Operating Department Practitioner

Last updated: 22 April 2021

Operating Department Practitioner



Operating Department Practitioners play a major role in each phase of a person’s operation. You’ll provide high standards of skilled care and support during each phase of a patient’s perioperative care - anaesthetic, surgery and recovery. You’ll work in the surgery team and manage the preparation of the operating theatres. You'll also be the the link between the surgical team and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital. 

A day in the life

You’ll have an important role in three of the phases of perioperative care:

  • anaesthetic 
  • surgery
  • recovery



  • help and support patients before surgery
  • prepare a wide range of specialist equipment and drugs, including anaesthetic machines, intravenous equipment and devices that safely secure the patient's airway during anaesthesia


You’ll play an important part of the surgery team by:

  • preparing all the necessary instruments and equipment for surgery, including microscopes, lasers and endoscopes
  • providing the correct surgical instruments and materials to the surgeon
  • being responsible for all surgical instruments, equipment and swabs during the operation
  • acting as a link between the surgical team and other parts of the theatre and hospital
  • anticipating the requirements of the surgical team and responding effectively



  • support and monitor the patient on their arrival into the recovery unit
  • provide appropriate treatment until they have recovered from the effects of the anaesthesia and/or surgery
  • assess the patient so they can be discharged back to a ward



Your development

Once you’ve qualified, you’ll have annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) check-ins, where we’ll discuss your career aspirations and plan how we can help you to achieve them, so you’re always moving forward. 

There are several routes you could take to further your career including management, education and clinical research. You could also undertake further training to become a surgical care practitioner, anaesthesia associate or advanced critical care practitioner. 

For more information regarding joining our team, please submit a form through the ‘Contact us’ page or contact the Human Resources team, who are more than happy to help, on 02392 286577 or email hr.inbox@porthosp.nhs.uk.