Explore: Healthcare

Team Leader
Smith & Nephew

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Mark H

00:02 OK. My name is Mark H and I’m a Team Leader at Smith & Nephew based in York.

00:07 So my work is the early stage of product development with the medical devices that we use every day. My role is the creation of and the generation of those ideas through to prototypes really for clinical trials.

00:25 My background now is regenerative medicine and adult stem cells. We all have this inherent capability to heal ourselves and companies like the one that I work for and plenty of others are moving away from metal implants alone to more biological solutions. We have this amazing cell within us that can heal and restore and regenerate tissue and we’re just learning how to work with it to be able to get better repair, so we don’t need these metal implants so it’s a really exciting time and will be for a, a good while yet.

01:01 When I was at school I never really did that well. I did OK, but I, I struggled in remembering a lot of information and then trying to regurgitate it in exams I kind of did OK. When I started doing my GCSE’s as they were then I, I wasn’t really that good at English. Maths I still to this day find incredibly difficult but biology and chemistry and physics were kind of set by rules that I could understand and it wasn’t a question so much of learning all this information but if you understood the rules you could apply it and I found that, gosh of all the things that I could do this is the easiest and makes the most sense and so I, I went on to, to University to do a degree in bio-chemistry which kind of marries the biology of cells and tissue and the actual chemistry of how they work and it was just awe inspiring I really enjoyed my time.

01:50 I mean my school was a pretty good one, so a fair few went to university but from where I was living I can’t think of anybody else, any of my friends that went to university, I was definitely the first. It’s not to say that I was particularly inept, I just, I never came top I always came middle, middlish, so I did OK, but I found that the further I went on in kind of education I did better and better and the PhD was a real crux so I’d say for people who seem to struggle at school because it’s boring and monotonous because it’s just learn this, then say that a PhD is the line at which you, all of a sudden have these choices that only you can make and it’s you that finds these things out, there’s nowhere to go there’s no text book that tells you and that’s very exciting.

02:43 My dad was a fire fighter and my mum was a house wife although she did work from time to time. But they, my dad is quite a funny guy cos he gets really inspired by talking to me about science, I think in another life if he had the opportunity he would have made a very good scientist. One thing that he did give me and my family as a whole was a real thirst for knowledge as opposed to just. If I said “why?” they never said well just because. My Dad generally said well look it up and we did, and that appetite that learning stuck with me to this day.

03:20 I think my parents got a lot of stick maybe initially because I was off to university and la-de-dah, but I think when they, I think now there’s probably a lot of pride around my parents and their friends that I’m out there now doing this research and my Mum will talk about stem cells like she knows it like the back of her hand and isn’t it great.

03:43 And when I went to college to do A Levels they were made up, then when I went to do a degree they were even more made up and now doing a PhD my mum calls me Dr Howard to anyone that’ll listen and I think that’s really nice, I find that very supportive and it encourages me to do more and try harder.


Mark H is a Team Leader at Smith & Nephew, “my work is the early stage of product development with the medical devices that we use every day”. His parents have been very supportive, “my mum calls me Dr Howard to anyone that’ll listen and I think that’s really nice”.

More information about Pharmaceutical technicians

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

13%  male 
87%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Pharmaceutical technicians work in hospitals or in the community and assist pharmacists in the preparation and dispensing of drugs and medicines.
Entrants to training usually possess GCSEs/S grades or the equivalent. Training is typically a combination of practical experience and study at a college or by open learning towards vocational qualifications. To register as a pharmacy technician with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain an NVQ/ SVQ in Pharmacy Services at Level 3 is required
  • Checks received prescriptions for legality and accuracy;
  • Prepares drugs and medicines under the supervision of pharmacist;
  • Prepares specialised, tailor-made drugs for intravenous administration by hospital medical staff;
  • Labels and checks items prior to dispensing;
  • Maintains records of prescriptions received and drugs issued;
  • Advises patients or customers on the use of drugs prescribed or medication purchased over the counter;
  • Checks stock levels, orders new stock from pharmaceutical companies and ensures that drugs are stored appropriately.
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