By background, I am an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) who specialises in anaesthetics for general, orthopaedic and vascular surgery for a number of years. I also spent a great deal of time in A&E and ICU responding to emergencies and was also a mentor for student ODPs.
A typical day for me involves screening patients, answering queries, attending clinic appointments, seeing patients for various trial needs, taking blood, preparing and giving IV’s. I also attend MDT’s, meet with various colleagues on a daily basis and educate staff on current clinical trials being carried out in order for them to be implemented and delivered effectively and efficiently. Whilst the majority of my day is planned, it can all go out of the window if I’m rung to recruit a patient who has been admitted for emergency surgery or has been admitted to A&E after having a cardiac event. Sometimes I’m only giving minutes to have an in-depth conversation with a patient about whether they’d like to be involved in an emergency based research trial and I absolutely applaud these patients for taking the time to participate in research when they’re feeling at their absolute low or have been giving a potentially life changing diagnosis, but still want to help make a difference.
AHPs can really help blaze the way in this field! So much so, I won an award for my contributions towards research at my local hospital. If an ODP can do it, anyone can. Research within the NHS is an extremely rewarding job and it’s humbling to see patients eager to be a part of helping to make a difference.
And yes…that is a picture of with me an inflatable flamingo! I won it as part of an anaesthetic trial I work on. Blame the anaesthetist…!