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Archive for October, 2013

Natasha Kam

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Year 4 Pharmacy Research Projects

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Hey everyone! Here’s a video on my course mates talking about their respective topics for their FYPs. For those of you who don’t already know, the current year 4 students in UoS is the last batch for the old syllabus to be running and the current year 3 students have started their program based on new standards which is the integrated teaching system. So in order for all of my colleagues and I to be qualified as pre-reg pharmacists, we MUST pass this year as there will not be any chances of repeating year 4 anymore, unless we start all over from year 1 which is impossible- We’ve got to complete our program within 6 years if I’m not mistaken. So as scary as it sounds, I believe this thought will definitely push us all to study even harder and smarter & to do as well as we can. We can pull through this together. All the best everyone!

Final Day of October 2013

Thursday, October 31st, 2013



This month has been really good! I’ve had loads of fun from watching various musical concerts/plays at the theater, Sage at Gateshead & movies to seeing football games! Most of us (Year 4s) are already getting our heads around our final year projects as the submission date for the interim report is soooon. The more we can do, the better it is! We’re also finally done with our poster presentations as we’ve all been given each group an anti-cancer drug to present about to healthcare professionals. 🙂 Our next assignment would be a care plan presentation which is next month. Meanwhile, I better get started with preparing for my OSCEs (I’ll explain more about this in the coming posts). 🙂 Anyway, I celebrated Halloween last night by watching Ender’s Game at Empire Cinema and popped by at Gatsby for a drink with Sunderland Dance Squad. Everyone had funky costumes and from a place where I come from, Halloween isn’t such of a big deal but I wish it was!!! PS: We’ve also got a pumpkin carving competition which I think is a brilliant idea for students to participate! To end the month of October, I will be going to Empire Theater tonight for the opening night of RAT PACK Concert- Greatest music of the 20th century! Attached are some pictures of what I’ve been up to lately- Enjoy!



Happy Halloweeen!



Going for Rat Pack tonight! Can’t Wait!!!

Sage, Gateshead

Sage, Gateshead

Enjoyed Soul Caribbean Concert- They played my favourite cha cha song!



Lives online bloggers

Made a Morning Fruit Platter for myself:)

Made a Morning Fruit Platter for myself:)

Brought some friends out to try Chinese food at Shanghai Manor

Brought some friends out to try Chinese food at Shanghai Manor

Lives online bloggers night out at Revolution

Lives online bloggers night out at Revolution

SageTickets for SageSage

Connect organised another free movie- Cloud Atlas

Connect organised another free movie- Cloud Atlas

West Side Story- One of my favourite musicals!

West Side Story- One of my favourite musicals!

Mousetrap- Longest running play in UK

Mousetrap- Longest running play in UK

Watched this Sci-Fi Movie at Empire Cinema

Watched this Sci-Fi Movie at Empire Cinema

Romeo & Juliet

Watched my childhood movie at David Puttnam, St. Peters

Also, I’ve watched my childhood movie at David Puttnam, St. Peters




Footie Match at Stadium of Light

Monday, October 28th, 2013

“We love you Sunderland we do (X3)

Ooooh Sunderland we love you!”


Imagine thousands of people chanting this. It’s just incredible! The people here especially in Sunderland clearly show their passion for football. Win or lose they were always there to support every match. I have been so lucky to see 3 matches at Stadium of Light, and they were all really big and important teams. First Liverpool, then Manchester Untd. and yesterday, the dreaded derby against Newcastle. You could feel the tension in the air yesterday, police forces were on display and horse jokes were the main topic of the day. The police were all on guard and were really worried with the tension between Sunderland and Newcastle fans that they had to block off a few entrances just so the fans would not start a fight and because of this, I missed the first goal Sunderland scored 🙁 Nonetheless, I experienced a total different feeling as about a 100 people who were also waiting outside with me all went crazy and ecstatic as someone yelled “Goal for us!!!” Eventually, I reached my seat and enjoyed the rest of the game. Newcastle fans were very supportive and eventually their team equalized. However with a magnificent goal in the 84th minute, Sunderland closed the deal and won 2-1 for a second time gaining bragging rights once again. I am not a massive football fan (only watch my dad and brother play) but once on the stadium, it is hard not to feel what the true supporters are feeling. I encourage everybody to go to at least one game and experience for themselves the incredible atmosphere!


PS: If you want to practice some chants before a Sunderland match, click on this link to learn them up :


Stadium of Light IMG_0439 IMG_0446 IMG_0458 IMG_0465 IMG_0464 IMG_0468 IMG_0271IMG_047120130929_154234

UoS Open Day 2013/14

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013


Hey guys! I had a great time helping out at the open day last Friday together with my fellow Livesonline bloggers! Watch my video on the university’s open day and don’t worry if you’ve missed it as there will be another open day on the 9th of November 2013:)

P.S: Many thanks to my lovely lecturers Dr. Gray and Dr. Praveen for contributing to this post:D

Click onto this link to find out more about the Master of pharmacy course in UoS:

Click onto this link to find out more about Students’ Union and Connect:


Open Day  Registration Point


Open Day Livesonline BloggersPharmacy BoothMPharm Banner


Open Day
Students' Union







Memories at Sunderland Empire Theatre

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

So I started going to the theatre a lot recently. My first musical was Dirty Dancing. I went with my friends and although we had seats very far at the back (gallery), it was still an enjoyable experience. After that, I saw one of my favourite musical shows- Hairspray! The audience was really into it, living every moment of it. As a result, the atmosphere was incredible. Then, I have also watched:


  • Aladdin interpreted by The Royal Birmingham Ballet
  • Blues Brothers Approved Concert
  • Sleeping Beauty on Ice
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical
  • Cats musical
  • West Side Story musical

On top of that, I have just seen Britain’s longest running play, The Mousetrap just three days ago! There are loads of shows coming up and I’d like to encourage you guys to check them out at Sunderland Empire Theatre which is just a stone’s throw away

As a treat after my interview for my pre-reg in Kent last summer (post about my experience to come shortly), I’ve treated myself a fancy trip down to London and watched Wicked The Musical- it was amazing (also one of my favourites)!

          Sunderland Empire Theatre

Ways to Cope With Homesickness

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Hello there! So as promised, here’s a post on how to deal with homesickness especially for those who’ve travelled so far (like me)! It’s totally normal to feel homesick especially with the changes of climate and environment. It can also be a fresh start to making new friends:)  I totally know how you guys out there feel. So here are some ways of how we can deal with it:


1. Plan a life

Figure out what you want to do on a daily basis. Come up with a routine! Research shows that people who feel they’re in more control suffer from less homesickness stress. So as for me, I set an alarm for 8am every morning, and what I normally do after freshening up is I will read my ODJ , have my breakfast, check my emails and so on:) I do this every single weekday! So my body is tuned to it:) I know absolutely what to do next so I won’t waste my time. Weekends are different, I would get up when I want to, but since my body is so used to getting up at 8am, I would just automatically wake up then anyway. I’ve got different plans every week- Shopping week, Musical week, Movie week etc. to keep myself busy apart from just studying!


2. Create your perfect bedroom!

This is my favourite! Just so you know, I’ve got OCD, as in my stuff needs to be placed at a certain position every single time~! (Haha!) For those who’ve known me, I know it’s annoying but I can’t help it! For instance, when my friend comes in and adjusts my cup on the table, I’ll have to put it right at the position I would want it to be! XD Anyway, yes.. do decorate your desk, print out pictures of your family and friends- Stick them all around in your room! I know a lot of girls do this and they feel much more comfortable rather than staying and sleeping in a foreign room. Get your favourite coloured pillows and blankie. Arrange the furniture around if your room is big. It’s your room, so take control!


3. Make friends!

It’s quite easy to make new friends in the Uni. You’ve got people from your class/seminars, neighbours, people from church and the easiest way is through joining the Connect events and societies formed in the university (Click on this link to find out more details about Connect ! So if you’re a first year student especially, do not be anti-social! Go out there and sign up for as many clubs as you can now because you won’t be as free in your final year!




Friend's Birthday Celebration


4. Find your hobby

I know a few friends who fall sick a lot not just because of the weather or the change of environment but people actually do get sick more easily if you’re homesick.  Enjoy your time alone and find your hobbies like writing a personal journal. Exercise will also help to boost up your immune system so do head to the gym and sweat it out! For those who like to workout alone and not in public, you could try putting on some exercise videos on Youtube and do them in your room- Remember to always keep a positive attitude!  Being alone gives you time to discover new things about yourself and to become a stronger person.


Bought my new keyboard


5. Get busy with clubs and societies!

There are many Connect events where you can go on day trips or overnight trips around UK. As for some people, if you can afford to rent a car for a day, you could plan trips with your friends and drive around – Discover new things! This way, you would be tooo busy thinking about your homesickness! As for me, I served in the church in the Sunday services and being involved with the ministry has made me feel more at home than ever!


6. Realize you’re not alone

Do ask around, you’ll be surprised at how many people are actually going through the same thing as you.


7. Keep in contact with your family & friends

Finally, it is okay to go home occasionally to get emotionally recharged. Skype chat or video calls are the best ways to keep in touch with your family back home. I know this can be hard for some of us who are from countries of entirely different time zones. Like it’s very difficult for me to make an appointment to Skype my parents whom are in Malaysia and my little brother who’s in Texas at the same time. Someone will have to make sacrifices. But it’s a sacrifice worth making. Tell them everything and share your experiences with them. I’m sure they’d love to hear all of it!

 Family and Friends Wishing Balloons



Hope you guys find this useful! Remember, you’re not alone.



First Shout-out of the Month: Pharmacy Manager, Farah

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Hey GuYs!

I’ve recently had the opportunity to interview a pharmacist- Farah whom has been very kind to spare her time to share some of her information on her experiences working as a pharmacy manager here.  Farah is from Malaysia and she is currently running Lumley Pharmacy in Chester le Street and she studied MPharm in University of Sunderland too! See what she has to say about working in the community pharmacy:)

Her answers to my questions…


1. How long have you been working as a pharmacist?

4 years


2. What experiences have you had in the pharmacy setting prior to your current job?

I was working part time at Boots as a healthcare assistant since I was a 1st year pharmacy student. I was then offered a pre-reg placement with them after I completed a summer placement program before my final year at UoS.


3. What do you like about working in the community pharmacy?

I am now working at an independent pharmacy in a small village called Great Lumley in Chester le Street County Durham as a Pharmacy Manager. The thing I enjoy most about working in a community pharmacy is that I have the ‘power’ to change people’s behavior about their health. Pharmacy is the first port of call when someone is ill and we make every contact counts. We use every opportunity to educate patients that prevention is better than cure. Recently, we were awarded with the title of Healthy Living Pharmacy status – my biggest achievement by far (of course by the help of all the staffs). We get to offer all sorts of services to the community such as NHS Health Checks, NRT (nicotine-replacement therapy) services, Minor Ailment scheme and different health promotions every month e.g Breast and Lung cancer awareness.


4. What is your daily routine like as a pharmacy manager?

Half eight in the morning after I turn on the computer, I have to sign in as the responsible pharmacist. I would make myself a cuppa (winks) and after that, I would supervise my staffs to put the stocks away, check owings and other prescriptions that come in. I answer queries both over the phone and face to face with customers or doctors and even nurses. 1-2pm is our lunch break and from 2pm-5.45pm,  the same process repeats. There will also be MUR/NMS/NRT/health check sessions. On Mondays, I have to speed to another store to start another shift up till 11pm and would arrive home at 11.3opm.


5. What are the challenges working in the community pharmacy?

With the Category M cuts, a lot of community pharmacies are running on a tight budget. We have to work harder to increase services without jeopardising the quality of services provided. Out of stock medications and NCSOs (no cheaper stock obtainable) are among the things that put pressure to both pharmacists and patients. Pharmacists have to remain calm and professional when dealing with these problems.


6. What medicine/product is the most dangerous to work with in your job?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it dangerous, but there are many medicines that are prone to abuse such as, co-codamol, antihistamines, pseudoephedrine. This is why I am so against the GPhC’s (General Pharmaceutical Council) plan to allow self-selection of P-medication to the public!


7. Advice for future pharmacists?

To be a great pharmacist, one should have three skills – Accuracy, Speed, and Professionalism. Don’t take the job too personal – a job is a job, don’t take it home with you!


8. How is it different working in the UK and in Malaysia?

Although my family owns a chain of pharmacies in Malaysia, I have never really worked in Malaysia as a pharmacist. I imagine it to be totally different!



So yea! Attached’s a photo of Farah beaming away 🙂

Pharmacy Manager, Farah


For those who’ve never worked in the pharmacy before, I hope you’ve gotten an idea of how a life of a pharmacist in the community setting is like currently and if you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can:) Once again, I would like to send my deepest appreciation to Farah for helping me out with this post! – Natasha:)




Student Lock-In at The Bridges Shopping Centre, Sunderland

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Sunderland had their student lock-in event last Tuesday and over 4000  students were there at Bridges shopping centre compared to last year which was only 1900! Those who couldn’t make it made their way to Metrocentre in Gateshead for this similar event. Student lock-in takes place around the whole of UK every year where students and shoppers are given loads of great discounts from retailers, drinking+dancing, fun competitions and freebies which is organised by Route 69 and Total Students UK.


The event started at 6pm but some students started queuing up right from 4:30pm! Shops including Lush, Schuh, Superdry, HNM, Topshop and Internacionale  offered great student discounts. Ttonic even had a pop-up bar at the main entrance:) Last year, students were required to pre-register via and as they enter, they’ll be given a wristband:) However, the giving out of wristbands for this year’s student lock-in in Sunderland has been discontinued.


So I was one of the 4000 students that night and it was fantastic! I’ve gotten a few posters of some musical shows (Singing in the Rain etc) and bumped into some people with Star Wars & Superhero costumes! Check out my pictures on the massive crowds and me with Ewok! 😀



Ewok and me with lightsaber 20131001_182215 20131001_182302 20131001_182601 20131001_184318 20131001_183242

What do you do when you’re bored?

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Hey readers! How’ve you been?

For me, as a final year student in the MPharm program in University of Sunderland (UoS), we’ve finally gotten our final year project (FYP) topics and it’s all about doing research, research and research! Sometimes we just need to take a breather. I wonder what you guys do during your free time or when you’re bored?


Taking a stroll


I do a lot of things during my free time. I used to write my own songs and just simply improvise a tune to it. I’ll also try to do some simple stretching exercises at home to improve blood circulation (Would sit in the chair for hours and not move- this is really bad!!!) ! I would also read things up, or put the CNN student news on to watch. Other than that, if I’m really restless, my boyfriend and I will take a stroll to Mowbray park and spare some of our bread to the seagulls, swans and pigeons! We also take long walks to the beach to get away from our work once in a while. Like they said, “You cannot learn unless you empty your cup”.


As closing, I’ve recorded myself playing my improvised version of “River Flows in You” from the movie Twilight:)


Hope you like it!


My September Update Video

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Hey hey,

I’ve summed up all of my updates for the whole of September and you can watch my video here to see how interesting September was for me!



  • Name: Natasha Kam
  • Age: 23
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Ambitions: I would love to set up my own pharmaceutical company.

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