Skip to content

Career Spotlight: Senior Pharmacy Technician, Virginia Orton

What is your role now?

I am a Senior Pharmacy Technician in the secure environments.


What roles did you do to get to where you are now?

My early life I did an apprenticeship with City and Guilds for electrical plant maintenance. I basically learned how to wire 3 phase ventilation units for chicken sheds. I’ve also worked in a factory embroidering motifs on garments from socks to bags. After having children I started out in pharmacy as a counter assistant many some 20 plus years ago.  I progressed to do NVQ Level 2 followed by 3 in pharmacy services.  I then needed more so I enrolled on to the Foundation Degree for Medicines Management and pharmacy services at Huddersfield University. It’s never too late!


What do you enjoy about your job?

Everything! I love the diversity of it, the absolute rawness of service delivery. Providing some of the most vulnerable and volatile population pharmacy services that are delivered in the wider community- It’s definitely a challenge. You need a tough skin and a light sense of humour to help you get through the day sometimes, because some days you just have to laugh. Such an amazing environment, many agree with the marmite analogy, you will either love it or hate. I truly love it. If I tried to explain why I love it, I don’t think I could find the words. I am so proud of my accomplishments achieved whilst working in the secure environments. I enjoy a good audit too.


How much do you earn?



What do you not enjoy about your job?

The constant fantastic work that is done, sometimes it’s not enough and you bare the brunt of the frustration from both staff and service users. It does give you a bit off zip to make it better or do something different to see if it improves service delivery. Oh and constant complaints of staff shortages.


Are you a member of any pharmacy organisations?

Yes. Registration with GPhC. APTUK and HIVPA


Who, if anyone, has influenced your career?

I can without doubt, say, the best pharmacist I have ever worked with, Rachel Winn. She is such an inspiration and a shining example of professionalism. She has guided me through so much learning and supports me in everything I do.


What would you like to do next?

Well, not sure, I have been toying with the idea of a medical law degree! Not sure if my brain can take it. I’d like the opportunity one day to be deputy head of service or head of service. Be nice to see pharmacy in that position.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *