Guest blogger Produced by

Eliza posing in her uniformEliza Shreesh is a second year BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (ODP) student, in this guest blog Eliza shares her experience of her professional development so far.

When I think back to my childhood, I always aspired to pursue an education and carer in healthcare. When I was younger, I was admitted to hospital with a fractured arm, the nurse who looked after me made such an impression – something I have never forgotten. She was kind and did her best to make sure I was comfortable and even went as far as to find some games to keep me entertained. It inspired me, I wanted to be like her – dedicating time to care for others.

ODP is a practical course, we have regular skills sessions in stimulated settings in the university facilities. These are extremely helpful as we get to be in an environment similar to our placements. These are accompanied by theoretical lectures allowing us to be equipped with the knowledge to bring to practice.

Of course, things are slightly different on placement, but I felt prepared as we transitioned from a learning setting to hospital theatres. After completing my degree, I hope to travel before finding a permanent position, I truly love what I do and hope to progress further in my career. I’m aspiring to be a surgical first assistant with my ultimate goal to become a surgeon.

Eliza and a colleague in uniform looking in a mirror I thoroughly enjoy my course, especially going on placements. Surgical placements have been my favourite so far, I find it thrilling setting up for a case and trying to anticipate what the surgeon requires next. I also enjoyed my anaesthetic and recovery placements – speaking with patients reinforces the fact that under all the surgical drapes, there is a precious person who deserves the best care.

All my lecturers contributed to my love for this course as whenever I had any problems, they were more than happy to help me. As I have made good friends within my course, I learned to balance studying and non-academic life. Having a social life is important for me as it helps relieve stress. We go out every now and then and also confide in one another.

 Receiving regular feedback from lecturers and mentors during placements made me be proud of myself for everything I have achieved so far. It’s very rewarding to hear patients thanking you and being grateful for what you’ve done for them.

The only challenge I faced – which I think most students do, is that I found it difficult at the beginning to be confident and assertive. I was quite reserved being conscious of overstepping or potentially being wrong. However, the mentors and teams I was in helped me overcome this. They made me feel very comfortable and I was able to come out of my shell and find my voice.

Eliza and her friends take photos on a night out in Bournemouth in a photoboothCatch-up sessions with academic advisors were also great as we were able to talk about any worries and concerns about anything from placements to assignments.

ODP is an amazing course that is very underrated yet extremely rewarding. If you are interested in operating theatres and playing a part in making a difference in patients’ care, then this is the perfect course for you!

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