It's not like Casualty, say team behind the mask

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DESPITE TV medical dramas being entertaining, a lot more goes on behind operating theatre doors than just handing scissors to the surgeon.

Practice development lead Vicky Ogden with Daniel Noble as part of the second National Operating Department Practitioner Day held at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 24660936)

This was something islanders had the opportunity to learn more about yesterday as part of the second National Operating Department Practitioner Day.

The day aims to educate people on the important but often little-understood profession of operating department practitioners.

Vicky Ogden is the practice development lead in theatres and organised events to raise awareness of what goes on behind theatre doors.

She is the most senior ODP in the hospital and was keen to tell people what this specialist team of professionals does each day in the operating theatre where they work alongside nursing, medical and allied health professional colleagues.

‘We are a profession in our own right,’ she said.

‘We are the patient’s advocates, we’re the last people they see [before the operation begins] and we ensure they are safe throughout surgery and support them when they wake up. People watch Casualty and think it’s all just scissors and clamps but there’s so much more equipment that’s just as important – a lot of knowledge involved.

‘You need to understand the surgeon and anticipate their needs, it’s not just about handing them the tools they ask for.’

Information points on the day included a display outside the PEH’s Emma Ferbrache Room, which presented the hospital’s ODPs, what they do and where they have trained and worked.


Ms Ogden also organised a display stand to raise awareness at the Co-op Grand Marche in St Martin’s where she was accompanied by fellow ODP Daniel Noble.

‘It’s a three-year degree to become an ODP,’ said Mr Noble, who has worked in Guernsey for a year now after moving from Liverpool.

Ms Ogden said she hoped that during next year’s National ODP Day, the public might be able to view inside the operating theatre to familiarise people with the setting and also give youngsters an opportunity to learn more about what could be a future career path.

‘Currently, you need to go to the UK to study the three-year degree but plans are in place to be able to stay in Guernsey as of next year,’ said Ms Ogden.

ODPs primarily work in operating theatres in an anaesthetic, surgical and recovery team but they are increasingly also found working in areas such as accident and emergency, intensive care, day surgery clinics, maternity units and resuscitation teams.

As of 2018, there were 13,630 ODPs registered with the Health and Care Professions Council across the country, a national shortage.

Charlotte Le

By Charlotte Le
News reporter

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