Operating Department Practitioner picks up professional development award

Published: 14 December 2010 at 15:19

Anglia Ruskin University lecturer wins Nurse Practitioner Award in recognition of furthering professional development and enhancing the standard of expertise

A lecturer from Anglia Ruskin University’s Faculty of Health & Social Care has collected a specialist industry award for her professional development teaching of students who work in and around the operating theatre settings.

Angela Cobbold, a Module Leader in Allied Health/Operating Department Practice, from Felixstowe, has won an educational bursary of £1 000 to fund an educational activity of her choice to fit with her own personal development objectives.

The Association for Perioperative Practice 2010 Nurse Practitioner Award was made to an individual ‘who offered an outstanding contribution to Perioperative Practice’ during the preceding year.  Nominations of individuals are made by fellow professionals. 

The award is sponsored by Ethicon, who focus on the advancement of the practice of surgery.

In order to qualify to receive this award, perioperative practitioners were required to clearly demonstrate the benefits of undertaking educational activity within perioperative practice development in order to enhance safer contemporary practice.

Clearly delighted with the award, Angela Cobbold commented:

"Working in an operating theatre can at times be a dynamic and challenging profession. It is essential that perioperative practice is constantly developed and challenged through research and evidence-based practice, which enforces current working practices to remain at the forefront of healthcare improvements.

"It is essential that research led practitioners are kept informed, and abreast of current developments in practice by ensuring best working practices are embraced, and ultimately moving best practice forward. It is paramount that education influences and improves practice, and practice improves and influences education.

"Receiving this award has been a great encouragement to my personal and professional development by recognising my passion and commitment to the development of the advancing perioperative practitioner role."

The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) was established as the National Association of Theatre Nurses (NATN), in 1964.  It is a registered charity working to enhance skills and knowledge within operating departments, associated areas and sterile services departments.  It aims to enhance the quality of care in the NHS and the independent sector throughout the UK. Perioperative nursing includes those activities performed by the professional registered nurse in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative phases of surgery.

In April 2005 NATN changed its name, structures and systems in recognition of the significant changes that were happening in the healthcare sector.  The reference to theatre was regarded as too restrictive a name with many members working in associated perioperative environments.  The ‘perioperative’ emphasis was regarded as important to further accommodate the growing numbers of Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) and Healthcare Support Workers (HSWs) who were previously not eligible for full membership.