Graduated with an online Perioperative Practice BSc (Hons)

Image: Online Perioperative Practice BSc (Hons) Top-Up degree student Ibrahim Hemaida

Ibrahim Hemaida is an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) working within an anaesthetics and recovery setting for both the NHS and private practices. Ibrahim, originally from Egypt, felt that he was ill informed when he was younger regarding his career options and his natural life choices led him to taking a nursing diploma. After completing his studies and starting his career in nursing he quickly developed a passion for anaesthetics and recovery, and wanted to pursue further education in this area. He studied an anaesthesia higher education diploma in Egypt as at this time there were no degree courses available for his preferred profession.

When Ibrahim moved to the UK he decided to apply to study a Perioperative Practice degree with a university based in Wales. This experience was short lived as it became clear that travelling to Wales twice a week with a wife and three children at home in London wasn't going to be possible.

After putting his desire to study Perioperative Practice aside for a few years he came across a post on his ODP Facebook group that contained a link to the University of Derby. From here he found out about the BSc (Hons) Perioperative Practice Top-Up degree that was available to study 100% online, and submitted his application to start in January 2017.

"Finding this course was a golden opportunity to me, I couldn't have gained this degree without being able to do it online"

Ibrahim is now a full academic year into his course, so we have contacted him to see how he's getting on, and asked him to tell us about what a typical day in his life looks like, balancing his work, personal life and study.

A day in the life of a Perioperative practitioner

On weekdays I wake up at 05:45 and carry out my morning prayers. I work out for 23 minutes on my treadmill or cross trainer, before taking a shower and helping my wife with the morning routine to get the children ready for school.

My wife works flexible hours on a part-time basis, which helps a lot with dropping off and picking up the kids from the school, whilst I start work at 08:00.

As a Senior Perioperative Practitioner, my role involves clinical as well as non-clinical duties. When on clinical, I provide patient anaesthetic care as well as post anaesthetic care. Whether practicing in anaesthetic or recovery, my typical day starts by checking my operating list and ensuring that all machines and equipment required are available and in a working state before surgery commences.

I work as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide quality patient care that meets their needs. There are vital surgical safety measures we undertake before, during and after each surgical procedure to ensure patient safety.

Taking regular breaks in a perioperative environment is quite difficult, so we can take our lunch breaks anytime between 12:00-2pm depending on the nature and pace of the surgical lists. A coffee/tea break is a luxury we don’t often get time to enjoy.

By the end of a typical working day we clean and tidy, and top up stocks to ensure the department is ready for another busy day the next morning.

I get back from work around 6:30pm so we are able to eat our dinner as a family, then spend some quality time together. By 8:30pm my children would have gone to bed and this is when I am able to study for my degree. For two hours every night, before I go to bed I am able to catch up on reading and work on my assignments, before heading to bed too by 11pm.

During my spare time at the weekends I’m also able to catch up with module activities. Thankfully all of the tutors at UDOL are considerate of my personal and professional circumstances so are very supportive. Catching up on unit activities and joining in with the module discussions is easy with the Blackboard Mobile App.

If it wasn’t for my wife’s support and this opportunity to study online with the University of Derby, I wouldn’t have been able to study this degree.