Inspirational Story

Emma Jones

Name: Emma Jones

Role: Operating Department Practitioner at Bradford Teaching Hospital

Pronouns: She/Her

What did you study prior to training as an AHP?

I completed an access to Higher Education Diploma, Level 3, along with Level two Math’s and English.

I left school with minimum GCSEs as I struggled at school and my keen interest was cooking and baking and wanted to become a Chef.


What influenced your choice of profession?

I worked in a café from the age of 15, and then at 17 got a job as a catering supervisor in a busy hospital. As part of my role, I saw all of the healthcare staff coming and going, and knew I wanted to make a difference to patient’s lives.

I went back to college full time and worked at the hospital part time. I wanted to become a midwife in theatre as I had never heard of what an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) was, then someone suggested to me that I may want to become an ODP instead. After I researched what an ODP was I knew it was the job for me and my career as an ODP began.


What were your expectations of being an ODP?

I didn’t really know what to expect from becoming an ODP, I never thought I would be able to get any qualification as I was dyslexic and didn’t get the help I needed at school.

It was only when I got to college and university that I got the help and support I needed and now I have blossomed.


Have you had any light bulb moments during your training or career so far?

I was in my second year placement and I scrubbed for a major head and neck case and was there all day and I knew that this was the role for me and loved every minute of it.

I love how a ODP’s job is so versatile and I am part of the patients journey, pre-operatively, peri-operative and post-operatively

What does your current role looks like day to day?

Every day is a completely different. My role is unique as part of an ODP is scrub, anesthetics and recovery and only an ODP can do all three roles but many just stick to one or two of these aspects of the role where as I am lucky enough to do all three.

I work in a busy acute hospital and we work 24/7. I could be working in anesthetics in the morning, collecting the patient, checking them in, putting a cannula in, and assisting the anesthetist.

In the afternoon I could with assisting the surgeon, putting catheters in the patients then recovering the patients and assisting with give Intravenous drugs and post-operative monitoring. Then in-between that I could get called to resus or maternity.


What do you love about your role?

I love how a ODP’s job is so versatile and I am part of the patients journey, pre-operatively, peri-operative and post-operatively.

I love how my job has made me even more of a chatterbox; it’s a running joke at work that I know a patient’s life story before they get anaesthetised. I can emphasise with a patient as I have a few emergency surgeries and understand how the patient must feel.


Do you have any advice for someone considering being an ODP?

You need to be really good at listening and have good communication skills. Also not to be squeamish as there can be lots of blood and gore.

Want to know more about the role of an ODP?

Take a look at the role, what they do, where they work and what a typical day looks like

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