Skip to main content

Theatre: a multi-professional environment

22 February 2017

Operating Department Practitioners in theatre
Operating Department Practitioners in theatre
Collaborative Working: Diagnostic Radiography and Operating Department Practice

Preparing for working life in a hospital can be a daunting prospect. The School of Healthcare Sciences teaches students essential skills that are necessary to help them thrive in a hospital environment. Great emphasis has been placed on the practical and clinical simulation aspects of the programmes which help engage the students in the reality of being a healthcare professional. Further, Inter-professional learning encourages students to understand the roles of other professions and how they can work best together to deliver best patient care.

Last week, The Operating Department Practice (ODP) team facilitated a learning day whereby first year Diagnostic Radiography students visited the new operating theatre suite to gain first-hand experience of what working in a theatre environment is really like. However, this theatre practice had a twist; involving students in a worst case scenario.

Paul Hennessy, Lecturer in ODP, said: ‘Theatre is a truly multi-professional environment and as radiographers are common sight in most operating departments, the idea of providing opportunities to our radiography and radiotherapy colleagues and students was one we jumped at. This was the third of these sessions that the clinical skills suite here in Eastgate house have permitted us to deliver.’

‘Initially the idea was to simply familiarise the students with the sights and sounds common to theatre, but the students themselves identified many aspects of team dynamics, communication and hierarchy issues, so following discussions with our radiography and  radiotherapy colleagues, the sessions have taken on a more human factors focus.’

Radiography Student in theatre
Radiography Student in theatre

‘Theatre is an environment that can be intimidating at the best of times, and even more so if things go wrong. Hopefully, that will be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to their theatre experience. However, by exposing the students to a worst case scenario they will hopefully have gained an insight into the importance of professional boundaries and soft skills as well as the necessary technical proficiency.’

The session was really well evaluated by the students:

“Great way to learn. We should do this more often.”

“Gave a better insight into theatre”

“Informal practical made it more enjoyable”

“Fun & informative. Really useful.”

“Well acted/displayed. Good to hear lecturer’s personal experiences.”

“Good alternative to lectures. Great acting!”

“Very good. I’ll remember this!”

The team have some amazing ideas and resources. With passionate staff members who are delivering the programmes in dynamic and exciting ways the students are able to have fun whilst engaging in fundamental learning.

Share this story