After studying a range of subjects and working in a broad range of fields, I began working in community healthcare and found an affinity for it. I soon gravitated towards hospital work, then towards operating theatres. To me, there was no place more rewarding.
In 2016 I graduated from Staffordshire University, qualified as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) and have been a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) ever since. By 2017 I had embarked on the Support Learning and Assessment in Practice (SLAiP) University module which allowed me to become clinical mentor for students undertaking their ODP training. This almost completely changed the focus of my practice as mentoring soon became the most rewarding part of my work. To engage with students and connect to their learning needs enough to inspire ‘light-bulb-moments’, and to enjoy such moments with them made me realise that I belong in teaching.
I continued to develop my skills as an ODP and a mentor to solidify good practices, gaining further clinical responsibilities and accepting a position on my Trust’s Simulation Faculty with a growing objective to become a lecturer of ODP at University.
Then, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic stretched my profession, my skills and abilities, my resilience, and my fortitude to new levels. During this time, most training was suspended, and students were removed from placement areas. Losing it for this duration made me realise how much I’m driven to be a part of education, so I enrolled on the CertEd in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) course with Shrewsbury Colleges Group. This course completely opened my eyes and my mind to the importance of effective, active, and dynamic education, not just for my students, but for myself.
During my time on the course, I began a placement at a college teaching BTEC Health and Social Care, I became a Senior ODP, the Clinical Lead for Anaesthetics and Lead Practice Educator for my Trust.
Finally, I was encouraged to apply for a role as ODP Lecturer at Staffordshire University. I applied and was successful. I’d made it! Now I lead 3 academic modules and lead recruitment for the ODP department.
I’m looking forward to applying for a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), beginning a master’s degree, and progressing to Senior Lecturer in the years to come.
Professional memberships and activities
- CertEd Post Compulsory Education and Training, Staffordshire University.
- DipHE Operating Department Practice, Staffordshire University.
- Anaesthetic practice
- Recovery practice
- Simulation Training
Enterprise and commercial interests
I have worked with hospital trusts and local colleges, partnering them, to increase general awareness and interest in ODP as a profession.
As recruitment lead for the ODP department at the University I have led the team in continuing to build these relationships, leading to a marked increase in awareness and interest in Operating Department Practice within the communities we operate in.