The anaesthesia team

The anaesthesia team

Anaesthetists are supported in their work by trained staff who work as part of the anaesthetic team. Staff working in theatre usually wear the same colour scrub suits – although the colour varies between hospitals. All staff should be wearing name badges which say what their role is.

Operating department practitioners (ODP)

These staff have done a two-year training course or a degree to learn to help the anaesthetist and the surgeon and to provide care in the recovery room.

Theatre nurses

Theatre nurses have completed full general-nursing training. They have chosen to specialise in theatre work. An extra six-month training course in anaesthetics allows them to work as an anaesthetic assistant.

Recovery-room staff

These staff may be nurses or ODPs.

Medical students and other staff in training

There may be staff in training in the theatre who might take part in your care with your permission, under the supervision of a consultant anaesthetist.  

Anaesthesia Associates

Anaesthesia associates (AAs), formerly known as physician assistants (anaesthesia), were introduced in 2004 and the role is now established within many NHS hospitals. AAs are not doctors. They are trained practitioners that work within the anaesthetic team under the supervision of a consultant or autonomously practising SAS doctor.