Find a course.

Lives Online homepage

Subscribe to Lives Online

Archive for February, 2014

Natasha Kam

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Hong Kong/Malaysian Society, UoS

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Hello readers! Just last week, HK/MAS Society organised this authentic “Back to Oldies” Chinese New Year dinner celebration at North Shore and everyone had so much fun! We enjoyed a kind-of Great Gatsby theme and for a few hours, we were transported to a more simple and elegant period of time. There were soo many great performances- singing, dancing.. A bit of a reminder of the Chinese tradition.. Raffles, charades and of course a very rich dinner. There were games and also a best dress/dance-off competition which I am pleased to announce my boyfriend’d won. If you are still here next year, I recommend you give it a try even if you are not a Malaysian or a Honkee! There were students all the way from Greece, Canada and Indonesia who attended this event. Also, my girlfriends and I were involved in 2 Japanese/KPop dance performances. Scroll down for pictures! You can “Like” the HK/MAS page here on facebook to check out the videos on that night!



Dance rehearsal


Emcees Feliz and Ben in action

IMG_6185 - Copy


IMG_6190 - Copy

Best Dress Male- My boyfriend got a new pair of headphones!

IMG_6279 - Copy

Us before appearing on stage

IMG_6252 - Copy

Our second routine


Group photo of everyone who attended the night!

IMG_6146 IMG_6151 IMG_6155 IMG_6280 - Copy IMG_6282 - Copy - Copy IMG_6283 - Copy - Copy IMG_6284 - Copy - Copy IMG_6220 - Copy 1689016_10202936562994116_962340474_n


National Glass Centre, Sunderland

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Last Sunday after church, my boyfriend and I decided to go for a walk to check out the Oliver Goldsmith Collection in National Glass Centre at St. Peter’s (which is only a 20 minute walk away from City Campus). Check out the video to find out more! Oh and it’s free admission for all! Speak to Eduard Ruane if you are interested in glass and ceramics course in Sunderland:


1560424_612446632143821_895851106_n IMG_5733 IMG_5745 IMG_5746 IMG_5748 IMG_5750 IMG_5762 IMG_5752

Last Interprofessional Learning Placement

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Hey hey! How’s everyone catching up with all the assignments and projects? Hope everything is going on smooth and well!

It’s sad to say that I’ve had my last ever IPL at Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) at Newcastle. 🙁 In my previous blog posts, I have spoken about pharmacy placements and what we normally do during our IPL sessions so just to add-on, apart from learning how to mingle around with other healthcare professionals (general practitioners, nurses, specialists etc.), we get to discuss patient cases together where we as future pharmacists, would share our specialised  expertise of drug knowledge  with the medical students (vice versa)- Medic students are very much well-versed in diagnosing and prescribing so we have learnt quite a lot from them although it was just a 3-hour session. In short, pharmacists not only have to maintain a good relationship with patients and the public, but building a good rapport with other healthcare professionals especially doctors are very essential.

Anyway, right after our IPL session, I have burnt off so much brain fuel that I could eat a horse! My friends and I went by to Eldon Square, Newcastle to get some supplies & we enjoyed some Malaysian food at Rasa Nusantara (for Malaysians who yearn for food back home, this “mamak” restaurant offers traditional Malay food: I had my favourite “nasi goreng kerabu” (East Malaysian fried rice) with a hot cup of “teh tarik” (pulled-tea). Also, before heading home to Sunderland, we got ourselves some sushi box for our lunch the next day at Nudo just right around the corner of the metro station at Haymarket (I know! We’re all food-lovers:)). Scroll down for pictures please.

PS: As much as students think that placements are tiring (because of the travelling) and what not, I’m pretty sure most of us are already starting to miss them. To future pharmacy final year students, please make full use of your pharmacy placements, with a blink of an eye, you’ll find yourself out there in the real world- ASK, INTERACT, PARTICIPATE & ENJOY! 🙂


Us all wrapped up to avoid the rain, making our way to the IPL centre


Found this really cute MINI Clinical Handbook from the medic students


IPL session about to start


Mamak in UK!


Nasi goreng kerabu *drools*


Nasi lemak ayam

IMG_6098 IMG_6107 IMG_6109 IMG_6116

Japanese Fooood!!!!

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Hey guys!

So I’ve promised some of you that I’ll interview some of my Japanese friends in Sunderland on their traditional delicacies and Tomoko was really really kind to have given me some free lessons on how to make sushi & LOAADs more! Enjoy the video & sayonara! Japanese meal this weekend perhaps? 🙂


Meet Reika and Tomoko from Japan

Meet Reika and Tomoko from Japan

Our lovely Jap dinner- Lovin' Jap food to the MAX!

Our lovely Jap dinner- Lovin’ Jap food to the MAX!


Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

It’s less than a month to March, April will be our study break and our final examinations will be held in May already! :O

Everyone is rushing off their Final Year Projects which is due next month and my group & I have got a presentation on an ethical dilemma case next week. We’ve also got our very first mock numeracy exam tomorrow (I haven’t even prepared for that yet)!! After that will be our last group PBL (Problem-based learning) presentation on infectious bacterial & we’re just one tiny step to graduating. I’m excited and stressed at the same time.. There’s so much to do so little time! But then again,  ” The bad news is time flies, the good news is you’re the pilot!”

Coursework Checklist for MPharm Final Year Students

Coursework Checklist for MPharm Final Year Students

Mowbray Park

Friday, February 14th, 2014


I love going for walks around Sunderland especially right after a tiring gym session. My boyfriend and I would head to Yates which is just in the heart of Sunderland city centre for brunch when I’d order my all time favourite All-Day Breakfast! After that lovely meal, we would head to the opposite side of the road where the Museum and Winter Gardens are (FREE ENTRY). The Museum contains a large collection of the locally made Sunderland Lustreware  pottery and other highlights:stuffed Lion, the remains of a Walrus brought back from Siberia in the 1880s and the first Nissan car to be made in Sunderland. Mowbray Park is just right outside of the Winter Gardens and I would normally bring along a loaf of bread to feed the swans, pigeons, seagulls and ducks. It’s very relaxing! Scroll down for pictures! 🙂


Brunch at Yates

Brunch at Yates


Winter Gardens, Sunderland

Winter Gardens, Sunderland

fill IMG_5576 IMG_5564 IMG_5565 IMG_5567 IMG_5566

Shout-out of the Month: Charity Murefu

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Hello readers! It’s time for a shout-out again! This month, I’ve interviewed Charity from Zimbabwe who is an ex-student from University of Sunderland. She has been a practising pharmacist  for 4 & a half years with different experiences from community to working in the hospital outpatient sector. Read on to find out more!:)


  1. How is working as a pharmacist different from your home country?

I have never had the opportunity to experience pharmacy back home, but I would assume that it is a totally different system. Healthcare is mainly privatised unlike here in the UK where it is funded by the government. In addition, the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist in each country differ, based on the influence they are legally and professionally allowed to make within healthcare for that particular country.


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

During my years as a pharmacy student, I did summer placements in different parts of the country, all with Lloyds Pharmacy. This was since my first year as a student and then I later joined the company as a pre-reg pharmacist. After I qualified, I stayed with the company as a relief pharmacist for a year and then took up the position as a store based pharmacy manager.  Following this I went back to being a relief manager until recently.


3. What do you like about working in your field?

I love working in hospital outpatients because it places me between primary and secondary care. In saying this, I mean that I get both the feel of hospital and community. It’s a great learning environment in the hospital as I have the opportunity to work with complex drugs and patients. This places me in a position of escalated continuing professional development. However, the most important reason I love my job is that I can make a difference in a patient’s life. In hospital by offering the counselling needed to start or continue therapies and, and in community by offering advanced services such as NMS and MURs, all in addition to the professional services we offer.


4. What is your daily routine like?

My routine depends on where I am placed on the day. In hospital, because I am still training, I do not have a set routine yet. However, it almost always starts with a team briefing and then the day begins. My role involves either clinically screening the scripts as they come in for relevance and accuracy, and contacting the relevant consultants where necessary, or I could be the one on the other side accuracy checking and counselling patients. In community it always starts with a steaming cup of coffee.  I make sure that we are all set for the day. Making sure medication is prepared in advance of the blue script patients coming in, methadone and buprenorphine supervisions and regular prescription checking, conducting MURs and NMS and giving advice on medication queries over the counter and on the telephone too. Lunchtime comes and I grab a quick bite then the show starts again until 6pm or 6:30pm depending on where I’m working.


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

Currently, due to the ever increasing price cuts (category M), the profession has a challenge at hand. For community this means finding other ways of bringing money into the profession. Thus we try to juggle a lot of services into the day which are definitely great for the patients, but my biggest question is, ‘do all these businesses have enough manpower for the work or will this leave the staff burned out and kill their love of pharmacy’?


6.What do you miss most from being a student and from studying in Uni of Sunderland?

I miss the long summer breaks. (Haha) The connections and having a lot of my friends around is a big miss for me.


7.Advice for future pharmacists?

You get what you put in, so work hard if you want to do well. Most of all have fun!!!!



CNY History & Celebration in Sunderland

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Just a few days ago, Chinese from all around the world celebrated the first day of CNY (31/1/2014). CNY is celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese for instance, China, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia, Nepal etc. Traditionally, this festival is a family event where everybody travels back home to meet their families and to visit relatives & friends- A practice known as “new-year visits”  (Chinese: 拜年; pinyin: bàinián).


This year is the 4711th Chinese year and 2014 is the year of the Green/Wooden Horse. The Chinese in the past used the stem-branch system to create their calendars where there are 10 stems and 12 branches in this system. The stems are named by the Yin-Yang and 5 elements of metal, water, wood, fire and earth while the animal names were used for branches. The branch sequence order is: Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig. It is said that horses are the favourites among the Chinese as they provide quick transportation before automobiles, so people can quickly reach their destinations. Horses also help win battles which therefore concludes that it is a symbol of traveling, competition and victory. So this year in China, people are saying that this year will bring them speedy success in all aspect.

Things we usually do during CNY:

  • Receive red envelopes 紅包, (hóngbāo) filled with money. Married couples give these out to unmarried adults and kids. The colour red is symbolises good luck and it is supposed to ward off evil spirits.
  • Play mahjong (麻將, má jiàng) – 4 player game
  • Launch fireworks on New Year’s Eve midnight to scare off monsters and ghosts
  • Avoid taboos (my family and I don’t believe in superstition though) but the following activities are avoided by most Chinese on CNY day 🙂

– Breaking dishes = bring bad luck

– Getting rid of trash = sweeping away good fortune

– Scolding children = signs of bad luck

– Crying = signs of bad luck

– Saying inauspicious words = signs of bad luck

– Sweeping the floor = bring bad luck

– Washing hair = bring bad luck

So yea, there’re loads more but I hope I’ve given an idea on what CNY actually is. Once again, GONG XI FA CHAI and Happy Chinese New Year to those who are celebrating!


12 Chinese Zodiac Sign



Our fantastic hot-pot dinner in Shanghai Manor, Sunderland


Yee-sang (Prosperity toss)


Us in red

IMG_5702 IMG_5697 IMG_5707 IMG_5618 IMG_5616 IMG_5642 IMG_5637 IMG_5644 IMG_5649 IMG_5662 1625740_621933997861751_49643911_n


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

Find out more about the University of Sunderland:

Contact the Helpline: