Theatre support workers support theatre staff before and during surgery. They transport patients between wards and the operating theatre and help keep patients calm while waiting to go in for surgery.
You could be:
collecting patients from the ward and transporting them to the operating theatre
talking to patients, reassuring them and keeping them calm
counting and taking note of the surgical instruments to be used during an operation
preparing the surgical equipment before an operation
cleaning up after an operation, ensuring all equipment is accounted for and health and safety procedures are followed
collecting and recording samples taken during surgery
making sure clinical waste is disposed of properly
maintaining stock levels of medical and surgical items.
Under NHS Agenda for Change, theatre support workers start on Band 2, £19,609 to £21,615 a year. With promotion your salary would rise to Band 3, £21,709 to £23,603 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2021.
You would work in a hospital operating department.
You would work under the supervision of an operating department practitioner.
You work shifts including evenings and weekends.
You wear a uniform and protective clothing.
You have to deal with unpleasant sights and smells.
A good general education is useful including English and Maths.
You can enter through a Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (Clinical) at SCQF Level 6.
You may need to sit an entrance test.
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
What Does it Take?
You need to be:
able to communicate with people of all ages and from different backgrounds
able to remain calm in stressful situations
supportive and encouraging
patient and caring
able to work as part of a team.
You should have:
excellent attention to detail
thorough knowledge of health and safety procedures
understanding of patient confidentiality
a genuine interest in healthcare.
Training is on the job. You would work towards Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) Healthcare Support (Clinical) at SCQF Level 6.
You may be able to move on to SVQs at SCQF Level 7.
You will study the new Healthcare Support Workers (HCSW) Mandatory Induction Standards which are designed to protect the public. This includes Protecting patients and the public; Health, safety and security; Working with people; and Working and developing in your role.
With experience, and particularly if you take qualifications, you may be able to move to a higher grade, such as a senior theatre support worker.
You could work for a private company as well as for the National Health Service (NHS).