Reflections on Operating Department Practice

For this reflective account, I am going to reflect on Standard 10.2 which highlights the importance of maintaining records appropriately: “Recognise the need to manage records and all other information in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols, and guidelines” (Health and Care Professions Council [HCPC], 2014), using Driscoll’s reflective cycle. Due to a combination of evidence-based practice and active collaboration, I managed to gain new skills and define the course for further improvements in my performance.

An Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) must be concerned with the perioperative environmental planning and keeping accurate documentation to prepare and care for the patient throughout their surgical journey. As a first-year student, I have been learning how to keep accurate records such as patient care plans, as Abbott and Booth (2014) recommend. Likewise, I have been learning to record all the patient information on Electronic Patient Record System (EPR) that all the local and national hospitals can access at any time (Wicker & O’Neil, 2010). During a surgical procedure, a working scrub practitioner must consider the local policies and procedures and has to count items needles, swabs, and instruments (Association for Perioperative Practice, 2017). For instance, during one of my scrub placements, one microneedle was not found during the second count, which was why we had to stop the procedure and perform an X-Ray procedure.

Before the X-Ray team arrived, we started searching until the needle was found by one of the circulators on the floor. According to the CE4RT Checklist, all items must be counted and recorded at the start and finish of the procedure (“Safety checklist for digital radiography,” 2020). The purpose of counting and recording all the problems is to prevent any of the above-listed issues from being retained in the patient’s wound, which could result in an infection, prolonged hospital stay, and even undergoing further surgery. The local Trust policy requires staff members to report and record incidents occurring during surgeries, and what action has been taken (National Health Service, 2017). Therefore, the specified guidelines are particularly important for my practice.

As an ODP, I have learned that to take into account the protocols for keeping the patient safe, I must show professionalism and work within the guidelines set by the Healthcare Professional Council (Health and Care Professions Council [HCPC], 2016). I have been keeping a record of my attendance in clinical placement, recording my scrub and anesthetic experiences in my PAD to keep track of my academic progress, and conducting other weekly clinical placements activities on Aptem, which is a local trust system. Moreover, I have acquired several certificates during in-house learning placements to expand my skills and ensure knowledge progress and development, which constitutes HCPC requirements.

As an ODP, I have to continually develop my skills and understanding of the practice. Therefore, throughout my academic years and future career, I must take into account the protocols and legal guidelines to be able to look after the patient safely and with due care. For this reason, further focus on continuous learning and gaining insight from EBP experiences will be necessary.


Association for Perioperative Practice. (2017). Accountable items, swab, instrument and sharps count (Poster). Web.

Wicker, J., & O’Neil, J. (2010). Caring for the perioperative patient (2nd ed.). Blackwell Publishing.

Abbott, H., & Booth, H. (2014). Foundation for operating department practice (1st ed.). Open University Press.

National Health Service. (2017). Clinical record-keeping standards policy. Web.

Health and Care Professions Council. (2016). Standards of conduct, performance and ethics London, HCPC. Web.

Safety checklist for digital radiography. (2020). Web.

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NursingBird. "Reflections on Operating Department Practice." May 23, 2022.