Operating department practitioner

Operating department practitioners work with patients of all ages and are involved in each phase of a person’s operation.  

This page has information on being an operating department practitioner and links to further information. 

Working life 

You’ll provide high standards of skilled care and support during each phase of a patient’s perioperative care - anaesthetic, surgical and recovery.

You’ll have an important role in three of the phases of perioperative care:

The anaesthetic phase


The surgical phase

You’ll play an important part of the surgery team and will:

The recovery phase


Where do ODPs work?

You’ll be primarily employed within operating theatres but increasingly in other critical care areas of a hospital.

ODPs also manage the preparation of the environment, equipment and act as the link between the surgical team and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital. They must be able to anticipate the requirements of the surgical team and respond effectively.

How to become an ODP

To become an ODP you’ll need to train and study at degree or diploma level. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can find the ODP course to suit you using our Course Finder tool.

Want to learn more? 

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