Operating Department Practitioner (ODP)

ODPs 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 effcitve as possible.

Contact us

Clinical Placement Coordinator - Stephen Astles

Telephone: 07500 976 556

Email: stephen.astles@nhs.net


During their time at UDHB, ODPs will:

  • assist the patient before surgery commences and provide individualised care
  • communicate and work effectively within a multi-disciplinary team
  • undertake a role that includes clinical skills, such as the preparation of a wide range of specialist equipment. This includes anaesthetic machines, and intravenous equipment and adjuncts to safely secure the patient's airway during anaesthesia.


ODPs 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 and prepare instruments and equipment for the procedure, incluidng microscopes, lasers and endoscopes.
  • work alongside the surgeon and provide correct surgical instruments and materials. This ensures safe completion of surgical procedures.
  • undertake the circulating role, communicating confidently and effectively with other members of the multi-discplinary team, preparing the environment, equipment and  acting as the link between the teams, other theatres and areas.
  • be able to anticipate the requirements of the surgical team and respond effectively.


During recovery, the ODP will:

  • receive, assess and deliver patient care on the patient's arrival into the recovery area
  • monitor the patient's 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 patients to ensure they can be discharged back to a surgical ward area
  • evaluate the care given during the peri-operative phases (anaesthetics, surgery, recovery)

Where do ODPs work?

ODPs are a vital part of the clinical team and provide professional expertise during the patient's stay in hospital. Although they are primarily based in operating theatres, they are increasingly being recognised for their skills in other critical areas, such as A&E, MRI, CT and 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 3-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

The final qualification is a BSc in Operating Department Practice.