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I’m an ODP in Operating Theatres - AMA!

89 replies

ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 22:00

Ive seen a couple of people before wonder what happens when they are under a general anaesthetic.

I’m an ODP in a DGH, so I’ll answer anything that’s not cardiothoracic or neurology (just because I’ve not seen it!)

OP posts:
Jadedandlost · 01/08/2022 22:01

What’s an ODP?

lissie123 · 01/08/2022 22:02

what is an ODP?

ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 22:06

Operating Department Practitioner.

we specialise in Scrub Recovery and Anaesthetics.

OP posts:
fizzywat · 01/08/2022 22:06
anybloodyname · 01/08/2022 22:07

Operating department practitioner

Assistant to the Anaesthetist

Looks after the drugs and equipment that put you and keep you safely asleep , then wake you up at the right time

theinvisible1 · 01/08/2022 22:07

Oh wow, I really wanted to do this!! Had an interview and was asked to apply but circumstances didn't allow it so had to walk away. Is it amazing, how much do you love it?

fizzywat · 01/08/2022 22:09

Sorry OP, I just got in there after you posted!

I had surgery on Saturday, it was cardiac related so not in your field. Am home now and fine but quite tired. However I have never ever had a sore throat like the one I had since I woke up from GA. I had a trans oesophageal echo and a breathing tube, so no wonder. You people are great. Thanks for being there for us terrified ninnies!

butterfly990 · 01/08/2022 22:10

I am trying to get an apprenticeship position as an ODP. I currently work in Sterile services.

Do you work in recovery, anesthesia or scrubbing in?

Have you found it more difficult to move positions in the hospital than if you had trained as a nurse?

Daisy95 · 01/08/2022 22:12

Me and my husband are ODPs! nice to see a thread on it! Grin

lissie123 · 01/08/2022 22:13

What’s your favourite part of the job?

RhubarbFairy · 01/08/2022 22:16

How wide did they stretch my mouth when I had my tonsils out?! Did they need to cut it as I had cuts or cracks on the side of my mouth when I woke up?

How covered up do we stay? Same operation, I woke up covered in those little circular wired sticker things all over me. They weren't there when I went under.

What are they for?

Has anyone ever woken up?

I went under in a small room about the size of a dentists room. I woke up in a group recovery room. What happened in between? Where did I go?

MissMarplesNiece · 01/08/2022 22:16

What is the longest operation you've ever been involved with? I had a Whipples op that was 10 hours long. Would the surgeon/anaesthetist/yourself take a break during a long operation?

RhubarbFairy · 01/08/2022 22:16

How did you get into it?

ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 22:16

@butterfly990 Currently I’m working in Scrub and Anaesthetics - Anaesthetics is where my heart belongs though!

I trained from within the trust, but not theatres and the trust supported me while I did it. Its well worth the apprentice route if you can get yourself a place!

OP posts:
alexdgr8 · 01/08/2022 22:19

most ordinary people have never heard of this job, or didn't know it existed.
i was once let in the nearer staff entrance to a hosp by a helpful person who told me he was a OPD; i had no idea whether that was a doctor or a specialist nurse, or what, so i just said, wow that must be interesting, and discussed a senior surgeon whom we both admired.

Thejoyfulstar · 01/08/2022 22:19

Can I ask you a question about my spinal during a recent C section?

ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 22:34

@lissie123 - I like the patients and the people I work with. It’s such a team effort! And although it can be stressful at times i still tend to leave smiling!

@MissMarplesNiece I have been in an operation that was 16 hours long, that was a diep flap (bloody clever operation!) there were several surgeons, who did step out one at a time for 10 minutes or so to grab a bite to eat and use the toilet, but they were all scrubbed constantly the rest of the time. Another anaesthetist did show up so mine could eat a sandwich, but he stayed in the anaesthetic room and didn’t go very far. A patient would never be left alone by an anaesthetist.

@RhubarbFairy I worked within admin in A&E and other departments for many years. I was talking to a friend about training and doing nursing, and he suggested ODP which I had honestly never heard of. A bit of research into the role, and a chat with the head of the surgical division, and I got onto the course the same year!

For a tonsillectomy your mouth is stretched quite wide, as well as having a breathing tube inserted, so it’s known in theatres as a “shared airway” (both the surgeon and anaesthetist needing access)

the stickers are an ECG reading. Along with a blood pressure cuff and pulse oximetry (usually on your finger) it’s routine monitoring that every patient has in place during a general anaesthetic so we can react to any changes. For a tonsillectomy you’d have stayed covered, as we’d have no need to undress you like we would with abdominal surgery etc. we do untie the gowns though at the back so we aren’t strangling patients when we move them.

you’d have gone into theatre from the anaesthetic room, we’d have transferred you over to the operating table, then transferred you back when the surgery was finished. You’d have then been wheeled to recovery by the ODP and Anaesthetist and we’d have given the staff in recovery a handover about the operation.

I’ve not had anyone not wake up. I’ve had patients go to ITU and sadly pass away, but not after anything elective or routine.

OP posts:
ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 22:35

@Thejoyfulstar You sure can!

OP posts:
ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 22:36

@alexdgr8 Neither had I until I found it. I didn’t know that an Anaesthetist couldn’t give a anaesthetic unless they were with a trained assistant either!

Nurses have to do additional training in anaesthetics before they can assist.

OP posts:
MonkeyPuddle · 01/08/2022 22:38

My best mate is an ODP and I’m an ex scrub nurse. ODPs are fucking highly trained professionals who keep patients safe. The whole role is keeping people safe.
Much love to the ODPs!

Thejoyfulstar · 01/08/2022 22:49

Great thanks! I had a planned c section this year outside of the UK. Once they got the spinal in, I lay down and my chest felt very strange. Very hard to describe but it felt like someone was sitting on it. I told the surgeon and anaesthetist that my chest felt strange and they said that my vitals were all fine. They proceeded with the section but I felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack the whole time, based on the sensation. I have a feeling this was actually related to the anaesthetic. Do you know what this was?

Also, for a good few months after the section, my bite was very strange. My back teeth didn't fit together the way they did before I had the baby. Could it be connected? It's fine now.


RhubarbFairy · 01/08/2022 22:51

Thanks so much for that amazing, detailed reply. A breathing tube too! It's been 22 years since my tonsillectomy, but I do wonder about it as it's a strange feeling not having any memory at all of a part of my life and I've never been able to ask questions about it as I didn't know who to ask.

Interested in the spinal block question as I had one of those for my EMCS as I'd already had two epidurals.

Fantastic thread. Thank you for starting it and for all you and your team do.

ThirtyThreeTrees · 01/08/2022 22:55

Why do some people need for anesthetic than others?

What is the funniest thing you've heard someone say when under anesthetic?

SleepyTraveller · 01/08/2022 23:04

How are pre-existing musculoskeletal issues managed during unrelated surgery? I have some position-sensitive injuries and at least one joint that dislocates easily. I've never had surgery, but dread the idea of waking up with a dislocated joint or a worsened injury from being moved wrong while under.

ODPintheNHS · 01/08/2022 23:11

@Thejoyfulstar Im not an anaesthetist (just the assistant!), but I have seen this a few times. Usually (and I’m happy to be corrected!) once the spinal has gone in, we lay the lady down and spray a cold spray to check that the block is working, if it’s not high enough, we tilt the lady with a bit of head down to get the anaesthetic to rise up as we need the lady to be numb from the ribs down. Sometimes, the spinal will have gone a bit higher, which is when I’ve had people complain of similar symptoms to what you are describing. Once the spinal starts to wear off, those symptoms disappear, but as with any anaesthetic we monitor vital signs, and if anything is untoward we would step in, but I’ve not had that happen. We’ve had spinals that have failed and we’ve put the lady to sleep, but again that’s pretty rare! (We do alot of sections everyday!)

Ive never heard of an overbite before though!

OP posts:
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