Clinical Skills Demonstrator at the University of Chester
Operating Department Practice (ODP)
The course developed my confidence, and my decision-making skills. I learnt the key components and roles that make an ODP.
I loved my placements. My mentors were really supportive and encouraging. I enjoyed participating in skills and simulation while studying. My love of clinical simulation started while at Edge Hill and I believe that it’s the reason I now work within this area.
My degree equipped me with skills in multiple specialities such as gynaecology, orthopaedics, trauma and obstetrics. I developed the underpinning knowledge to work as a registered ODP, and I learnt how to write, research and be an advocate for my patients.
My course was 60% placement, 40% theory. This suited my learning style and allowed me to develop within the environment I’d be working in as an autonomous registered ODP once I qualified. My personal tutor was on hand for support whenever required.
Learning how to write academically increased my confidence. Initially, I struggled with referencing. To overcome this, I attended sessions on Harvard referencing, facilitated by the library. Following these sessions, my grades improved.
The course developed my confidence, and my time management and decision-making skills. I also learnt how to be an anaesthetic, scrub and recovery practitioner – the key components and roles that make an ODP!
I love working as a Clinical Skills Demonstrator in Higher Education. No day is ever the same. Some days I’ll be demonstrating cannulation and venepuncture, the next day I’ll be controlling the patient simulators for a mental health or acute adult care specific simulation. I applied for the role after spending time gaining experience within a hospital environment as a registered ODP.
The best part of my job is working with amazing, knowledgeable colleagues providing immersive skills and simulation sessions for nursing students. I feel huge job satisfaction when the students feel they’ve learnt something new.
I’ve continued to develop and gain qualifications. As a lifelong learner post-university, I’m now a mental health first aider, moving and handling trainer, and Associate Fellow of Higher Education. I’d like to continue to work within Higher Education and potentially study toward a Masters.
I went to Dublin the day after I graduated. Due to the pandemic that was the last time I went abroad.
During the Covid-19 pandemic I assisted on the Intensive Care Unit. I spent most of my time in operating theatres (mostly orthopaedic trauma), though. My shifts where hard, long and exhausting due to hours and hours wearing full PPE, unable to have a drink, go to the toilet, or sit down.
My time on the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) was emotionally and mentally exhausting. I learnt a lot, though. I cared for patients who required emergency surgery but were also Covid-19 positive, and also patients who were positive and, as a result, ventilated on ITU. I worked alongside some amazing, knowledgeable nurses, healthcare assistants and ODPs during the first wave of the pandemic. I’ll be forever grateful for their support.
It’s not an easy course, but it’s so worth it. I’d advise new students to prepare thoroughly. I’d describe the ODP programme as like working a full-time job – your placement – while studying an intense degree at the same time.
Finally, look out for the ducks who roam the campus – so cute!