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Experienced health professionals are taking next step

Published: 19 February 2018 at 13:00

Four Surgical Care Practitioner students

Four NHS staff are training to be Surgical Care Practitioners with Anglia Ruskin

Four experienced healthcare professionals have become the first students to begin a specialised two-year course at Anglia Ruskin University to become Surgical Care Practitioners.

Dolly Dowsett, James Frost, Joana Fuentes and Zheila Mago started their training this month and are combining studying for an MSc in Surgical Care Practice one day a week at Anglia Ruskin with their work at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

Dolly, Joana and Zheila are working in general surgery, while James is currently specialising in orthopaedic surgery.

The Surgical Care Practitioner (SCP) role requires practitioners to work with patients throughout their time in hospital, from the outpatient clinic through to the ward and assisting with operations. They are also required to carry out research and educational activities.

James said:

“For 20 years there have been SCPs within the Orthopaedic department at NNUH. We are a team of six and I’m the first Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) to be doing this in Norwich. 

“It’s quite nice to be setting the standards and being a role model for the other ODPs who are training and qualifying, knowing there’s something to go on to.”

Joana said:

“I wanted to do this for career progression. Knowing the skills I had, I felt the best direction for my career was to be an SCP. Luckily enough the position has come up in a hospital and I was successful.”

Zheila said:

“I have been working at NNUH for 17 years and I felt I wanted to progress to something different. When this came up I felt this was the best way for me to do that.”

Dolly added:

“By completing the MSc we will be providing better care for patients through evidence-based practice. Having an SCP as part of the extended surgical team is proven to improve the patient experiences and outcomes.”

Susan Hall, Senior Lecturer in Surgical Care Practice at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“Whilst the Surgical Care Practitioner role was first developed in cardiac surgery more than 25 years ago, it is relatively new in some specialities. 

“SCPs play a vital role in ensuring that, in the absence of surgical trainees, consultant surgeons have skilled and knowledgeable assistants who are able to contribute to each part of the patient’s care.

“Each of these students is an experienced healthcare professional and we are delighted to be able to help them take the next step in their careers.”