Operating Department Practitioner, QEH
Graduated in 2008
Spencer Hampton has proved that it is never too late to embark on a new career. After being made redundant from Birmingham car manufacturer MG Rover after 15 years he realised that, with no formal qualifications, he needed to change direction. He chose the field of care, undertaking a diploma before coming to Birmingham City University to study DipHE Operating Department Practice, graduating in 2008.
Despite having no medical background, Spencer undertook his first placement as part of the course after just six weeks, in a hospital operating theatre. Despite feeling nervous, he said the support and guidance he had received beforehand helped him to go into the placement with the right attitude, confidence and enthusiasm. His personal tutor also continued to offer support throughout his time on placement.
Spencer is now an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He works in Neurosurgery alongside surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nurses to make sure each operation is as safe and effective as possible.
He plans to continue working in that role and eventually seek promotion, as well as hopefully using his own experience to inspire others to embrace adult education and career change whatever their age, as well as mentoring new students looking to work for the NHS.
“The teaching I received was first class. I was a mature student who had struggled 20 years previously at school, but from day one I felt relaxed, I felt valued and I felt an equal among all the other students, as though I belonged there. There was an attitude among the tutors and staff to encourage and praise, as well as treating you as an adult.”