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Health and social care students gain an insight into the operating theatre

Health and social care students at Coleg Sir Gâr have learned about the role of an operating department practitioner (ODP) from a medical professional as part of their university and career planning. 

Craig Griffiths, an ODP and lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Healthcare Sciences, offered an insight into working within healthcare to level three health, social care and medical science students and gave a comprehensive presentation on the role of an operating department practitioner.

He also shared a typical week’s study schedule comprising of topics such as preparation for anaesthetic and post anaesthetic practice, surgical drains, wound closure and preparation for surgical practice.

Placing the importance on experience, Craig also shared a typical operations schedule during a placement week in general surgery.

This could consist of supporting surgeons and anaesthetists in carrying out around eight different types of surgery including laparoscopic cholecystectomies, Nissen fundoplication, hernia repairs, pylorus-preserving, pancreatic duodenectomy, with some operations lasting from six to 15 hours.

Highlighting the many skills needed to work in healthcare, interpersonal abilities being vital to patients physical and mental wellbeing and teamwork vital to surgery, Craig also stressed the importance of medical knowledge.

Sarah Govier, RGN and Coleg Sir Gâr lecturer explains: “As an ODP, Craig gave students an insight into being able to foresee problems such as bleeds so that the right tools can be passed immediately to the surgeon, you need to know what’s happening or going to happen to be handing these over before you’re even asked.

“This was a really insightful talk for the students, some of who are making up their minds about what to study at university so it was a really useful and interesting session for us to get involved with and also showcases another vital profession that plays a key role within the NHS. 

“As a section, we have been fortunate over the last year, to have many guest speakers from various areas of the NHS deliver talks to our students giving an invaluable overview of their roles. 

"Due to the current climate, these talks have been virtual but have worked incredibly well with enthusiastic student interaction accompanied by many excellent questions asked.”