The Operating Department Practitioner
We as ODPs and Anaesthetic nurses have now become entwined professionally, we now fulfil the same roles, whereas in years past the nurse would scrub and the ODP would concentrate on anaesthetics. There are now some nurses (as we have one or two here) who apart from placements during training have never worked on the ward, and have forgotten those ward skills they were taught. They are only suited to theatre. It does not mean they cannot work on the ward or elsewhere, as nurses they have the basic qualification to do so, it is just it will be as alien to them as it would be to myself as an ODP. (Although I spent 3 months on the ward as part of my training)
To become good at what you do requires you to gain experience by working at your chosen profession, Nurses are now working in areas that require special skills for that area, if they continue in that area for several years, they do become a little typecast and would require extra training to work elsewhere.
I can see theatre practitioners going the same way in time and becoming unskilled at certain specialities in theatre.
Well that is the future and anything can happen as regards to our development, as it is all based on what the country can afford especially in these times of financial difficulty for the NHS, all progressions require funding and in the big scheme of things, we do not figure highly.
It would be interesting to see how it develops over the next 20 years. I would like to thank all those sources that have contributed to this book, especially the CODP, Sally Garner, Frank Pyke FIOT, and the BMJ who have provided the basis of the material for the history of the ODPs.
I have referenced all the sources of the material where possible, however there may be some which I have failed to reference, if there are I apologise as it is not intentional.
I also wish to thank all the sources that have provided the images for this, but there are quite a few where it I have been unable to find the holder of the copy-write of the image, this made difficult as the image is widely distributed throughout the world, with some because the copy-write has expired and others because the originator cannot be traced.
I have outlined the origins of the theatre assistants in the next pages.
I am grateful to the CODP web site for the bulk of the material on the ODPs origins