What do ODP do in a typical day?

ODP do in a typical day

If you are aspiring to become an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP), and would like to know what ODP do in a typical day, then you are at the right place. We have 10 important duties ODP do on an everyday basis. 

Who is an ODP? What is the work of an ODP?

An Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is a crucial member of the operating room team who ensures that patients of all ages receive high-quality care at every stage of their procedure.

The work of an ODP includes providing individualized and competent care for patients at all stages of their procedure, from the time they enter the operating room to when they leave the recovery area. This implies that if you enjoy working with patients but also want to be hands-on, this could be the ideal position for you.

What does an ODP do on a typical day?

No two days are the same for an ODP. Working in an acute fast-paced setting, you will be responsible for providing compassionate, high-quality safe care as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Patient safety and good practice are dependent not just on high-performing surgeons, but also on effective surgical teamwork that improves the team’s performance and leads to positive patient outcomes. As a result, you’ll require exceptional communication, organizational, and problem-solving abilities.

As an ODP, you’ll be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and given the protected title of Registered Operating Department Practitioner upon registration.

1.Prior to entering the surgery

Before joining any clinical workplace, as with any employment within the NHS, confidentiality, data protection, and security are vital. An ODP can enter the surgery premises only with security access passports and security codes and must enter with a professional attitude.

Depending on the day’s obligations, their shift patterns may vary, with some employees starting work earlier than others. Anesthetics are normally given first, followed by recovery, which takes longer and is likely to take longer depending on the patient’s needs. Work from Monday through Friday is mandatory and sometimes an ODP may be compelled to work ‘out of hours in the event of an emergency.

2.Getting ready for the job

An ODP’s next main task is to get ready for the job. He/she will proceed to the changing rooms upon entering the department to ensure that they are entering a clean environment. ‘Dressed codes’ and cleanliness are important safeguards against hospital infections, as is careful preparation for surgery. Removal of any jewelry and the wearing of theatre scrubs in accordance with local hospital protocol are some of the few to take care of.

3.Board for theatre placements

The frequent changing of duties on a daily basis is one of the most significant elements affecting the daily workload. Many times, you will leave the previous day thinking you are in one theatre, only to find out the next morning that everything has changed; not only are you in a different theatre, but you may even be in a different specialism. In general, you’ll be where you’re supposed to be, but as your experience grows, so does your obligation to the service.

To meet these obstacles, a potential ODP must possess attributes such as timeliness, organization, and teamwork.

4.Preparation of list

After obtaining the copy of the operating list, which contains all of the session procedures, order of play, and specialist needs, the ODP ensures the following checks are done and ready.

  • Getting the work surfaces ready
  • Ensuring that all necessary surgical instruments are on hand
  • Assuring that all specialist equipment is in place 
  • Checking that the operational table is in good working order and is properly set up for the first case.

5.Starting the operating list

The Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) decides to send for the first patient when everything has been arranged and every staff has been accounted for and is present. Only when everything has been examined once again can the surgery begin, which usually involves hooking up the patient to monitoring devices including blood pressure, ECG, and pulse oximetry. Depending on the surgery, more intrusive measures like an arterial line for continuous pressure monitoring may be required.

The patient is being moved to the surgical table.

6.Transferring the patient to the operation table

The safety of the patient comes first. With this in mind, the ODP aids the anesthetist with attaching the patient to all pertinent monitors and anesthetic equipment so that they are comfortable and ready for surgery.

After that, the team will use well-established procedures to transport the patient to the operating table and then into position for operation. There are numerous various positions to choose from, ranging from the simple supine position to the more difficult prone position (patient is face down).

Other surgical equipment is added when it has been properly positioned, depending on the demands and requirements of the surgical procedure to be conducted. Diathermy, laparoscopic instruments, and suction may be used.

A final check is conducted at this time before surgery to ensure that we have the correct patient, who is having the correct intended procedure, and that if a side is selected (for example, the right leg), we are working in the correct place. 

Note: Many organisations have embraced the World Health Organization checklist as the gold standard for preventing surgical inappropriate site/procedure errors.

7.Throughout the Operation

The rest of the team, which includes the anaesthetic ODP, the circulation person, and, depending on the size and workload of the department, maybe the recovery person, will support the surgical and anaesthetic teams throughout the process, assuring patient and staff safety. Depending on the situation, tasks may involve changing the light, connecting fluids, adjusting insufflators, inspecting swabs, and much more.

Counts of all instruments and consumables will take done at various stages throughout the process, and can include all members of that theatre’s staff. Depending on the procedural demands of a given surgery, communication with other departments such as X-rays, labs, and the ward may be required.

8.Exposure to patient issues

Because the human body can acquire a variety of ailments that necessitate surgical intervention, surgical techniques can vary in a number of ways. Each surgical operation will place mental and physical pressure on the team and the patient. They can range from short, high-volume operating lists with high physical demands and high emotional effects, such as a suction abortion, to a long, drawn-out surgical intervention that, although not having a significant emotional impact on the entire team, is physically demanding and fatigue may be an issue.

Standing in one place for two to three hours on an operating table might be stressful. In the stressful environment of an operating theatre, where diverse personalities must work closely together for the best outcome for the patient under their care, regardless of personal culture or beliefs, tensions can run high.

Exposure to fumes, foul odors, and blood splashes are all part of the job. But at the end of the day being part of the cesarean section and watching the birth of a child can be most satisfying.

9.Recovering from an operation

On the operating table, you’ll begin to recover from the surgical operation and anesthetic. The patient is gently reversed from the anesthetic when all counts have been satisfactorily performed, the patient has been cleansed, and all appropriate aftercare dressings have been applied. The team’s major job is to get the patient ready for the recovery area.

The Anaesthetic ODP will work with the anesthesiologist to ensure that the patient is comfortable and pain-free. This function may be filled by a recovering ODP in some organisations. The surgical team will also help with the secure transfer of patient information to the next treatment area.

Preparation for the next surgery begins once the patient is able to be transferred and leaves the theatre.

10.Preparation for procedures in between

This is the team’s role for everyone. All clinical waste from the prior procedure must be carefully removed in accordance with the organization’s hazardous waste protocols. To prepare for the next case, all surfaces must be cleaned and prepared.

The summing up of what ODP do in a typical day

The day can be monotonous, exhausting, and at times downright boring; there are, of course, exhilarating moments when people are desperately fighting to save a life, but these are few and far between. Standing for long periods of time while scrubbed or watching monitors during protracted cases with little change in the patient’s vital signs are common events in an ODP’s day. The ODP career has its own perks, but employees may feel that much of their work remains the same and that they receive little acknowledgment for their efforts.

The role is life-changing in many ways, so careful thinking is essential. The advantages, as previously indicated, are numerous, but the cost can be high at times.

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