A day in the life - Luke Thompson

A day in the life of a Clinical Programmer at Roche – Luke Thompson


Hi I’m Luke Thompson, a placement student from Nottingham Trent University working in Clinical Data Management (CDM) as a Clinical Programmer. As with every morning (and I presume anybody else’s), mine begins with a Coffee at the Oasis; It’s a necessity and a great place to catch-up with colleagues over the weekend.

As soon as my computer starts up, I open up BCE and SAS (a computing system and programming system respectively). The majority of my work will be spent on these two pieces of software. Coming from a background of biological sciences, programming is an entirely new concept I have come to embrace. Learning a programming language has been a unique and eye opening experience for me and show’s that anyone can grasp the simple concepts of programming if they have a logical and analytical mind. This being said, programming is a skill that can always be improved and I often come up with challenges or new ways in which efficiency can be improved.

This work is cut short though and I’m quickly found heading off to my first meeting for Data Day News: a blog created specifically to summarise the monthly events that occurred in that month. Through this I’m able to use different media and creative based skills to portray an input into a message that I can spread to many people.

Following on the theme of creative skills, I’m now moved onto my next agenda: summarising the department’s year’s achievements, this time through the medium of video. For this, I was able to plan, organise and film a mannequin challenge video incorporating many important messages with an aspect of fun. Then it’s off to lunch.

Now that my meetings are over and stomach fed, I’m able to get back to programming. As a Clinical Programmer in Clinical Data Management, I play a vital role in the transformation and transportation of clinical data, making it available in a standardised format so that it can be analysed and presented into tables listing and graphs for submission to FDA and other regulatory bodies.  This means that I’m able to get a detailed hands-on view of clinical trials and molecules, which is where a lot of my pharmacological knowledge is able to be applied. It’s a very exciting experience being a student and being able to not only apply but also extend my knowledge, by understanding the ways in which these molecules interact with the human body. This will assist me in my final year.

Five O’clock reaches and it’s time to finish! Occasionally, this means going for a quick drink at the pub with my colleagues, which is a great way to get to know people. Through socialising we reinforce our team bonds and understand one another on a personal level.

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