The Operating Theatre Technician
The future of the theatre practitioner, whether they are ODP, or Nurse, is unsure. I say this because the system itself demands that improvements be made to training and the goal will be degree education for all who wish to undertake the role. This will bring with it problems based upon the ambitions of some who will not wish to stop there but go on to something else.
The question is can the system afford this extra expenditure to produce in effect, an assistant to the Surgeons and Anaesthetists, when up to now it has managed quite well.
(I am now sounding like the author of the letter David Aitkin)
Some years ago the NHS Agency recommended developing a select group of professionals with non-medical backgrounds to administer anaesthesia.
I have worked with some of the very first in the country, at Wansbeck hospital in Northumberland where they employed two qualified overseas anaesthetic practitioners, (husband and wife) as part of a national pilot sponsored by the agency and in partnership with the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
It has however met with a lot of opposition in this country and is my belief will not be accepted.
Also the speciality of scrub practitioner is developing into an order of its own, and sub specialising. There will be many avenues opening in the future, but as a long-standing OTT, ODA and now ODP I can honestly say we are nearly there.