Operating Department Practitioner

What is an operating department practitioner (ODP)?

An ODP’s primarily work in an operating theatre, alongside surgeons, anaesthetists, theatre nurses, healthcare assistants, theatre support staff and porters.

The role involves receiving, assessing and delivering service users care in three main areas, which are; anaesthetics, surgery and recovery. Hence, ODP ‘s care for service users, before, during and following their surgery.

What does an ODP do on a daily basis?


  • Assist service users prior to their surgery
  • Prepare specialist equipment and medication


  • Preparing all the necessary instruments and equipment for surgery, including microscopes and lasers.
  • Responsible for surgical instruments, equipment and swabs during surgery


  • Monitor and support the service users when they arrive at the recovery unit
  • Administer suitable treatment until service users have recovered from the effects of the anaesthesia and surgery
  • Assess the service users so they can return to a ward

Where do ODP’s work?

  • Hospitals
  • Intensive Care Unit (emergency department , operating theatres)

ODP Roles and Careers

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