Upon successful completion of this level 6 degree apprenticeship, learners will gain a BSc (Hons) from University of Gloucestershire and are able to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
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About the Operating Department Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship
Gain a prestigious BSc (Hons) degree from University of Gloucestershire on this apprenticeship that develops the skills of registered health professionals.
Operating Department Practitioners are a vital part of the operating team. They are responsible for delivering safe, high-quality care to surgical patients during the three phases of perioperative care – anaesthesia, surgery and in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU). This degree is designed for professionals working within the operating department and associated areas.
Learners study the core subjects of anatomy, physiology, and pathology in order to apply these in clinical situations.
They will learn to work with specialist equipment and develop high level technical skills when managing patients throughout perioperative care.
Teaching is focused on learner engagement, and is split between university teaching and clinical practice (under the supervision of clinical mentors, who remain a source of support throughout the apprenticeship).
Upon successful completion, learners will be awarded a BSc (Hons) degree in Operating Department Practice from University of Gloucestershire. Learners will also be able to register with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Operating Department Practitioner.
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What are Degree Apprenticeships?
Degree apprenticeships are a fantastic way to upskill employees and train new staff. They contribute to improved competitiveness and productivity, as well as increased staff retention.
Degree apprentices study for higher level qualifications alongside working. As such, they spend at least 6 working hours each week carrying out ‘off-the-job training’ where they study for their degree and gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to successfully complete the apprenticeship.
Large employers can use their apprenticeships levy to pay for apprenticeship training. Smaller firms can claim up to 95 per cent of these costs from the Government. This means apprenticeships are a cost-effective choice for both the employer and learner.
Meet the lecturer
Ashley Winslow, Academic Course Leader
Ashley is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and she joined the University of Gloucestershire in November 2020 to deliver our Operating Department Practice programmes.
Ashley qualified as an ODP in 2010 and subsequently became involved in training staff and students within theatres across multiple teaching hospitals in London. She became a Practice Educator and then a senior lecturer delivering programmes in Birmingham and the South West.
Ashley is passionate about the progression of the ODP profession and has been involved in the development of the Operating Department Practice degrees and apprenticeships, as well as our postgraduate perioperative curriculum.
Personal and Professional Development for Health and Wellbeing
This module is designed to support learners in their academic and professional journey, helping them to build a portfolio of skills to demonstrate their personal development and the acquisition of lifelong learning skills. They will explore how to care for themselves, for others, and vital skills in building resilience in their personal and professional life. They will learn the basics of working with patients, including effective communication.
Fundamentals of Person-Centred Care in Operating Department Practice
This module begins the process of developing learners as health care professionals. It provides the foundations from which they will develop their skills, knowledge, attitudes and conduct in the professional arena and continues the journey of self-care, including promoting health and wellbeing.
Practice Based Learning 1- Foundations of Essential Skills
This module introduces learners to the perioperative environment and examines the roles of the operating department practitioner in the various areas of perioperative practice.
Apprentices will spend time developing their practice in skills sessions, and observing experienced practitioners in a variety of theatre settings.
Key aspects of infection control together with health and safety issues affecting the practitioners will also be examined, and learners will observe the usage of these during their practice hours.
Foundations of Anatomy and Physiology to Support Clinical Practice
This module introduces apprentices to the structure and function of the human body and provides the underpinning knowledge of ‘normal function’.
A ‘systems-based’ approach to the human body is adopted throughout the module. The central theme will be how the body maintains homeostasis in a constantly changing environment.
Foundations of Perioperative Care
This module introduces learners to the core areas of operating department practice from a theoretical perspective and develops basic competence in a range of skills such as scrub technique, gloving and gowning. Apprentices will practice key clinical skills in a simulated environment prior to practice education.
This module aims to develop the skills of planning and implementing the care needs of patients who are undergoing a surgical procedure and obtaining informed consent in the perioperative environment.
Practice Based Learning 2 – Application of Perioperative Practice
This module aims to build upon apprentices’ skills developed in practice-based learning 1. Learners will develop confidence in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating the care needs of patients in the pre, peri and post anaesthetic period.
It will focus on the preparations required for both the perioperative patient and environment, and will allow learners to demonstrate competence in anaesthetic and PACU skills.
Introduction to Surgical Practice and Disease Pathology
The aim of this module is to introduce learners to the aetiology, pathophysiology and management of common disease.
They will be encouraged to apply their knowledge of anatomy and physiology learnt in year one to the disease pathology and the application of surgical treatment to treat and manage common diseases.
Apprentices will be introduced to key principles of surgical practice across a broad range of specialities.
The aim of this module is to explore the key concepts of pharmacology within operating department practice.
Learners will explore statutory guidelines on the safe storage, preparation and administration of prescribed medications used in operating theatre practice.
They will consider the correct procedures for reporting errors and side effects and become familiar with methods of drug calculations to provide guidance for drug dosage and delivery.
Practice-Based Learning 3 – Decision Making in Clinical Practice
The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of leadership and decision-making skills in the perioperative setting.
Apprentices will be supported in developing their knowledge and skills required to make complex clinical decisions in relation to patient care and participate within the multidisciplinary team decision making processes. This will be further supported with an appreciation of legal, professional, and ethical considerations in relation to care delivery.
This module will help apprentices gain a deeper understanding of how research informs and extends operating department practice. Students will learn about contemporary research design as it relates to practice.
They will explore how research impacts perioperative care and demonstrate understanding of different research methods.
Managing Operative Care in the Complex Patient
The focus here will be the care of patients at risk of deterioration, or with more complex clinical needs. Apprentices will consider the clinical reasoning involved in managing higher risk procedures and the ethical issues that relate to this area of practice.
This module will cover specific activities that will allow apprentice ODPs to develop skills in advanced clinical topics such as: emergency airway establishment, intermediate life support, deteriorating patient protocols, and human factors training in urgent/emergency care scenarios.
Practice-Based Learning 4 – Leading and Managing Care in Practice
This module focuses on surgical specialities within perioperative practice. Apprentices will build upon the knowledge and skills gained in year one by exploring different surgical specialities and having exposure and involvement in more complex cases.
Learners will further evaluate the impact that altered anatomy and physiology has on anaesthetic and post anaesthetic care.
They will consider the types of specialist equipment that may be required for more complex procedures.
Quality, Innovation and Service Improvement in Clinical Practice
This module is a piece of sustained independent apprentice work which provides the learner with the opportunity to study an approved topic in depth, building on their interest.
It aims to provide learners with a framework in which to appraise an aspect of service delivery, and to consider service improvement and evaluation. They will use a systematic approach to review literature and propose a service improvement project surrounding organisational aspects of care.
All approaches require the demonstration of advanced personal study on a negotiated topic, which has been approved by, and which will be supervised by, a relevant course tutor.
The focus of this module is enabling apprentices to apply advanced anaesthetic clinical knowledge and skills to patients across the age span in a range of clinical settings. ODPs are increasingly working outside the traditional theatre environment, which requires them to apply their knowledge and skills in unique and novel ways.
Apprentices will experience working in remote settings with other members of the multidisciplinary team.
Practice Based Learning 5 – Complex Skills
This module will prepare apprentices to care for critically ill patients with complex or multiple care requirements. Learners will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to care for this patient group.
They will explore the critical care environments used in the modern healthcare setting including: Intensive Care Units, High Dependency Units, Emergency Departments, and Pain Management teams.
This module will enable apprentices to explore the theory supporting current practice and emerging evidence in advanced surgical roles.
Learners will critically analyse the evidence base that supports surgical interventions, and will be encouraged to explore the new and emerging roles within surgical settings. They will also consider the role this plays in patient care and the inter-professional agenda.
Practice-Based Learning 6 – Leading and Managing Care
This module is designed to allow apprentices to consolidate their learning acquired through the programme, and complete the transition from apprentice to registrant.
The module will help learners examine the skills they need to become a registered ODP, as well as recognise their limitations, and respond to the changing needs of services.
The aim here is to provide apprentices with the opportunity to explore the concept of leadership and management within ODP, and they will develop a range of leadership and management skills to meet current and future demands of perioperative practice.
The compulsory end point assessment (EPA) is an independent assessment that takes place after the learner has completed the university part of the apprenticeship. It consists of two components:
- a 60 minute professional discussion
- a 2-hour observation of practice with follow up questions.
All apprentices must pass their EPA to successfully complete their apprenticeship and academic degree.
Teaching for this apprenticeship will start at Oxstalls Campus, then transfer to the new City Campus in Gloucester in the 2024-25 academic year. This provides time to ensure a smooth transition and familiarisation with the new facilities for all.
Our new City Campus is partly funded by Gloucester’s successful £20million ‘Levelling Up’ bid, the building is being refurbished to an exceptionally high standard and will include state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for all our learners.
We have also secured a landmark £29million in funding from Barclays linked to our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals: to recruit a higher proportion of UK-domiciled young BAME students; widen access, engagement and participation for students from deprived areas; and to reduce gas and electricity CO2 emissions as part of its commitment to Net Zero by 2030.
As part of its decarbonisation drive, the University has also secured £3.3million funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of its Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, delivered by Salix. The scheme aims to put the public sector at the forefront of decarbonising buildings in the UK.
As well as training the region’s future nurses and teachers, it is estimated that over its lifetime, City Campus will add over £300million of direct and indirect value to the county’s economy, as well as more than 4,000 jobs.
Employer and learner support
Learners have a personal tutor throughout their apprenticeship, as well as a learner coach who conducts reviews and supports them towards successful completion. They are also supported by module tutors and our Helpzone staff, who are contactable by telephone, in person and online.
Employers are able to access our dedicated apprenticeship support team, who are here to ensure that businesses get the best from both the learner and the programme.
All apprentices have access to:
· experienced professionals, who are experts in their field
· state-of-the-art facilities
· all university libraries and IT and facilities
· discounted travel with Stagecoach across the South West network
· an NUS card offering great discounts at restaurants and high street stores
· a vibrant social scene complete with bars, sports clubs, gyms and leisure facilities
View our apprenticeships FAQ guide and discover answers to the most commonly asked questions about higher and degree apprenticeships.
Eligibility and Entry requirements
Apprentices should be in full-time employment (eg employed for at least 30 hours per week) throughout the duration of the apprenticeship.
Apprentices must have GCSE grade C/4 or above in maths and English before they complete the end point assessment (or an equivalent Level 2 qualification).
We also ask for one of the following:
- 112 UCAS points (typically BBC at A Level), including one science subject
- DMM at BTEC in a science or human health-based subject
- An overall pass in a health-related Access to Higher Education Diploma (60 credits), of which 45 should be at a Level 3 and 15 should be at Merit or Distinction. A minimum of 18 credits should be in a science subject
- Successful completion of a level 3 or 4 Healthcare Science Apprenticeship
- Other relevant experience (agreed on a case by case basis).
Individual employers may set additional entry requirements suitable for their organisational needs.
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