Operating Department Practitioner
As an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) you will be an integral member of the theatre team providing peri-operative patient care. Just like a civilian fulfilling the same role you will be responsible for the smooth running of the operating theatre and its specialised equipment. You will also be expected to be multi-functional as part of the anaesthetic, scrub and recovery teams.
As a military ODP you will be expected to undertake periods of stand-by for high readiness contingency teams that support UK military operations worldwide. You may find yourself living in austere conditions working from a tented operating theatre to being at sea on a vessel. Your additional skills will include working in A&E as part of a Trauma team, resuscitation, surgical first assistant (SFA) and you will be trained in the operation and management of the Sterile Services Department, reprocessing instruments and other re-usable medical devices.
Unlike most people in the RAF, you will probably move jobs infrequently, remaining at either Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), located in Birmingham or at the Defence Medical Group North (DMG (N)) Northallerton and Defence Medical Group South West (DMG (SW)). In addition to working in the secondary health care environment there are opportunities to work in challenging bespoke roles within Medical Support Wing (MSW).
- Act as a multifunctional part of anaesthetic, scrub and recovery teams
- Provide resuscitation and SFA
- Reprocess instruments and other re-usable medical devices in the Sterile Services Department
RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.
Scroll down to explore the opportunities as an Operating Department Practitioner in the RAF.
In the RAF
'As operating department practitioners (ODP’s), we are trained in all aspects of the operating theatre so we can be an integral part of a patient’s operative journey. We work alongside anaesthetists and surgeons to provide care to a patient undergoing a surgical procedure and with further training we can form part of the resuscitation team. In our deployed role we are also responsible for cleaning and sterilising the instruments used during an operation.'
'I am currently based at The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) at the QE Hospital in Birmingham, where I am embedded into the NHS theatre team. I work alongside civilian and military colleagues in Trauma & Orthopaedics and Emergency theatres. As well as keeping clinical skills up-to-date in the theatre environment, I have time to keep my military skills up to date, ensuring I am ready for any standby commitments and deployments. In the morning I could be assisting the anaesthetist with caring for a patient undergoing an emergency procedure and then in the afternoon find myself at PTI lead circuits working on maintaining my physical fitness. The RAF provides a balance between the hard work needed in the clinical environment and the fun down time with sport, adventure training and team building opportunities available. I am also due to deploy in 4 weeks for 3 months which is when my skills and knowledge in the clinical and military arenas will really come into effect.
Cpl Nicole Loake - ODP
Full Time Regular
Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
If you are joining with a professional qualification recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) you will, following completion of RTS, be posted into your first Unit. If you are joining with appropriate A-levels/Higher grade or equivalent your specialist training will start with a 2-year Diploma in Higher Education in Peri-Operative Practice at the Defence School of Health Education at the Birmingham City University. This 106 week course will incorporate both theory and practical placements at the university and local hospitals. Additional Qualification Opportunities You can complete further modules through the Defence School of Health Education to gain your BSc (Hons) Defence Health Care Studies.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
There are many opportunities to develop and broaden your skills from First Surgical Assistant to Advanced Life Support provider and instructor.
Your First Tour
This will be at either the RCDM, in Birmingham, DMG(N) in Northallerton or DMG (SW) in Plymouth.
Your Future Career Prospects/Progression
After completing one year’s total service and graduating from your training course you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman Technician. Qualified entrants are promoted to Senior Aircraft Technician backdated to their second day in service. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and Sergeant is on a time promotion basis.
If in the future you wish to leave the Service your experience, further clinical training and managerial dexterity will make you highly competitive within the civilian job market.
Full Time Regular
RAF Regular Registration
You will now be directed to the REGULAR registration form.