Christopher is now a surgical care practitioner.
'I returned to Teesside University to complete the Advanced Scrub Practitioner course and the Royal College of Surgeons accredited PGdip Surgical Care Practitioner (Orthopedics).'
I’ve probably got my mother to thank for my decision. She is a neuro scrub practitioner and she told me about her friend who had just started the operating department practice course at Teesside University and was really enjoying her first placement. She told me about the role, that it was a career rather than just a job and gave me the contact details of the course leader. It sounded really interesting and something that I would enjoy. After speaking to the course leader I knew this is what I wanted to do – I completed my application straight away and have never looked back.
The course blends both theory and practice. The theory provides the underpinning knowledge which was then put into practice during placement experience. After completing the training I was mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of the role.
I really enjoyed the perioperative practice modules as they allowed me to apply the theory from other modules in practice across anaesthetics, scrub and recovery.
Yes – I was placed at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, working in a range of specialist areas. I rotated between the different roles and specialities every six weeks which gave me a well-rounded experience within the health sector.
My placement involved providing care for a variety of patients, adult and paediatric, for elective and emergency surgery across specialities including orthopedics, trauma, colorectal, ear, nose and throat, gynaecology, urology, ophthalmic, obstetrics and general emergencies.
I joined County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust as an anaesthetic practitioner and continued studying some short courses at Teesside including contemporary anaesthesia, core skills in critical and high dependency unit care, and research methods. I was then promoted to Surgical First Assistant in Orthopedics, assisting surgeons in theatre. I returned to Teesside University to complete the Advanced Scrub Practitioner course and then completed the Royal College of Surgeons accredited PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Orthopedics).
I now perform surgical intervention such as carpal tunnel decompressions, removing metalwork, intra-articular steroid injections and suturing surgical wounds. Alongside my current role I run a post-arthroplasty service looking after the long-term care of patients who have had knee and hip replacements. I also organise and deliver orthopedic and trauma training days with students and qualified theatre practitioners across the region to ensure we continue to deliver the highest standards of patient care.
I go back to the University as an external examiner, interviewer and panel member for programme reviews and as a guest lecturer.
Without Teesside University I wouldn’t have the qualifications I need to do my job today and for that I am so grateful.
Christopher's course is now available as a full degree - BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice Studies