Ruth Fox – Learning & Development Clinical Educator, Operating Rooms

My career in the operating rooms started in Telford District Hospital in the UK in 1995 and I spent 12 months as a HCA in Theatres before starting my training as an Operating Department Assistant. I qualified from Birmingham University School of Operating Department Practice in 1998. The class of 1998 was one of the first classes to gain full registration with the Health practitioner’s council and with that came a title change to Operating Department Practitioner (ODP). On qualifying I moved to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where I worked as an ODP in all areas of the operating rooms. In 2002 I was given the opportunity to take on the role of Team Leader for the Hepatobiliary Surgical team, with a special focus on Liver Transplantation.

In 2007 I was seeking a new challenge and felt that the time was right  to move away from the NHS. My partner and I had holidayed in New Zealand and spent some time visiting hospitals and talking to friends who already worked in New Zealand. The two main points that attracted me to MercyAscot were their flexible approach to including ODPs to the surgical team along with the mix of specialities and the complex nature of some of the surgery. I found application process was straight forward and we received support from MercyAscot with immigration and relocation costs. We had initial support with immigrating from People & Capability and once in Auckland we were given a buddy from the Operating Rooms who met up with us outside of working hours and gave us a tour of what was in the local area. Moving across the world was a life changing adventure. We shipped all our belongings and even bought our cats on the same plane that we came out on!

Some of the early days getting use to a new hospital and a new city meant life were challenging but never boring. My new team at the Mercy Operating Rooms were very supportive and I soon made some very good friends.