODP)

ODP’s are an integral part of the operating department team working with surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nurses to help ensure every operation is as safe and effective as possible.

During this, the ODPs will:

  • assist the patient before surgery commences and provide individualised care
  • needs an ability to communicate and work effectively within the MDT 
  • undertakes a role which will involve clinical skills, such as the preparation of a wide range of specialist equipment. This includes; the anaesthetic machines, intravenous equipment and adjuncts to safely secure the patient's airway during anaesthesia.

ODP’s will participate as part of the peri -operative team, in a number of roles, including the scrubbed role.

During this phase, ODPs will:

  • wear sterile gown and gloves, prepare necessary instruments and equipment for the procedure. Including microscopes, lasers and endoscopes
  • working alongside the surgeon, providing the correct surgical instruments and materials, this ensures safe completion of surgical procedures.
  • Act as patients advocate in this role and be responsible for ensuring that surgical instruments, equipment and swabs are all correct and accounted for throughout the procedure
  • undertake the circulating role, communicating confidently and effectively with other members of the MDT, preparing the environment, equipment and acting as the link between the MDT, other theatres and areas.
    be able to anticipate the requirements of the surgical team and respond effectively.

During this, the ODP will:

  • receive, assess and deliver patient care on the patients arrival into the recovery area.
  • monitor the patients physiological parameters, providing appropriate interventions and treatment until the patient has recovered from the effects of the anaesthesia and/or surgery and is stable.
  • assess the patient to ensure they can be discharged back to a surgical ward area.
  • evaluate the care given during the peri-operative phases (anaesthetics, surgery, recovery).

ODP’s are a vital part of the clinical team and provide professional expertise during the patients stay in hospital. Although they are primarily employed within operating theatres, they are increasingly being recognised for their skills in other critical care areas, suchs as; A+E, MRI, CT, Endoscopy.

The ODP may be found working as:

  • scrubbed person
  • first assistant to the surgeon
  • surgical assistant.


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. They must be able to anticipate the requirements of the surgical team and respond effectively.

ODP training is a three year degree course consisting of academic time at university and practical placements within a hospital setting completing assessment gateways, practical assessments, assignments, presentations and exams, culminating in a BSC degree in Operating Department Practice.

Stephen Astles

Clinical Placement Coordinator (CPC)

Stephen Astles: 07500976556