Operating department practitioners (ODPs) support the anaesthetic, surgery and recovery teams – and care for patients undergoing surgical procedures – every day at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
During the pandemic, they saw their roles change with many re-deployed to support their critical care colleagues looking after patients with Covid-19 when some theatres were turned into extra intensive therapy unit (ITU) space.
Today is National ODP Day – a day to shine light on the contribution ODPs make every day and showcase the important role they play.
Mark Cheetham, medical director for surgery, anaesthetics and cancer at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, said: “Today we highlight the invaluable work our ODPs do every day – supporting colleagues and helping to care for our patients at each stage of their journey through our theatres.
“I am incredibly proud of how they adapted their roles during the pandemic to work in different areas, using their skills to help care for patients in our ITUs during what was a very challenging time, and I would like to thank them all.
“I hope that by shining a light on the important work they do in our hospitals, it will encourage others considering working in the NHS to pursue a varied and very rewarding career.”
ODP Steve Bennett is team leader trauma at RSH, providing specialist clinical support across anaesthetics and surgery as part of a multidisciplinary team.
Steve assists in leading the orthopaedic trauma team, managing staff and resources to ensure safe and efficient patient care.
He said: “I joined the army medical services as a young 16-year-old.
“When it came time to choose my career option, the role of the ODP won hands down above all other career choices. I have never looked back.
“The role is multifaceted across anaesthetics and surgery, supporting all surgical specialties with regular excursions to A&E Resus, ITU, CT and X-ray and inter-hospital transfer of critically ill patients.
“During the first wave of the pandemic, my role predominantly switched to supporting intensive care delivering patient care, where I spent my 60th birthday.”
Kosta Levkov has worked as an ODP at RSH since 2018, and his role involves preparing a wide range of specialist equipment and drugs, including anaesthetic machines, intravenous equipment and devices that safely secure the patient’s airway during anaesthesia.
Kosta said: “I wanted to work as part of a team that really makes a difference to people’s lives by caring for patients when they are at their most vulnerable. The needs and requirements of each patient change which keeps work interesting and challenging.”
Sammi Scriven is an ODP at PRH and has worked at SaTH for the last 10 years.
She said: “I enjoy being an ODP because we are the last person a patient sees once anaesthetised and the first when they wake up, so you have a huge impact on the patient’s surgical journey, which is very rewarding.”