Comparing careers in NHS

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LO1: Understand the variety of opportunities available in H.E. 1B - Research your chosen career (s) and provide a summary of: the main job content, progression routes, and entry requirements. Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is where my main interest lies due to the variety in the work and departments in which I would be able to work, and the technicality involved. The main aspects of the role are split into three areas: Anaesthetic Practise This involves working within a team of health professionals to assess and support a patient prior to anaesthesia. The preparation of specialist equipment and drugs for use during surgery, which may include ventilators and intravenous equipment. The care and support for the patient's family is also involved. Surgical Practise This involves a number of roles, including the 'scrubbed' role - preparing equipment and instruments for surgery, accounting for materials throughout procedure, wound management and infection control. A circulating role liaising between surgical teams and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital, using communication and management skills. Recovery Practise This involves working within a multi professional team, taking responsibility for the care of the patient until they have recovered from the effects of surgery / anaesthesia. Monitoring and assessing the patient's physiological parameters and providing appropriate interventions and prescribed treatments as required.


Radiography is another area of interest to me due to the technical work involved. There are two different roles within the title 'Radiographer', they are as follows: Diagnostic Radiographer This involves using a range of techniques to Provide the images required to treat and diagnose the patients. Examples are Ultrasound for the monitoring of a foetus' development and growth within the womb, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to detect blood clots on the brain, or joint problems. The radiographer would have interaction with the patient, putting them at ease and positioning them correctly, then taking the images and return the results to the doctor or healthcare staff for viewing. Within this role you would mainly be based at a hospital, although with the introduction of mobile screenings you could be based within one of the mobile teams. Therapeutic Radiographer This involves working along side the doctors, nurses and other clinicians in planning and delivering radiation treatment, targeting the site of the disease. The medical team will turn to the radiographer for their specialist knowledge on how best to provide the treatment. Also the ability to reassure the patient and clearly explain the procedures to them. The radiographer will also be involved in assessing the progress of the treatment and therapy.


Looking at the information which I have gathered I think I have got a good understanding of what each course / career involves, I believe I could have gathered further information by attending the open day, but I was unable to unfortunately, although I have phoned and spoken to the Health and Care faculty at the university and they have been very helpful in answering many of my queries. I will continue to gather further information and I have written a letter to Derriford Hospital asking if it would be possible for me to either do some voluntary work within one of the theatre teams, or at least arrange a time to go in and speak to a qualified ODP and have a tour round the theatres. I am hoping to receive a letter back from them within the next few weeks. I think I possibly could have looked further into the development possibilities of both roles and the progression routes available as the material I have gathered has limited information. I could have phoned NHS Careers and spoken to a careers advisor, rather than just request the leaflets and booklets. There are many other methods I could have used for research, such as arranging to speak with an ODP at the hospital, but I feel I have gathered enough for me to make my decision as to which career route I want to take and which is more suitable for me.

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