Operating Department Practice placements

Develop the confidence, attitudes and skills you need to work as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) in all areas of perioperative care including anaesthesia, surgery and recovery. You’ll also gain the skills required to work in intensive care, A&E, transplants teams or patient transfer teams.

This is an exciting, fast-changing field with opportunities to work all over the world. As an Operating Department Practice (ODP) student you'll be offered a placement with one of our partnership hospitals in Cambridgeshire, Essex, or London:

  • Essex: Colchester, Basildon, Harlow, Southend, Broomfield, Springfield (all theory will be taught at Chelmsford)
  • Cambridgeshire: Addenbrooke's, Hinchingbrooke, Papworth, Peterborough, Kings Lynn (all theory will be taught at Cambridge)
  • London: Whittington, North Middlesex University Hospital, Newham University Hospital, Royal Free Hospital (all theory will be taught at Chelmsford).
  • All our students will follow a three-year placement schedule for the duration of the course covering the three main areas of theatres, anaesthesia, surgery and recovery, as well as critical care skills.

Placement Overview

During your placement, you’ll work with surgeons, anaesthetists, registered Operating Department Practitioners, theatre nurses, healthcare support workers and many other individuals to complete competencies related to patient care in theatres. You’ll be encouraged to be ‘hands-on’ from an early stage, participating in all aspects of patient care. You’ll care for patients from all backgrounds and of all ages, working in a range of specialist areas across the whole patient theatre journey, and you’ll be placed in the same hospital or hospital group for the 3 years of your course, allowing you to really get to know the department.

After a short introduction block at University, in your first year you’ll be in practice for an average of 24 hours every week across the academic year, which runs from early September to August. In your third year you won’t attend practice between June and August. You’ll also attend University for a day a week during teaching time and have one day a week for private study.

Our course follows a modular approach where your learning in practice will be directly linked to what you are studying at University.

In practice you’ll be managed by a Practice Educator, and will be allocated named mentors with experience in the necessary placement areas. Placements will be monitored by the Course Leader and link tutor who will visit you in practice twice per trimester to check on your progress.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3