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“I am a Senior Operating Department Practitioner (SODP) at York Hospital.  I qualified as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) in 1995 and spent the next eight years working in the British Army.  I was deployed to Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, before leaving in 2003 and taking up a post as a SODP within the Trust.

“ODP’s are a hidden staff group within the hospital and most people don’t know about the work we do – although it’s really important.  In my role I provide support to the anaesthetist as part of the multidisciplinary theatre team, before, during and after surgical procedures in various specialties.  I also work as part of the cardiac arrest team and the trauma team, as well as working as part of the multidisciplinary team in critical care.

“York appealed to me because of the variety of surgical specialties available and because of the big family atmosphere in the operating department.  The NHS is like a second family to me - some weeks I can spend more time with my work colleagues than my family.  I still love my job, even after 23 years, and a lot of that is down to the people I am surrounded with at work and the support they give me.

“I also enjoy teaching and I am lucky to be able to teach on several courses throughout the Trust, and I am just training to be an instructor for the Advanced Life Support course, with the support of the resuscitation and clinical skills team.  I am also part of a deteriorating patient group which is looking at what steps we can take to improve the recognition and treatment of deteriorating patients within our care.  I also mentor student ODP’s on clinical placement from Hull University and I am mentoring a student from the Council of Deans of Health during their Student Leadership Programme - both of which I find very rewarding. 

“The best piece of advice I have ever been given comes from my time in the forces and is short and sweet ‘train hard, work easy’ - which makes me think about the important role education and training plays in the modern healthcare environment, as well as the importance of professional development for healthcare professionals.”

08 June 2018

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