A review of Operating Department Practitioner students’ experiences of clinical placements as a result of changing organisations in each academic year

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Operating Department Practitioner students as part of their education undertake placements that enable them alongside their academic studies to meet the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency; however, like all education providers there was an annual shortage of appropriate placements. As a result, the organisation involved in this review needed to explore an alternative approach to allocating clinical placements. In addition, the course team wanted to change how students gained their clinical skills and possibly increase their understanding of the Operating Department Practitioner role. Traditionally the institution involved (like other Operating Department Practitioner education providers) placed students in one organisation for all of their clinical placements unlike other professions such as nursing who placed students in different areas. The review resulted in students being placed in a different organisation in each year of their course. A qualitative methodology in the form of focus groups was employed to review students’ views of the change and their clinical experiences. This resulted in students highlighting areas such as readiness for being qualified and links to evidenced-based practice as benefits of the new system. The review has been successful in terms of placement numbers but also student experiences, although an ongoing review is being undertaken, the change has been successful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of perioperative practice
Issue number3
Early online date13 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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