Salma, Operating Department Practitioner

Meet Salma, an ODP with the theatre team here at UHS.

Why did you choose UHS?

I graduated during COVID times. So due to the world situation, I was a bit confused about where to go afterwards. However, I live near UHS which I knew was a big trauma centre. So thought in terms of skill set it would be nicer to work at a bigger hospital so I can learn more and get a better scope of practice compared to other places in the general area. Previously, I did also come here for practice. So, I knew it would be friendly faces and environment, which sealed the deal for me.

What is the Theatre’s team environment like?

The team environment is very nice, very friendly and everyone's approachable. Working as a huge team in theatres, you don't necessarily feel a barrier between any of the teams e.g., anaesthetic, scrubs, or recovery. You just kind of get along with everyone and work well as a team together, to make sure you are providing the best care for the patient.

What is the most rewarding thing about working in theatres?

It would be patient feedback. When patients come in, just to say thank you or they give you an update on how they are doing after the surgery, or they pop back in and tell you that they were very thankful for the operation or for holding their hand in the operation. It's really rewarding to know you are making a difference and they felt comfortable and supported during their time at UHS. Especially when you've got loved ones around you. And if they were going for an operation, you'd want them to be treated the same way you treat your patients.

What are the case variety and workload like?

It varied in each specialism. Within specialities, some cases can have a higher workload, but others could be easier. It does really depend on the day and speciality.

Previously during placement, I worked at other hospitals and what I've noticed is workload can be less, but I think it's because of the types of cases. At UHS, some cases are really complex and can be complicated, so, we set up with the mindset of ‘just in case’. This means in terms of workload and equipment and how to use the equipment it can be a bit more difficult but, in terms of career progress, I think it's positive as you can upgrade your skill set and end up having a lot more exposure and experience because anything can happen.

What interested you in working in theatres?

When I was younger, I used to watch a lot of TV, so I saw a lot of medical documentaries, medical-based dramas, and films. This sparked my interest in health care as I found it really interesting, and intriguing.

When it came to choosing what to study, I noticed I leaned more towards healthcare subjects. I also took on part-time jobs in the healthcare sector and worked as carer before working in a pharmacy. I liked helping people and leaned towards this healthcare setting, so knew that this was an area I wanted to pursue.

My journey into working as an ODP started in college with a careers interview when they suggested this path. I did one day in placement before doing the course in university and realized, this seems like something I could see myself doing in the future. Did the course and now I’m here.

How has UHS helped you develop your career?

I'll be completely honest, I haven't thought too much about my career path, but I know there have been many opportunities opened for me in the past two years working with UHS.

However, I regularly speak to my mentor to let them know what my goals are, and they have helped me achieve them and map out my path, so I’m always progressing without even thinking too much about my end goal.

But I do know that other colleagues have been able to achieve a lot like speciality competencies. So, I have the confidence that once I start to think about my path that UHS will be able to give me the opportunity to do so and allow me to explore my options, for example working in recovery or cardio, if I wish in the future.

This hospital offers lots of different specialities compared to other hospitals, which allow you to gain a variety of skill sets and competencies. So, I know there are lots of options available.

It's just me, myself. I haven't chosen where I want to go, so I'm just staying in my comfort zone at the moment.

What would be your advice to something thinking of joining the theatre’s team?

My advice would be to anyone joining theatres is always to ask questions. Everyone here is very approachable and friendly. When I first joined, I didn't even know how to run a drip. So, I've gone from that to now being able to help assist in very complex cases and emergencies. I've only been here for two years, but I'd say I’ve grown massively compared to when I started because of the support from my colleagues and UHS.

To find out about how you can join the team, click here to find out about our open opportunities. 

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