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Level 3 Apprenticeship

Theatre Support

Senior Healthcare Support Worker

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.

Apprenticeship information

  • 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. You will be caring and compassionate, honest, conscientious and committed.
    • Please note: in the healthcare sector, most jobs require you to be 18 years +
  • Where will I study?

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

  • Duration

    18 months

close-up-students-writing-reading-exam-answer-functional skills

Functional skills

You may need to complete your English and Maths Functional Skills depending on your GCSE grades or if you cannot provide evidence of your GCSE results.

The Functional Skills programme runs as an addition to the time you are already required to spend doing your 20% off the job and will last a minimum of 2 weeks per subject; if you need to complete both English and Maths that is a minimum of 4 weeks. If a subject then needs re-sitting, this will therefore be more time in the classroom on top of the minimum 2 weeks per subject.

Our Apprenticeship includes:

  • Continuous training during programme
  • Regular reviews with the apprentice and the employer
  • Support when the apprentice is ready to undertake the end-point assessment (EPA)

Course details

  • 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

Support individuals

  • act as an advocate for the unconscious and conscious patient who could be a baby, child or adult; provide reassurance before, during and after surgery
  • transport individuals, checking correct documentation goes with them and that any equipment used is cleaned and returned
  • ways to keep the individual informed of what is happening, why and who is involved; verbal and non-verbal indicators to determine an individual’s ability to move independently; the effects of pre-medication and anaesthesia
  • safe moving and handling techniques that maintain an individual’s privacy and dignity

Equipment and resources

  • prepare and provide surgical instrumentation and supplementary items for the surgical team
  • carry out counts for swabs, sharps, instrument and disposable items
  • the types, purpose and function of surgical instruments and supplementary items used in theatre
  • how to identify, measure, account for and record items and sharps used; local policy and procedure for instrument counts and what to do if a swab, sharp, instrument or other disposable item is missing; cost implications of how items used during surgery and surgery time may influence the overall commissioning of surgical procedures

Next steps

On completion of this course you may want to consider the following options to further your career.

Where can you progress to?

Frequently asked questions

Uniform may be required within your work setting, this will be arranged with your employer.

Access to digital equipment is recommended to help with online sessions and to complete assignments on One file. Some students use work’s computers and laptops if they don’t have a laptop/internet at home.

Different workplaces require different immunisations. The NHS have different requirements across different trusts, as do private organisations. Its best to speak with your employer and ask what their requirements are.

Yes, you will be observed at work by your tutor to meet the Diploma and Apprenticeship skill requirements. Your mentor will also complete witness testimonies. You will be observed by an external examiner for your end point assessment.

Yes there is no upper age limit on doing an Apprenticeship

Unfortunately you will be required to fund your own travel costs

You will be paid the Apprenticeship national minimum wage, although some workplaces may pay you more.

There are set holidays throughout the year, which tie into the academic planning and national holidays eg bank holidays and Christmas

There is the End Point Assessment (EPA) at the end of the Apprenticeship which includes an online multiple choice test, professional discussion & observation with an external examiner and submission of three reflective journals.

This course can lead you onto the Nurse Associate Degree Apprenticeship or Assistant Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship (both pay band 4 in the NHS). You can progress onto different Healthcare Degree Apprenticeships from these points. As we are part of the University of Central Lancashire, you can easily progress to one of their Degrees.

You will usually have a work place mentor, however this may change dependent upon what skills you are learning and the specialisms of the staff within your workplace.

You will achieve a Level 3 Diploma in Senior Healthcare Support, your Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship, maths and English if you have not already achieved it.

You can apply and we may accept you on the programme if we feel you could achieve a Level 2 Functional Skill whilst completing your Apprenticeship.

The Apprenticeship is designed for 18 months, which includes the End Point Assessment (EPA). Your EPA may fall sooner than 18 months. You cannot finish any earlier than 15 months.