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Top 5 Books and Resources for ODPs

Sophie Cunningham

Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Allied Health and Social Care
Course: BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
Category: Allied and public health

4 May 2023

One of my biggest worries before I started the ODP course was about what books I should be buying! On my first day lectures advised not to spend too much money on books as the ARU library is amazing and almost all books are available online. They were right, the ARU library is fantastic, and I’ve used a lot of online books for most of my assignments.

However, I do quite like a physical books, and I’ve bought a few since starting. Here’s a list of my top 5 resources and books, which I think might be helpful to you! 

1. Beginning Reflective Practice (Melanie Jasper)

Reflection is something you will start learning about as soon as you start. Reflection is considered to be a fundamental skill for ODPs and it is something you will have to do throughout the course and your future career. This particular book was on the suggested reading list in our first term. It’s a very informative book ideal for those who are new to reflection. It provides information on: 

  • What reflection is
  • Reflective frameworks
  • Different ways of reflecting
  • Entering the working environment

I have gone back to this book for every reflective assignment we’ve had. 

2. Human Anatomy and Physiology (Eliane Marieb and Katja Hoehn)

I personally didn’t buy an anatomy and physiology book until my second term. They are on the more expensive end of things so I’d suggest reading a few online first! I chose this one because it’s highly detailed but also has lots of pictures, which I’ve always found useful when it comes to A&P. A&P books generally don’t go out of date so I wanted to choose one that covered everything. Again, I have used this book in all A&P-based assignments. 

3. Clinical Anaesthesia (Matthew Gwinnutt and Carl Gwinnutt)

This book covers most things related to the anesthetic side of the ODP role. I like that is lightweight, so in my first year, I brought this to placement every day and read it during quieter times. It provides sections on:

  • Anesthetic equipment
  • Drugs and fluids used
  • Specialised areas
  • Recovery
  • Emergency anesthesia

It’s ideal for a first year as it’s not too complicated! It also provides pictures for clarity, which I found very helpful when it came to remembering the different types of airway equipment! I’ve used it in both anesthetic modules we’ve had so far. 

4. Perioperative CPD

This website is great! One of my mentors recommended this website to me as a learning tool. There is a great section just for students which provides lots of insightful information on different topics related to the role. Each topic also has a small quiz you can take to test your knowledge. The bonus is that it’s completely free! 

They also sell anesthetic drug flashcards which I got in my second year. They are small enough to fit in your scrub pocket and great for remembering all the important drug details. However, I wouldn’t suggest buying these in your first year, as it’s easy to overwhelm yourself with drug-related information. My mentor advised me in the first year to only focus on the most routinely used and emergency drugs and only to focus on what they’re called and what they do. 

5. OPD - Operating Department Practice Talk Forum and Support Group:

This one isn’t technically an academic resource but before I started I joined this Facebook group in the hope of finding out more about the role. ODPs from all over the UK and Australia post on here. I’ve gained insight into career progression, current issues found it really helpful for career progression, and much more. Students often post here for placement advice and assignment ideas. You can really get a good idea of what it’s like in practice in lots of different trusts. It’s a really supportive platform for everyone and I’d highly recommend it! 


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.