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Operating Department Practitioner, ODP

The Operating Department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital consists of 13 Operating Theatres. 12 in the Main Department and a specialist Ophthalmic Surgery Theatre on Holywell Ward and 2 Post Anaesthetic Care Areas (PACU’s 1 & 2). We cover a wide variety of surgical specialities which include Orthopaedics and Trauma, Ear, Nose and Throat, Maxillofacial. General and Colorectal, Breast Surgery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Urology and Ophthalmics.

The department completes around 15,000 procedures per year with about 2,500 of these being Emergency Procedures. We employ around 175 permanent staff in a wide variety of roles including:-

Operating Department Orderlies – our own portering staff who’s duties include fetching patients from wards, setting up operating trolleys, taking bloods and specimens to the labs. These staff complete their care certificate on Induction and can study for Level 2 and 3 Qualifications if they wish to do so.

Operating Department Practitioners – completed a 3 year degree in Operating Department Practice which is training specific to the theatre department and can work as the scrub practitioner, anaesthetic practitioner, to assist the anaesthetist during anaesthetics and PACU practitioner.

Sisters, Charge Nurses and Lead Theatre Practitioners – experienced nurses and ODP’s who have progressed to become speciality leads within the department.


Theatre & PACU Matron – in charge of the everyday running and efficiency of the whole Operating Department and all of it’s staff.

Theatre & PACU Support Workers – theatre support workers work in theatres and are part of the circulating team during surgical procedures. They set up instruments and extras for the surgical team. Care for patients during their time in the department and provide any items which the scrub team may require during a surgical procedure. PACU support workers support the PACU team, set up beds and bed spaces and care for patients who have had procedures under local anaesthetic. They all complete the care certificate on induction and are then required and supported to achieve a Level 2 qualification as part of their role and can progress to Level 3 if they would like to.

Nursing Associates in PACU – staff who have undertaken a foundation degree to enable them to care for patients airways post anaesthetic.


Associate Theatre Practitioners – staff who have undertaken a foundation degree to enable them to act as the Scrub Practitioner and assist the surgeons during procedures.

The Operating Department is an incredibly varied place of work with every day being different and bringing new challenges and learning opportunities. It offers excellent career development and progression and is hugely rewarding.

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