Pharmaceutical Development

Samantha – Production Technician

After school I did a business studies course at the local college and then came  to work at the site, which was then called CAMR. I spent five years here and really enjoyed it.  However when the opportunity to go and work in the Canaries came up I took it.  I enjoyed my time there and had a range of jobs culminating in being a PA for a property management company.

Having returned to Wiltshire for family reasons I tried several jobs, including various roles in retail some of which had anti-social hours, were not well managed and didn’t have any real training.  So when I saw an advert I was interested and applied.

One of the main reasons I decided to come back is that the training here is very good.  That is because being a pharmaceutical (GMP) facility all the processes need to be regimented and regulated.  There are certain ways that things have to be done to ensure consistency and everyone needs to work to the same standards.  In previous jobs I found that often I was the one picking up the slack for other people, which was frustrating for me but here it is much better.

My day to day role in the Production Support Unit involves making up solutions and preparing the equipment that is needed in the pharmaceutical manufacturing units.  That includes beakers, cylinders, tubing,  filters and  even syphon-heads to attach to the fermenters, all of which need to be sterilised in an autoclave.  In addition, and also when not doing that there is cleaning to ensure the facility is maintained to the highest standards.

On starting the job I had 2-3 weeks of initial training on the requirements of working in a clean-room environment which included all the explanations behind working to GMP standards.  My training is still ongoing because you can’t just do stuff, instead you need to observe, then be observed before you can  perform a process and be signed-off as competent.  Because it is a working unit you initially work along-side others to make sure that you understand the processes and that it all sinks-in.

I don’t have a science background but that has not been a hindrance,  initially  there were a few challenges with the terminology, but  I think whatever industry you work in they all have their own acronyms.  However everyone is happy to explain if there is something you don’t understand and after a couple of weeks it becomes familiar and I now know what people are talking about.

Wearing the cleanroom clothing  was also a bit strange at first,  especially balancing on one leg to put it on and ensuring that you don’t touch anything else, but again you soon get used to it and it is essential to maintain the ultra-clean status of the facility.

I enjoy the work and it is a good team dynamic, with us all working together to help each other out.  There is camaraderie and I have also reconnected with people who were here before.    I would  absolutely recommend the job… pointing out that there is a lot of cleaning involved,  which may not be to everyone’s taste,  but  I enjoy being active  and  the benefits of  the holidays and the work that we are doing in producing a product that saves children’s lives make the job… you have to look at the bigger picture.  My aspiration is that I am keen to stay, am interesting in learning more, to see where the next step may be and to grow with the company.

  • Since contributing this profile Sam has changed roles and now works in our Quality Department, demonstrating career progression within the company

Outside interests

Samantha has recently become an auntie for the first time so is enjoying spending time with the family.  But on her adventurous side, she and an ex-army friend are planning a trip to North Wales to go zip-lining through caves.