Ramsay Health Care UK | 14/11/2014

A Day in The Life of ... a Theatre Manager

My name is Shirley Beasley and I am the theatre manager for Winfield Hospital in Gloucester. This is a typical day in my working life.

I wake up at 6am every morning. I get ready, pack my lunch box and set off at 7:15am to make the 26mile journey into work.

On arrival I get changed into my scrub suit and then I am ready to tackle my first task - sorting out the allocation board. This consists of allocating staff to the appropriate theatre according to their skill set. Winfield has three theatres and a JAG Accredited Endoscopy suite. Each theatre is allocated an Anaesthetic nurse or ODP (Operating Department Practitioner), two scrub nurses and a runner. I also have to allocate at least two people to recovery and on the days when three are needed – I am the third! When Endoscopy is running I need to allocate three staff plus one recovery nurse.

My next task is to check with all of the staff that they have all of the instruments and consumables they require for the day. The staff then start work at 8am and surgery commences at 8:30am. Once the lists have begun I can move onto inputting the “daily hours”. This entails me adding data and reporting to head office the amount of hours worked by theatre staff the day before. I ensure this is done by 10am.

I then begin to look at any kit we may need and I order it for upcoming specific procedures. Following this very often I will have to go into recovery and help as the patient’s procedures are completed. I have a constant flow of calls though the day also from various people including medical secretaries or consultants requesting to add patients onto lists where possible as well as adding whole extra lists. I usually manage to have my lunch around 12:30 and I also will quite often use this time to catch up on my emails. Once I have had my lunch I will, if necessary, relieve Anaesthetic or recovery staff so they are able to have their lunch.

The morning theatre lists are finished by 1pm and then the afternoon lists begin at 1:30pm. I make sure all staff have their lunch break before the afternoon lists begin as we want to start on time. On Wednesday lunchtime we have a theatre team meeting so I can keep staff up to date on any changes or anything that may be new in the department or at Winfield. This is also a good opportunity for any staff who may be on a committee to feedback to the department.

After lunch I have a look at the off duty rota for the next day and I make any amendments required to ensure that the theatres are running in a safe and timely manner. Any changes to shifts are then relayed to staff.

3pm rolls round and the booking office then bring me all the days bookings. I agree the lists they have been added to and allocate a time of how long the surgeon will take. Once this process is complete I return the bookings to the ward manager. There may be some patients who require hip or knee replacements, if there are, I go and photocopy the forms in their files as the physiotherapy team will need these. The physiotherapists can then ensure they can arrange a pre-op assessment.

At 4pm I usually go and help in recovery. Once 5pm strikes, if all lists are running to schedule, I will go round to all theatres checking that everything is ok and all is well. My day generally ends around 5:15pm where I battle my way through the rush hour traffic for the 26mile journey back home where I usually arrive about 6:30pm.

The things I enjoy about my job are that two days are never the same! I can change what I do from one moment to the next. This could be caring for a patient who is recovering from surgery to checking in equipment. Being a nurse for over 40 years, I have always enjoyed caring for people. I understand that surgery can be a very stressful time and upsetting for some patients so I do enjoy interacting with patients and ensuring they have a good experience at Winfield Hospital.


Visit our Ramsay Health Careers page for our theatre manager job vacancies

Paying for yourself?

Get in touch

Need some advice on a treatment price or booking an initial appointment?

We're here to help.

Or send us a message...