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Operating Department Practice (ODP)

Operating department practitioners (ODPs) provide high standards of patient care and skilled support alongside medical and nursing colleagues during perioperative care, working with surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nurses to help ensure every operation is as safe and effective as possible.

Four health workers performing surgery in an operating theatre

ODPs are required to apply theory to practice in a variety of clinical settings, supporting both patients and other healthcare professionals. The role has a wide remit with ODPs undertaking a variety of tasks, such as ensuring equipment is provided and working, the environment is clean, and patients are correctly prepared for clinical procedures.

Key roles of an ODP

  • Assisting in patient care either prior to, during, or post surgery.
  • Preparation of a wide range of specialist equipment and drugs.
  • Assessing and monitoring patients physiological parameters and providing appropriate interventions during recovery from anaesthesia.
  • Working alongside the surgeon, providing correct surgical instruments and materials in order to ensure safe and efficient completion or surgical procedures.
  • Ensuring that surgical instruments, equipment and swabs are all accounted for throughout the surgical procedure.
  • Acting as the link between the surgical team and other parts of the theatre and hospital.
  • Assessing the patient to ensure they can be discharged back to a surgical ward area.
  • Evaluating the care given during the peri-operative phases (anaesthetics, surgery, recovery.)

A professional development programme for qualified operating department practitioners is also available.

Being an ODP student at Edge Hill

Edge Hill University has been named as a UK Top 35 University (Guardian University Guide 2024), Top 4 in the North West (Complete University Guide 2025) and is one of the fastest growing universities in the UK.

As a trainee in operating department practice at Edge Hill University, you will have access to some of the best facilities for health undergraduates in the UK, including leading edge clinical skills simulation facilities. You will graduate eligible to apply to the Health & Care Professions Council for registration as an Operating Department Practitioner.

You can choose to study this degree at either our Ormskirk campus or our Manchester city centre campus. For students studying at Ormskirk, there are clinical placements available across Merseyside. For students studying at Manchester, clinical placements are available throughout Greater Manchester and East Cheshire. We will endeavour, where possible, to place you in a trust near to where you live.

Edge Hill is also bucking the national trend and has seen applications to study increase five-fold in the past 10 years.