A lecturer from Wrexham has returned to his hometown to launch a brand new health course at Glyndwr University.

Rob Evans has joined Wrexham Glyndwr to lead the new BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice course, which teaches practitioners how to care for patients before, during and after surgery.

Previously, students from Wrexham interested in a career within a theatre department would have had to look elsewhere, as Rob did when he was an undergraduate.

Now, thanks to Wrexham Glyndwr successfully gaining a HEIW commission, those looking to follow in his footsteps will have the option to stay in the area.

Originally from Wrexham, Mr Evans says he is delighted to back.

He said: "I was a mentor for students (at the Maelor) and I'd always wanted to go into education and enjoyed teaching, passing on what knowledge I've got to students."

Whilst at the Maelor, he took on a variety of roles, including in leadership, procurement work with NHS Wales, and extra clinical work with the Welsh Ambulance Trust.

Explaining more about what Operating Department Practice involves, he said: "It's a professional role primarily within theatre departments and there are three main areas.

"There is anaesthetics, the surgical phase, and there's the post-anaesthetic phase or recovery. Within anaesthetics we are responsible for ensuring the safe and effective induction of anaesthesia alongside an anaesthetist, and we're there to ensure the safety of that patient throughout the duration of the operation.

"The surgical phase is when we assist the surgeon with the surgical part of the procedure and that can come in a number of different ways.

"In terms of post-anaesthetic phase, patients come into our recovery unit and receive one-to-one support, where patients go from having their airway and breathing maintained by us, to them taking over for themselves."

Students on the course will divide their time between receiving teaching and practical sessions at university, and out on placement in a clinical setting.

He added: "It's important to have the theory, the underpinning knowledge but we are also going to be doing a lot of practical sessions as well because we want to bridge that gap, so students are better prepared when they go out on placement into a clinical practical environment."

The HEIW commission means that bursary funding may be available for eligible students who commit to working in Wales after completion of their studies.

Other prospective students may wish to fund their studies through a student loan.

Students who accept the bursary and commit to working in Wales for the first two years of their career gain the opportunity to become part of the dedicated NHS workforce whilst working and living in a beautiful part of the world.

For more information about the course, visit https://glyndwr.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate-courses/operating-department-practice/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Orlo