Two people wearing scrubs in a clinical room

If you have ever considered working in an operating theatre, at the very heart of hospital health care, a new course could put you on the perfect career path.

For the first time Swansea University is offering a BSc (Hons) in Operating Department Practice, an exciting addition to the range of courses offered at the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science.

A relatively new role to UK and Welsh healthcare, Operating Department Practitioners (ODP) are not medical doctors but part of the allied clinical team caring for surgical patients.

An ODP is present and involved with every stage of operation. Their role is paramount to the smooth running of an operating department, maintaining patient safety, comfort, and confidence from the beginning to the end of the process. It offers a very rewarding career for someone with an interest in patient care who enjoys working as part of a team.

Students are taught by qualified ODPs, nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals who provide a combination of theoretical rigour and professional insight alongside practical experience.

In addition, the Swansea course has just been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the body which oversees and sets the standards for healthcare education and training.

Course leader associate professor Pete Brown said: “I’m delighted that the BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (ODP) programme has received approval from the HCPC and will be joining the range of healthcare programmes already offered by Swansea University.

“We are currently inviting students to join the programme through clearing to start their journey on this amazing career path. ODPs work in operating theatres in the NHS and private sectors, providing specialist care to patients undergoing surgery and working alongside anaesthetists, surgeons, nurses, healthcare assistants and a range of multi-skilled clinical staff. This is an exciting and rewarding career path offering excellent career prospects.”

The University’s School of Health and Social Care offers realistic clinical suites - including a simulated operating theatre – allowing students to learn practical skills in a safe, supervised environment. They also gain workplace experience across Hywel Dda and Swansea Bay University health boards.

Plus, if you can commit to working in Wales for two years after graduating, you could get your tuition fees covered in full through the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme, as well as maintenance funding and a reduced rate loan from Student Finance.

Find out more about the course and remember, it is available through clearing so you can call 0808 175 3071 for first-hand guidance.

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