Hello, my name is Danielle and I am an operating department practitioner in theatre.
My vocation in theatre started almost 17 years ago when I had a complete career change in my early twenties. After leaving the legal sector and completing a college course in health sciences, I found myself applying for a band 2 support worker role in theatre.
Carrying out my role as a support worker ignited an enthusiasm which I had never experienced. My job involved setting out instruments and equipment and generally supporting the surgical team, transfer of patients through the theatre department, stock control and cleaning and tidying of the theatre area. With the support of Airedale Hospital (who provided a full secondment) I was fortunate to secure a two year place at Huddersfield University to start my operating department practitioner (ODP) training. Having a young family at this time it was difficult, but with hard work and determination (and lots of support from family, friends and colleagues!) I qualified with a Diploma in Higher Education in 2008.
ODP’s are a vital part of the multidisciplinary team and work within all areas of the perioperative environment. Ultimately my position is to deliver high standards of patient-centred care whether I am working in anaesthetics, surgery, recovery or circulating role. I also work in other critical care areas such as resus in the emergency department, hospital crash calls and inter/intra hospital patient transfers. This role has expanded over the years and I have effectively developed my knowledge and clinical confidence. I am currently on the organ donation committee within the trust and have supported the general surgical team lead in a deputy role.
Through my commitment to the role I have recently been enlisted to take charge of the acute theatre team which is an exciting and challenging opportunity. Although this is a demanding role I feel I am still supported to keep a well-balanced work/home life.
The most captivating thing about my job is the fact that each member, regardless of their level, has a role to play in the perioperative team. I suppose we are all cogs which help to turn a very big wheel…and without our associated skills and team work, we are ineffective. Don’t get me wrong, with the demands on the NHS being high, sometimes days can be challenging but with combining our individual strengths we can enhance patient experiences and deliver optimum levels of care.