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Operating department practitioner

2nd July 2019

To be a good operating department practitioner you need to have…

  • a caring and compassionate nature
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
  • the ability to concentrate for lengthy periods of time and stand for long periods
  • very good communication skills
  • a thoughtful and conscientious approach to working
  • the skills to react quickly in an emergency within a confined area

If you’re thinking of a career as an operating department practitioner…

You’ll need to study for a two year diploma or three year degree in operating department practice at university, approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). See HCPC – Approved programmes. You must also be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council to practice as an operating department practitioner. 

To get onto a degree apprenticeship, you will need to apply for an apprentice position with a health care provider. You can search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website and Find an Apprenticeship website.

Training varies between higher education institutions, combining plenty of practical involvement in an operating department, with learning the background and theory. You will spend time at local hospitals in theatres, accident and emergency and care units.

Other useful links

Health Careers – Operating department practitioner

College of Operating department practitioners

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