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Professionalising the OTT Role

A key emerging trend in the Operating Theatre Technician (OTT) fraternity is an effort to professionalise the OTT role in health care settings.

The Operating Theatre Technician field is growing by leaps and bounds. It is projected that there will be significant changes to the Age Structure of the Australian population over the next 50 years with Over-65s rapidly increasing to 5.7 – 5.8 million by the year 2031. This will lead to a significant increase in demand for all types of elective and non-elective surgery.

This has the potential to increase the supply of VET-trained workers in health and community services. Workers and managers within the industry need to develop new skills to adapt to the client-led model of care. Actively improving and supporting management and leadership capacity in a rapidly changing workforce development environment provides incentive for future workforce development and job redesign.

 A think tank with industry experts was organised to address current industry growth and demands in this sector.  It was confirmed that the projected growth in health care and health services indicates an expanding need for skilled Operating Theatre Technicians.

One way to accomplish this is by upskilling from a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (Operating Theatre Technician) to a Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support. However, it is imperative that the Certificate IV program be robust and comprehensive.

The Operating Theatre Technician community requires an extensive Certificate IV qualification that supports leadership development so workers can move up in their Grading. The qualification must influence the development of the professionalisation of the Operating Theatre Technician role.

 The ideal Certificate IV graduate will have well-developed skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Communication; negotiation and diplomacy
  • Be a sound role model
  • Would be a positive mentor
  • Would have good reflective skills
  • Would engage in ethical practice
  • Would have a positive attitude underpinned by emotional intelligence

 Building Leadership Capacity

 A key theme in professionalising the OTT role through a Certificate IV training program is supporting students to build their leadership skills and capacity.

 This can be achieved through multiple learning activities that explore such things as:

  • Emotionally intelligent leadership
  • The differences between good management and good leadership and where these overlap
  • Understanding power, control and influence in leadership

 A good Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support program has the objective of equipping students with the necessary skills, knowledge and professional attitude to fully understand the requirements of an advanced practitioner role in operating theatre technician work.

The health industry will continue to experience demand for highly skilled Operating Theatre Technicians who are of professional calibre and can deliver quality services in demanding and expanding hospital environments and a Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support (HLT47515) is the pathway to producing tomorrow’s leaders.



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Author: Heather Xanthoulakis

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