Royal Air Force ODPs – Operating Department Practitioners – are the unsung heroes of the ‘surgical journey’ and, like nurses, have a day to celebrate their profession.
May 14 is National ODP Day, an anniversary started in 2018 to recognise the profession, which is little-known outside of the medical world. ODPs work alongside anaesthetists and surgeons to look after a patient through the phases of anaesthetics, surgery and recovery.
During the Coronavirus pandemic the RAF ODPs of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, have been called upon to support other emergency departments such as intensive care and A&E at the city’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“The pace of the work at the peak of the pandemic combined with using our specialist skills over 12-hour shifts mean it’s like being on Ops,”
Corporal Nicole Loake
Corporal Nicole Loake, 36, has served in Afghanistan, South Sudan, and West Africa during the Ebola crisis in 2015.