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Jersey-trained graduate starts work in operating theatres

15 November 2019

Rekina O'Regan wearing scrubs

The first Operating Department Practitioner to train at Jersey’s General Hospital in more than a decade is now working full-time in its theatres.

Rekina O’Regan achieved a first-class BSc honours after completing a three-year degree course which resulted in her registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council as a qualified ODP. The course involved a university placement at Edge Hill University in the UK as well as practical work within the theatres at Jersey General Hospital.

ODPs provide care during the anaesthetic, surgical and recovery phases of a patient’s hospital treatment. To carry out the role practitioners need to have in-depth knowledge in areas such as anatomy and physiology, illness and disease, surgical and anaesthetic procedures, legal and ethical issues and teamwork.

Rekina, who also has a degree in zoology and who previously worked at Jersey Zoo, said: "I fancied a change in career and happened to get talking to one of the ODPs who work at the Hospital. I had never heard of the role before.

"I worked in the theatres for six months as a Assistant Trainee Practitioner before I applied for the course. This is the first time an ODP degree has been run from Jersey since the 1990s – I was a bit of a guinea pig! Forty percent of the course is theory and 60 percent is practical. You fly away for two weeks at a time for lectures and the information you learn you then put into practice in theatre. I loved it from day one."

Since Rekina, who grew up in Jersey, started her degree course in 2016, five other students have begun the three-year course split between Jersey and the UK. Rekina now intends to complete the rest of training in surgical first assisting, which would enable her to become more involved in surgery.

The 27-year-old who lives in St Helier said: "My job is fantastic – it’s so varied, no day is the same. I always wanted to come back to Jersey, but I also wanted to be in a job that I would be able to progress in. So many staff at the Hospital have their own specialities and the mentoring is fantastic."

Judith Gindill, Divisional Lead for Theatres and Anaesthetics, said: "We’re really pleased about Rekina’s success. Operating Department Practitioners are the voice of the patient before, during and after surgery and it’s fantastic that we are once again training people in Jersey in this important profession."

Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf said: "I congratulate Rekina on her success and wish her well for her future as part of the amazing team in our Hospital theatres. Her achievement highlights the varied and interesting career paths which are available locally in healthcare and I hope that more Jersey residents will follow her example."

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