Meet Matt, an Operating Department Practitioner video transcript

My name’s Matt and I’m an operating department practitioner. An operating department practitioner has a range of responsibilities. They can be anaesthetic assistants, helping anaesthetists give general anaesthetics. I’m with the patient as they’re going off to sleep, throughout the operation and then as they wake up.

When the patient arrives in the anaesthetic room, I put monitors on them so that we can keep an eye on their vital signs. Once we’re settled and the patient is breathing for themselves, or breathing through our anaesthetic machines then we can bring them through to the operating theatre. Once the operation is finished, the ODP can act as a recovery practitioner and care for the patient one on one as the patient is waking up, this includes monitoring their vital signs, talking to the patient, reassuring them that everything is alright and that the operation is over. Waking up from an anaesthetic can be quite confusing so a lot of reassurance needs to be done.

To become an ODP I went to university. There are also other routes into it. A lot of ODPs started off as healthcare assistants and then progressed through university to the role of an operating department practitioner.

When I was doing AS levels, I really enjoyed biology and I started thinking about a degree in health care. I looked through a whole range of programmes and I came across the operating department practitioner role. I felt like this was suited to my personality so I went and applied for that. There were lots of surprises when I was on placement . Lots of things happen in theatre, it’s very fast paced and you need to be able to keep up. It’s not very often that things go wrong but when they do, you need to be able to deal with that immediately and that can be quite challenging. The thing that I love most about my job though is making sure patients are safe and well cared for. I think this is vitally important because patients are at the heart at everything we do here.

Meet Matt, an Operating Department Practitioner video

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