Theatre support worker

Theatre support workers are part of an operating department team who support the surgical team. 

This page has information on the role of the theatre support worker, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

An important part of the work of theatre support staff is reassuring patients, who may be anxious about going into the operating theatre.

theatre support worker walking

As a member of the theatre support staff, you may also

Who will I work with?

You'll work with other members of the theatre team, including theatre nurses, anaesthetists, surgeons, operating department practitioners, and administrative staff. Your work will include some aspects of the role done by porters, operating department practitioners and theatre nurses.

Entry requirements 

There are no set entry requirements. Employers expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy and may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths. Theatre support workers have experience of healthcare. Most have worked in the NHS in another healthcare role such as healthcare assistant or other clinical support role. You could gain experience of healthcare by securing a healthcare-related apprenticeship, and then applying for a permanent position as a healthcare assistant or other clinical support role.

Skills and personal characteristics

Theatre support workers need to be

You'll also need

Training and development

When you start as a theatre support worker you will be trained. Your training will include

You will be encouraged to take relevant vocational qualifications. Apprenticeships in Health - Perioperative Support  (Intermediate, Advanced and Higher levels) may be available.

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