Non-medical Careers in Anaesthesia

Anaesthetists in the UK are medically qualified, but there are a number of options for non-medical careers.

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs)

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are non-medically trained healthcare professionals who work closely with anaesthetists.

ODP's provide skilled assistance to both anaesthetists and surgeons. They work at all stages of the patient journey, and help in carrying out intricate and complex procedures. They work alongside doctors, nurses and other professionals. To practice as an ODP in the UK you must follow an approved programme of study that has been validated by the Health Professions Council (HPC) .  In 2011 the College of Operating Department Practitioners launched a BSc in Operating department practice curriculum and there are currently a few institutes  offering this degree.  It is the intention for the profession to move to wholly graduate profession over the next few years.

There is also some information about careers as an Operating Department Practitioner at the NHS Careers website.

Physicians' Assistant (Anaesthesia) (PA(A)s)

PA(A)s are qualified healthcare practitioners who are currently voluntarily registered with the Association of Physicians’ Assistants (Anaesthesia) and are invited to be affiliate members of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.  More information is available here.