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Theatre Support: Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship

Level: 3
Duration: 18 months

Theatre Support Workers look after people before, during and after operations. In most instances your supervisor will be a registered theatre nurse or an operating department practitioner. You will support people as they are preparing to go into theatre, reassuring them if they are anxious, and helping them move them back to recovery following their procedure. You will support the team that carries out the operations by carrying out a range of checks, such as checking individuals into the theatre department, preparing equipment, counting swabs or other instruments and measuring fluids. You may be involved in routine operations or traumatic and emergency surgery.

Entry requirements:

Health and Social Care experience and a minimum of two GCSE at grade 4 (grade C) or above in Maths and English is desirable.

Where will I study:

Training 2000 Blackburn OR your employers location (depending on cohort size)

What will I learn?

You will be able to:

  • provide support to the surgical team when preparing and delivering operative and invasive procedures; perform the non- scrubbed circulating role; position individuals
  • complete pre and post-operative checklists
  • take part in team briefing, patient sign in, timeout, sign out and debriefing
  • undertake a range of physiological measurements on adults, babies or children using the appropriate equipment
  • measure and record an individual’s body fluid balance
  • prepare the clinical environment, provide support for pre and post-operative anaesthesia and recovery
  • assist in receiving, handling and dispatching clinical specimens or blood products
  • support end of life care and care of the deceased

You will know and understand:

  • factors that affect the choice of site for the attachment of surgical instruments; how to use skin preparation agents and surgical drapes; ways to position individuals for surgery
  • pre and post-operative checks including: identification, operation site marking and pregnancy; the steps for safer surgery
  • the theatre team, its protocols and how it fits within the organisational structure
  • the range of physiological states that can be measured including body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, urinary output, breathing rate and oxygen saturation and how anaesthesia may affect them; advocacy for the unconscious and conscious patient; chaperoning; how surgery may impact on an individual’s mental capacity
  • the purpose for recording an individual’s body fluid; factors that affect input and output and wound drainage
  • potential hazards; how to report issues; common adverse reactions to anaesthesia; how to report deviations from normal; standard precautions for infection prevention and control: ways to avoid compromising and actions to take when there is a breakdown in the sterile field
  • types and uses of containers and transport, procedures for labelling, handling, dispatching recording and reporting for clinical specimens and blood products
  • how different beliefs and cultures may affect pre and post-operative surgery, including disposal of body parts and preparation for planned surgery and the organ donor process; the end of life phase and factors which impact on the care of the dying or deceased
Job example

Senior Healthcare Support Worker, Therapy Support Worker, Mental Health Support Worker, Healthcare Assistant, Maternity Support Worker, Theatre Support Worker, Paediatric Support Worker.

Date last updated:06 May 2021

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