Ethan, Theatre Support Worker, NHS Lothian

Ethan is a theatre support worker in the day surgery theatres in a busy hospital. started his career in healthcare by doing a Modern Apprenticeship. He's now training to become an assistant theatre practitioner.

Hi, I'm Ethan. I'm a clinical support worker in the day surgery theatres at the Royal Infirmary.

I started my Modern Apprenticeship in April 2021. I decided to do the Modern Apprenticeship after being on furlough for nine months. After all the stuff with Covid 19, I thought I could lend a hand and do my part.

So, the Modern Apprenticeship gave me a stepping stone into healthcare and I've now been able to go into advanced training as an assistant theatre practitioner.

A typical day would normally start at 8:00am in the morning. I would head to the theatre and start doing the daily checks. At about 8:15am, the whole team would have a daily briefing attended by the surgeons, anaesthetists, nursing staff and we'd discuss all the patient details about the list for the day. From there, I would then go to checking the patients, then check their details and then bring them to the anaesthetic room. In the anaesthetic room, I would help the ODP set up vital monitoring before they'd have a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic. In the theatre, I would help the scrub practitioner while circulating handing on any additional equipment that they need, setting up their stuff.

The most important skills for me as a clinical support worker is communication, time management, organisation, and attention to detail. What I enjoy most about my job is being able to help people and getting to see a world that most people won't get to see outside the hospital walls.

So, one part of my job that I found challenging at the start was adapting to the theatre environment. Obviously, a lot of stuff will be sterile equipment and you just can't touch it. So, I think it was just adapting to the environment that I was in.

The advice I'd give to others about applying to do a Modern Apprenticeship with NHS is just to go and do it. If you're a person who likes to help people and you work well with a team, it's a good opportunity for you to develop a career in healthcare.


Why did you decide to apply for the Modern Apprenticeship?

I decided to apply the Modern Apprenticeship after being on furlough for nine months. After all the difficulties people have experienced during the pandemic, I thought I could lend a hand and do my part. It gave me a stepping stone into a career in healthcare and I've now been able to go into advanced training as an assistant theatre practitioner.

What's a typical day like in theatres?

A typical day would normally start at 8:00am in the morning. I would head to the theatre and start doing the daily checks. At about 8:15am, the whole team would have a daily briefing attended by the surgeons, anaesthetists and nursing staff.

We discuss all the patients on the surgery list for the day. From there, I would then go to meet the patients, check their details and then bring them to the anaesthetic room.

In the anaesthetic room, I would help the operating department practitioner to set up vital monitoring before the patient has a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic.

In the theatre, I help the scrub practitioner with any additional equipment that they need and getting set up for surgery.

What are the most important skills for your job?

The most important skills for me as a clinical support worker are communication, time management, organisation and attention to detail.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I enjoy most about my job is being able to help people and getting to see a world that most people won't get to see outside the hospital walls.

So, one part of my job that I found challenging at the start was adapting to the theatre environment. Obviously, a lot of stuff will be sterile equipment and you just can't touch it. So, I think it was just adapting to the environment that I was in.

What advice would you give to other people thinking about apply to do a Modern Apprenticeship in the NHS?

The advice I'd give to others about applying to do a Modern Apprenticeship with NHS is just to go and do it. If you're a person who likes to help people and you work well with a team, it's a good opportunity for you to develop a career in healthcare.