Operating Department Practice

FAQs about studying ODP

What if I feel queasy due to the nature of OD work?

Often new students report feeling a bit queasy when they first encounter the sights, sounds and smells of an Operating Theatre. It is something you get used to and when you are there actually learning and participating rather than just watching. The perspective is different and the work distracts you from any uneasy feelings.

What if I need a part-time job to make ends meet?

We recognise that many students will need to supplement their student bursary with paid work. We have developed the following two guiding principles in relationship to this:

  • No students should work in employed employment for more than 15 hours a week.
  • If we or a student recognises that paid work is affecting their progress on the course then the issue needs to be redressed.

Finally, this is the sort of issue that students should feel free to discuss with their personal tutor or any member of our staff team.

What does it feel like to work in an enclosed room all day?

As a general principle lighting levels and ventilation levels are good in the Operating Department and few students report this as a problem. In the event that you might find this difficult we do advise that students leave the department and get some fresh air and natural light during their lunch break.

How much help do students get with regards to coping with patients that might be critically ill and dying?

Dealing with ill and dying patients comes with the job and all theatre staff have had to learn coping mechanisms to deal with this. Therefore there is a great deal of direct support in placement for you when you experience these situations. You should also feel free to discuss your feelings with colleagues and staff.

What course would you suggest I do if my qualifications don't meet your entry requirements?

There are many options for those that don't meet the entry criteria depending very much on what they already have. The common routes that people follow include repeating existing qualifications to try to improve grades, undertaking base academic qualifications at a college, or enrolling on a Access to Higher Education programme which focuses on a health related area at a college. The latter route is becoming more popular as it directly prepares people for the type of work that they will do on our course.

What if I need accommodation during the study blocks?

Basic accommodation is available on a study block by study block basis (not full-time). You will have to pay for this out of your bursary. We spread the cost of this out over the duration of the course.

I notice that the course is full time with no terms/semesters, do I get any holiday?

Yes! Students have 22 days holiday plus bank holidays per year. We programme in a 2 week vacation in the summer and over the Christmas period. The remaining entitlement is negotiated with practice and school staff.

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