This is Dean – an ODP in theatres who has worked here for over 27 years

Posted on April 19, 2018 by AireAdmin

Hello, my name is Dean and I am an operating department practitioner (ODP). I have worked at Airedale for over 27 years.

How did you get to where you are today? What made you decide to do what you do?
I started at Airedale in 1990 when I left school at 17 and enrolled onto the Vocational Training Scheme which was a two year course where I worked in various wards and departments. When the course finished I started a role in theatre as a nursing auxiliary; a job I enjoyed for over 10 years during which time the role changed to become health care support workers.


Within this time I wanted to progress my career – I was going to do my general nurse training but after working in theatre I decided that’s where my future lay, and began looking into Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) training. ODP training was not available at Airedale at that time so I applied to Blackpool hospital to undertake my training there. I was unsuccessful, but maybe that was a blessing in disguise as Airedale was my home.

Sister Sally Moore was looking into developing an ODP training course at Airedale and when it started I was one of the first to undertake the training. I attended an access course to enable me to meet the requirements of the course and started my ODP training in 2001. I qualified in 2003 and have worked at Airedale ever since.

What does your job involve?
An ODP is a qualified member of the theatre team which is an allied health profession in its own right. The role is sometimes confused as in theatre you have both nurses and ODPs undertaking the same roles. The main difference is an ODP is able to be a generic worker and has been trained to work in all areas of theatre work, be that as a scrub practitioner, anaesthetic assistant or recovery practitioner, whereas most nurses only cover one area (although again at Airedale we have some that cover more). We are also members of the crash team and regularly attend resus and are often involved in intra-hospital transfers of ventilated patients to other hospitals.

What do you enjoy about your job?
I like the variety of my job: one day you can be helping with a hip replacement, the next bringing life into the world during a C-section, or trying to save a life on a crash call and then in the back of an ambulance on blue lights transferring critically ill patients to another hospital. No two days are the same!

I have recently also taken on the role of junior practice development educator. I have always enjoyed teaching and feel I have a lot of knowledge and experience to pass on to students, and when I remember the way my career progressed it’s nice to give something back.

What do you enjoy about working at Airedale?
I like working at Airedale because it’s not too big and also not too small; you seem to get to know people from other areas of the hospital which gives it a nice family feel. We cope well as a team and that kind of working suits me. There are lots of staff members who have worked here for a long time, and that speaks volumes to me.

What do you do outside of work?
I live in Haworth with my beautiful wife Laura and two wonderful daughters, Maisy and Grace and I enjoy spending time with my family. I am also very involved in amateur theatre. I am a regular performer with Sutton Green Hut Theatre Company and have been performing with them for over 26 years in their musicals, plays and pantomimes. I also take to the stage at Skipton Little Theatre and have done a number of plays with them which are a lot of fun. Pantomimes are my first love and I can often be found donning a frock during the Christmas period or providing lots of laughs as comedy sidekick. Recently I made my debut as dame in Keighley’s Musical Theatre Company’s production of Babes in the Wood and enjoyed it so much I’m auditioning to be part of their next production, Hairspray, which is coming to the stage in October this year.