Teaching and learning is divided between university and work-based learning. At university, learning is structured so that each module studied builds on the previous module. Therefore, knowledge and understanding of the concepts underpinning operating department practice develops, apprentices will be exposed to more challenging and complex learning. Course content is delivered using a combination of taught sessions and a case-based approach. Clinical scenarios provide the trigger for learning based on the cases the apprentices are likely to encounter in the work-based placements. The benefit of this approach is that learning will be in the context of clinical practice, developing key learning skills (such as searching for evidence, critical appraisal, problem-solving) which are essential to professional practice; apprentices will work both independently and as part of team which will enhance communication skills; and learning will take place with and from members of other professional groups.
Clinical skills are developed and practiced in our university-based operating theatre. Key skills such as scrubbing, gowning and gloving, and airway management, are practiced in a controlled environment before putting these skills into practice during work-based placements. Work-based learning forms approximately 50% of the course, where development is supported by a team of qualified ODPs and theatre nurses who will assess clinical competence at key stages in the course.
Some of the modules you will study are common to other health professions’ curricula (e.g. research, leadership and management, some clinical skills). Inter-professional learning forms an essential part of our curriculum and a part of the programme will take place in an inter-professional environment. Here apprentices will learn about the roles of the other professions which will enhance team working and patient care.
The curriculum is developed around four key themes which are embedded into every module:
- Evidence-based practice is essential to high quality patient care. Ability to search for, analyse and critique clinical evidence and research will develop as the course progresses
- Patient safety is paramount. Human factors and ergonomics are studied throughout the course and apprentices will reflect on how their actions and the actions of others in the operating department impact on patient safety
- Communication in several different forms with people with specialist and non-specialist knowledge regarding effective patient care
- Studying health and social inequality will develop understanding of the links between health and a range of social determinants, such as economic and environmental factors
A variety of assessment methods are used throughout the course:
- Assignments/Reflection: these are usually in essay format of varying length. Assignments must be presented in an appropriate scholarly format which develops academic writing skills.
- Seminar/Presentation: the research, planning and presentation of findings to a small audience.
- Examinations: either multiple-choice or oral (viva voce) examinations.
- Drug Calculations: accurate calculation of drug dosages and preparation of medications will be assessed via the on-line package Safe Medicate. A drug calculations assessment is undertaken in each of the three years where the expectation is that 100% is achieved in year three.
- Work-based assessment: demonstrates fitness to practice as an Operating Department Practitioner as a requirement for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. The apprentice is assessed against profession-specific competences by a team of practice-based ODPs and theatre nurses in each of the core areas of operating department practice (i.e. anaesthesia, surgery and recovery).
The Level 6 Specialised Perioperative Practice (Degree Apprenticeship) module has been developed to incorporate the End-Point Assessment activity which is a mandatory requirement of the degree apprenticeship standard. To access the End-Point Assessment, you must have successfully completed all other assessments at levels 4, 5 and 6.
In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).
Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties. You will also have full access to our support services such as Student Guidance.
Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.