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Bex Calpin, BSc Operating Department Practice (ODP), mature student, placement opportunities

Bex Calpin

After waiting 10 years to study ODP, Bex is delighted to be on the course, making her next career move by achieving a formal qualification

Now in her second year of the course, Bex is on placement at St George's Healthcare NHS Trust. After being in healthcare for so long the placement has been invaluable and given her a good idea of what is expected in ODP. She's found herself thriving on the confidence placed in her by hospital staff in the anaesthetics department while on placement.

"I really have a love for it," she says. "I just like meeting new people in not so normal situations. I genuinely love to help other people and we definitely do that in this profession!"

Fantastic placement

Bex has found her colleagues very supportive during her placement at St George's . "The placements really are like being at work and learning on the job. I have experienced a wide variety of specialities and continue to do so. No one case is the same as the next."

Secondments increase the chances of permanent employment, so Bex could be staying a bit longer at St George's when her studies finish. "It is great as I will really be able to hone my skills in an area I am familiar with and people I have developed a rapport with."

During her placement, Bex worked in anaesthetics – a department she enjoyed working in and gained a lot from. "I loved it. I really like the autonomy of it... we knew what we had to do and were able to get on with it. I love patient contact and so seeing patients while they are awake is a real joy for me."

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Modern facilities

Back at LSBU, the facilities really made a difference "I really like the fact that the campus at LSBU is mainly in one area. There are so many modern parts to the site including the skills lab. This is where we can practise our skills in a safe environment on Sim Man, the simulation mannequin."

It's not always easy studying and working, but Bex was supported by strong staff and class-mates on the course. "The tutors are always on hand if there are any queries. I have also made many new friends since starting the course and there is a good group support network among us."

Broadening horizons

Studying for the BSc has really broadened Bex's horizons, long-term she's thinking of working in the USA.  As soon as she qualifies, though, Bex is thinking of becoming a mentor or lecturer, as she enjoys the buzz of teaching.

"I would definitely recommend studying at LSBU and doing the ODP course. In fact whilst on placement I often talk to patients about it and some have shown a great interest in it. LSBU is very welcoming and I do like the location as well." Read more about our location.

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