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Mark Fernie

Operating Department Practice

Why did you choose Northumbria?

I am originally from the North East and I wanted to study somewhere local. Also, I was a late applicant, and after hearing about the course Northumbria ran, it sounded like it would really suit me and the right thing for me to do.

What was it about the course that appealed?

I previously worked as a Paramedic in the Army. During this time, I worked in Iraq and I met some Operating Department Practitioners (ODP's) there. I wasn't sure what the role of an ODP was, but after talking to them about what they did, it sounded like something I wanted to get in to. The ODP course has a very 'hands on' approach, and there are a lot of practical skills involved which suits the person that I am, as I prefer to be active and participating in things. Being an ODP can also be exciting in emergency situations, even more so than being a Paramedic in my old job, which also suits my character. I see myself as a caring person and I enjoy helping people and I thought this would be the right choice for me.

Did you have the opportunity for any work placements during your course?

Yes, the majority of the course was on placements because of the practical skills that we needed to develop in order to become an ODP. My favourite placement was anaesthetics, as I enjoyed dealing with the patients whilst they were awake, and there are a lot of practical skills to be learnt in this department. This placement really encompassed the whole ethos of the ODP course and I enjoyed it immensely. 

What did you like most about your course?

Definitely the placements! Watching the surgical procedures was really interesting and knowing that my participation within the team has helped someone gives you an awesome feeling. I also enjoyed being able to work one-on-one with mentors, who helped to develop our theory knowledge and all of the practical skills involved in ODP.

What was the most challenging thing?

It was a challenge to balance the academic work we needed to complete, with the practical side of the course, as a lot of time was spent on placement. But I feel happy that I managed to overcome this and enjoy the course.

What three words would you use to summarise your time here?

Fun, sociable and hard work.

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