ODP student Carly Belfield tells us her experience

I have worked in the Sharoe Green Theatres at Royal Preston Hospital for three and a half years as a theatre support worker. I have an interest in education within the perioperative environment and enjoy attending study days and conferences organised with the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP).

I chose to study Operating Department Practice (ODP), BSc (Hons) because of my amazing colleagues at Sharoe Green Unit. They are all so passionate about patient safety and always put the patients before themselves, within weeks of starting within the department I knew I wanted to be just like them. There as a hand to hold, to be the patient’s advocate whilst anaesthetised, to ensure everything that is done is for the patient’s best interest and is done so safely. The University of Central Lancashire is one of the few universities in the north that provide the ODP degree and at such a high standard.

At the University of Central Lancashire, we have amazing labs that lets us practice our clinical skills and these are very interactive and are extremely helpful. We have an ‘anatomage lab’ where our pathophysiology module is delivered. This helps us have a greater understanding of anatomy and physiology whilst using the tablets and resources available in that room.

Carly Belfield
Carly Belfield

Our course has compulsory placements to complete clinical skills. All of mine have been at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals based at Preston and Chorley. I have had a placement at every theatre department in the trust and I thoroughly enjoyed them all. My favourite is at Sharoe Green Theatres, they have such a family orientated work ethic and it is a small department where we see a variety of procedures from caesarean sections to gynaecological oncology procedures.

I wanted to become School President as I am passionate about education within the perioperative practice and want the students’ voice to be heard within the profession. My School covers sport and health sciences, which includes paramedics, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and sports therapy students. They can come to me for advice on anything they need regarding their professional course. Whether they're worrying about registering to a governing body, placements, time-management, or practical assessments… my course reps know they can email me at any time with any concern and I will do my best to help and advise them. I enjoy speaking to people and hearing of their experiences; and how they think they can change the future in their relevant profession. The support from the team in the Students’ Union and our VP Education Steph has been incredible.

I have already secured a job at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals at Preston. I would like to stay in touch with the University of Central Lancashire and the AfPP to improve the education of the future ODP workforce. This will help me implement change into the NHS by keeping up-to-date with evidence-based practice and current guidelines. 

"The University of Central Lancashire has created a profile for me to network with other ODPs and perioperative practitioners around the UK, and most importantly, it has given me friends for life."

Carly Belfield