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Archive for January, 2014

Natasha Kam

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Chinese New Year Eve 2014

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Blessed Chinese New Year Eve to those who are celebrating! 😀

I terribly miss the food in Malaysia and all my friends from home posting my favourite dishes on social media aren’t helping at all! So this year, I wanted to treat myself by making one of my favourite CNY biscuits. To be honest, it was surprisingly not that difficult and I enjoyed myself very much (at least it helps me get into the CNY mood). For those of you from Sunderland, UoS’ HongKong/Malaysian Society is organising a CNY dinner event on the 15th of February at North Shore. My girls and I will be performing some KPop (Korean) and Japanese dances & there will be a lot more performances so come join the fun- Get your red tickets if you’re interested! For more details, please click on the poster-look-alike picture below.


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UoS Pharmacy Video

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Here’s a new ad for the pharmacy course! Click on the video to find out more.:)

Pharmacy Placements

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Hey readers!

It was my first IPL (Interprofessional learning) placement today at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle and I would say it went well! We, pharmacy students were allocated into groups to mingle around with medical students. There were about 3-4 pharmacists with 2-3 doctors each group and we were all given two patient case studies & within each case, there were different tasks to be completed by cooperating with each other.

For the very first time, we were able to work with another healthcare professional very closely, discussing about different issues that may have contributed to the patient’s condition (eg. drug interactions, duplication, incorrect dose/strength, adverse effects, incorrect duration of administration etc).  We worked together to solve, manage and improve our patients’ health status and after every task, our supervisors would then come along to check on us if everything was well and we’d later share our thoughts with other group members.

So coming back to pharmacy placements, students from the MPharm program are normally sent off for 4 placements each academic year (2 community pharmacy and 2 hospital/IPL placements) so that we are exposed to the working life of pharmacists. These placements will be arranged by the university so you don’t actually get to choose where you’d want to go to. Community pharmacy placements usually involve 2-3 students per session where tasks that I’ve come across since first year include:

  • Taking of patients’ medical histories
  • Conducting medicines used reviews (MURs)
  • Shadowing the pharmacist
  • Observing responsibilities and standard-operating procedures of the pharmacy
  • Discuss issues of ethical dilemmas
  • Discuss different services offered by the pharmacy (enhanced and advanced services)
  • Dispensing
  • Brushing up on our communication skills with patients (especially to avoid medical jargons)

Lovely pharmacist (third from left) and pharmacy technicians from my community pharmacy placement

As for hospital placements, students are exposed to various sections of the pharmacy like the in and out-patient units as well as other parts of the hospital (ICU, CCU etc) and other specialist areas of pharmacy practice. We would:

  • Go on ward rounds
  • Visit the aseptic suits and cytotoxic drug reconstitution room
  • Look through the medicines information department
  • Communicate with patients
  • Learn to read the patient kardex
  • …. and loads moreee!

In a nutshell, it’s always nice to get out from lectures/seminars once in a while and experience the actual work life of a pharmacist. Make sure when you go on for your placements, get the most out of it and enjoy yourself!:)

Time Off from Studies

Friday, January 24th, 2014

It’s been a really productive month for me. I have already planned out my study timetable and for once, I’m on schedule (Yeeehaa!)…Scroll down to check out what I have been doing apart from studying. Next Monday will be my first IPL (Interprofessional Learning Placement) at Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle and it’s where pharmacy students are given a chance to mingle around with other healthcare professionals like nursing and medic students. We will be given some patient cases/scenarios to deal with so look out for my blog post on that next week! For those who are travelling around for pre-reg interviews, ALL THE BEST! <3


Had a lovely lunch with my girlfriends at Ali Baba


Got a surprise CNY (Chinese New Year) card from a friend all the way from Malaysia!



Received these beautiful tulips from my boyfriend


Ordered in some Thai food!


My new monthsary gift boardgame, CLUEDO


Pharmacy students gotten our Pharmacy Hoodies:)


Peeps and I practising for our CNY dance on the 15th Feb


Lunch at Revs with my girlfriend


Monument, Newcastle


Lunch at Wagamama (Jap restaurant) in Newcastle


Found my favourite Japanese snack in Newcastle, Chocolate Panda Biscuits!


Wagamama Ramen


Brunch at Yates today right after gym


Pre-reg Training in Community Pharmacies (Interviews)

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Hey there,

Some of my friends are currently in the process of getting their pre-reg placements sorted out and most have already gotten a position in a pharmacy so thought I’d share my experience! 🙂

… Rewind back to summer 2013, I had to fly back to Sunderland earlier than planned as I have gotten a few interviews around England. I distinctively liked this particular community pharmacy down in Kent and chose to attend only their interview. So yea, I really wanted to do my pre-reg training there and I made sure I was going to be all well prepared. The whole interview session took me 3 hours as I had to sit for an exam, get through a written interview and then an oral interview (some interviews won’t even take an hour so it all depends on the pharmacy). Thank God it went well and I was offered the pre-reg position the week after. Just to share, here are some tips to get you prepared for a community pharmacy interview and trust me, it’s not that difficult.


  •  Know your CV (cover letter/résumé) by heart!-There’s a certain format to write up your CV (For foreign students, UoS’ helpers from Careers and Employability service will be able to guide you on this- Find out more on:
  • Prepare for questions about yourself– Strengths, weaknesses, talents, experiences, why should you be hired? etc.
  • Read the BNF everyday!-Familiarise yourself with common medications, side effects, drug interactions, dose etc.
  • Know all your dispensing details. Requirements for an FP10, Vet, Private, Controlled drugs & legal information etc.
  • Be up-to-date with the pharmacy world-For instance, budget cuts- read the news about NHS, why RPSGB has been changed to GPhc etc.
  • Practice numeracy calculations
  • Remember counseling points-Popular ones always being asked are Metronidazole, steroids etc.
  • Dress to impress!-Remember that you are in a professional line.
  • Role play with friends-Gives you more confidence in carrying yourself and answering questions.
  • Smile and let your personality shine 🙂

If you cannot get someone to role play with you, try recording yourself on your videocam/phone and watch how you can improve. It gives you a clearer view of your body language and yourself speaking. You could also try it in front of the mirror! Other pharmacies such as Boots, Lloyds, Superdrug work differently in picking up candidates for interview. They’re very much recommended as they will look really good on your CV after you’ve undergone training with them. But first, it is important that you try applying for summer placements with them (it’ll just make it easier for you to be pre-reg pharmacists there!). For summer placements, they usually provide questionnaires to see how well you answer them online and then they will call you up for an interview.

PS: Pharmacy students who are not in the final year yet, please try and get yourself a summer placement while studying in order to gain as much experience as possible. Break a leg!

~Natasha K~

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Me and My Randomness

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Hey guys!

Here’s a video of me playing on the keys with blindfold on- just wanted to try out something new today. It helps me release stress! 😛


Thursday, January 16th, 2014

So there are no lectures for Year 4s this week as we are having the mock OSCEs! As for some of us, we’ve got our placements this week as well and I just had my last community pharmacy placement last Monday at Chopwell, Newcastle (sad to say we’ve only got just a few months more before we graduate- that is if I pass all of my exams (chuckles) *fingers crossed*). Anyway, back to the mock OSCE, I have spoken to a few of my course mates and most of us claimed that we will fail at least one station and that this was a great practice before the real one in April. Please play my video below for more details.:)


downloadimages MEP 37 3d oxford-handbook-of-clinical-medicine

January Week 1 Update

Sunday, January 12th, 2014


January 1 2014 Happy New Year Calendar Free Download


Hiya & Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone’s coping well with first week of uni. As for me, I have been going to the library a lot to meet up with some of my friends to discuss and prepare for the mock OSCE next week. To keep myself even more active mentally and physically, I have also finally joined the gym at City Space. To be honest, I was really impressed with their facilities having so many types of work out machines and personalised monitors to gauge the distance, speed, heart rate, calories you’ve burned based on your weight and age. Well suffice to say, I am not quite of a gym fan as I normally take dancing as a work out session itself (hehe) but I’m glad I have been cultivating a good habit of going to the gym everyday apart from today as I’ll be heading out to church soon! Find out about city space gym here:

Apart from gymming, my boyfriend and I have decided to fix our Tuesdays for movie/game nights at the cinema/Tenpin (Bowling and Game Centre) so scroll down for pictures. Also, I will be going on for my community placement in Chopwell, Newcastle tomorrow so stay tuned for my vlog on pharmacy placements end of this month! 🙂 Have a great weekend!!



Gym-ming at City Space


Empire Cinema


One of my favourite restaurants

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Back to Uni (OSCE)

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to uni! Current final MPharm students are now rushing off our second last Problem Based Learning (PBL) assignment for M11 module. It’s an assignment on various pharmaceutical approaches as pharmacists to provide suitable care for cancer patients. So yes, the M11 module for us is mostly about treatment of various types of cancer in Term 1 and infectious diseases (i.e HIV) which will commence this term.

We’ve also got our OSCEs to prepare for as our mocks are taking place next week as well as our placements (community and Interprofessional Learning (IPL)). So we’re given the chance to take the whole of next week off from lectures and seminars just to focus on our OSCEs and placements. For your information, OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination is designed to test clinical skill performance and competence in communication skills as well as clinical skills for students in the healthcare line. There are 6 stations in total and we are given 7 minutes each station. We are all tested on:

  1. OTC (Over the counter) counselling 
  2. Clinical issue on a prescription
  3. Clinical Query
  4. Accuracy Check
  5. POM (Prescription only medication) counselling
  6. Legal Issue

This will be our first ever OSCE practice exam for final years and I know most of us are quite stressed about this as we don’t really know what to expect until we go through next week’s mock sessions. Hopefully all will turn out well & that this will prepare us for the real OSCE exam end of this term. I’ve attached some videos below to provide some examples of how OSCE scenarios are like so please watch them if you’re interested especially future pharmacists!


More Pictures from Christmas & New Year

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

So you’ve seen my video on one of my most unforgettable trip in Romania and here are MORE pictures to share!:)

Romania is such a beautiful country! I cannot contain myself from saying that almost half of the country is covered with untouched natural ecosystems which tells us that the forest flora and fauna is well reserved and maintained. I absolutely love this country and I am definitely going back there again to visit. So I hope you’ll enjoy these amazing pictures I’ve picked out to publish. Happy starting uni my fellow readers!


My first time having a real xmas tree!


Our unfinished decorated xmas tree


Chinese food before our movie- The Hobbit 2



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  • 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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