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Archive for April, 2014

Natasha Kam

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Pharmacy OSCE Vlog

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

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Finally had my turn for the Objective Structured Clinical Examination last Wednesday in Dale Building. I can now fully concentrate on my 3 written papers. YAY!

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My course mate and I preparing for OSCE

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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right University

Monday, April 28th, 2014

First of all, Don’t panic! It’s a huge decision as you’ll be spending a whole lot of time here and it determines your future as well. Specific particular experiences/things I looked out for before I came over to UoS were priorities such as:

  1. Tuition Fees – I don’t want to have my parents go broke!
  2. Surrounding/Environment/Location
  3. Reputation and History
  4. Faculty – Lecturers & staffs
  5. Cost of Living
  6. Accommodation
  7. People – Sunderland is in the North East region and people here are extremely friendly!
  8. Weather – I love the cold (Malaysia is too hot for me!)
  9. Food
  10. Transportation– Is it easy to get around?
  11. Friends
  12. Clubs and Societies – I really wanted to join dance and choir & I saw that UoS have them both!
  13. Uni facilities – Libraries, Laboratories, Equipment, Gym, Swimming pool etc
  14. How you’ll be examined (coursework/exams, written/OSCE)
  15. Work experiences & Job opportunities – Placements offered by the uni
  16. Extra services like the language courses offered here in UoS (free!)- French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese etc.

 

As for me, it was really easy. After deciding that I would do the twinning program with SEGI, Malaysia and UoS, with a blink of an eye, I was already in 3rd year and the next thing I knew were that the staffs of UoS Centre in Subang Jaya, Malaysia helped us out with our accommodation, got our flights and transportation prepared from Newcastle airport to Sunderland. Most people normally take the Metro from the airport but we had a bus chartered for us SEGI students and we were welcomed by some of our seniors and UoS staff members. We took loads of pictures! I remembered everyone was so excited!

If you’re a Malaysian student, click here for more details:

http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/international/yourcountry/southeastasiaoffice/malaysia/

In pharmacy school, some universities are more focus and specialised on research teachings and some like UoS are very practical and patient-oriented with loads of counselling, communication which was what I wanted. I have no interest in working in labs or in research companies in the future (not that you can’t go into that, but I wanted more practical stuff which will be useful in the pharmacy/hospital). I am proud to say that I have made the right choice coming here as I am really happy with the course modules and learning experiences! In a nutshell, it’s not that difficult to pick the right uni! You just need to make a list of potential universities with advantages and disadvantages & shortlist them. Having said that, do not let this list stop you from attending any university open days- Keep your options WIDE open and always trust your instincts!

 

All the Best!

~Natasha~

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Easter Celebration in Sunderland

Monday, April 21st, 2014

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Hiya everybody! Yesterday was Easter Sunday and I’ve got loads to share with you about what I did in Sunderland.:)

First of all, I hope that everyone is enjoying the Easter break (it’s bank holiday today) and that you have gotten yourselves some Easter eggs. Most importantly, the true meaning of Easter is to celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour. But Why Eggs?! Some people may ask… Well it’s a symbol of life where everything new starts off from an egg.

Two days ago (which was Saturday), UoS’ Connect Team organised a Laser Quest activity just a few minutes walk from Bridges Shopping Mall, Sunderland. I’ve only been to paint-balling so far so it was my very first laser quest adventure! About 18 of us showed up so we divided ourselves into two teams and my team (green team) beat the red team (YAY!). The fee was only 5 pounds per person for 2 games, each of which lasted for about 15 minutes. It was extremely fun especially with the space-like shooting area. I’m pretty sure each and everyone of us would come again if Connect were to organised another laser-quest event! So if you are not afraid of the dark and have got no problems with vision (it can be quite smokey inside)- Please come and join us next time!

Like Connect’s Facebook Page for University Events and Activities: https://www.facebook.com/USSUCONNECT

Here’s the website to Laser-quest, Sunderland: http://www.laserquest.co.uk/locate/laser-quest-sunderland/

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So yea that was Saturday:).. Connect also held an easter event at Northshore on Friday where students can come together and paint some eater eggs, play some games, wrap up easter bunnies with toilet paper (haha- to be as creative as possible) etc. Winners got home with tonnes of chocolate easter eggs!  As for Sunday, I attended the morning church service at CityLife Church with Pastor Kevin and his family. After that, we spent a nice lovely lunch at one of our very close friends’ home- We had soo much food! Romanian, Korean to English Yorkshire puddings! Later in the evening, I came home and did a little bit of studying before my boyfriend and I made this delicious lamb for our dinner. Pictures below! Blessed Easter you guys!

 

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Malaysian Food Checklist

Monday, April 21st, 2014

In ONE MONTH and TWO DAYS… I will be flying back home to Malaysia for three weeks!:)

I am counting the days and hours because I can’t wait to go home to food heaven so I’ve made a food checklist and I’m making sure that I’m going to engulf them once I arrive (haha like an amoeba) XD  !

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Malaysian Food Checklist

So studying and revisions are going well for myself. As a reward, I have been dining out quite a lot again..

Well, our brains need substantial nutrients for learning and memory so apart from getting good night’s sleep and doing small work-outs,  I would make sure that I eat well which defines having:

1. Healthy fats – Omega-3 fatty acids like fish (salmon and cod!), flaxseed oil, nuts, wheatgerm and eggs

2. Antioxidants – Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach. Tomatoes, carrots and all kinds of berries are really rich with anti-oxidants too!

3. Water – Always remember to hydrate yourself! Our body’s made up of over 70% of water.

4. Proteins – Brain food again like eggs, dairy products, soya beans etc.

5. Fiber for your daily and regular “excretions” (LOL)- Vegetables and fruits!

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Newly opened Nudo Japanese restaurant in Sunderland (opposite Burger King and Sunderland Metro Station)

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Lovin’ my sushi!

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Dinner at Revolution with the Livesonline bloggers and some of the staffs/students of UoS

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Made asparagus, dumplings and brown rice

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Champion breakfast at Yates and visited the Pet shop (goshh I soo want a dog!)

 

Revision Revision Revision…

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Hey readers! I would like to start off by thanking you for constantly reading my blog and for the lovely comments you have posted!:) Also, thanks for all of your messages on facebook. Hope everything is going well and that I will be able to meet some of you here in UoS the next academic year (Yes I will still be around *giggles*- I’ll tell you why in the next upcoming blogposts so stay tuned!)…

So back to my daily study routine… I have been going around to St. Peter’s campus library as it is quieter there. Most pharmacy students will be at Murray Library, City Campus so thought I’d change my study environment and surrounding… Last weekend, I went over to some of my girlfriends’ places to bunk a night or two and we did loads of revisions together especially for the OSCE. I study better with interacting with people so we will definitely be doing this again (group study) the next few days. It’s just a week plus more to my first exam! Can’t wait to finish and graduate! Weee…!

 

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My little pharmacy corner in the house

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Studying at St. Peters (Quiet Room)

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Library Selfie

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Admiring the view on Monkwearmouth bridge

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Pharmacy School 2014 Class Photo

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Took a break from studies and watched this non-narrative movie (Meditation)

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Kimchi Fried Rice prepared by my little minion friend, Sue

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Breakfast at girlfriend’s place

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Sue with her Kimchi fried rice

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‘Twas palm Sunday and my mum sent me a photo of her preparing palm crosses with the Sunday school kids back in Malaysia

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Midnight craves- Maggie mee (Instant noodles)

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Pharmacy Exams (Year 4)

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

So exams are just around the corner and the stress level is rising…!!!

Here’s a video on the modules and topics that we are learning in Year 4.

Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions on https://www.facebook.com/pharmacystudentnatasha. 🙂

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Updates

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A quick update on what I’ve been up to. Hope everyone’s coping well with revisions and safe journey to those who are going back home for easter!:)

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Shout-out of the Month: Leonard Tan

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Hello all! This month’s shout-out goes to Leonard Tan, pre-reg pharmacist currently working in Norchem Pharmacy, Newcastle. He was a SEGI/University of Sunderland student and he’s got tonnes to share with us especially about starting up his day with FP10MDA prescriptions he’s been working with!

 

1. What is it like working as a pre-reg pharmacist?

Like all jobs, as long as you have supportive colleagues (including your supervisor/tutor), they are enjoyable providing that you love what you do. Working as a pre-reg pharmacist is like you are finally exercising the knowledge you have gained over the past few years and that you’re putting it into practice. I enjoy talking to patients and trying to help them however possible with regards to any issues they may have with their medication and as a pre-reg pharmacist I am able to do so. I feel satisfied if I can make a positive change in a patient’s life in the pharmacy setting and I guess that’s what has encouraged me to go down this road.

 

2. What experiences have you had in the pharmacy setting?

Over the previous summer I did a 10 weeks placement for Norchem down in Snowdon’s Pharmacy in Sunderland. This was the only experience I had acquired prior to this. Recently I have taken part in the cross-training with North Tyneside General Hospital and that went great. I can still vaguely remember struggling to get a summer placement during my third year and attending interviews in May during the written exam period. Thank God everything turn out well in the end.

 

3. Why did you choose to work in the community pharmacy?

I was offered to do my pre-reg placement with Norchem a few weeks after I started my summer placement. The opportunity was presented to me and I grabbed it without hesitation after previously applying for a hospital placement but luck was not on my side. I enjoyed working in the hospital during the cross-training, it tests your clinical knowledge and makes you think more. You have not only the medication history of a patient in front of you, but also any past medical history, presenting issue/disease/cause of admission, different organs’ function tests to take into account when any medication needs to be initiated/added for a particular patient. The RPS is currently fighting for all registered pharmacists to be able to access patient health records and it’s only a matter of time before we are able to so. I guess that would be the day I am looking forward to.

 

4. What is your daily routine like?

As a pre-reg pharmacist, we have competencies to be signed off by our tutors at the end of our pre-reg year. What we do this year is quite but not extensively, governed by those competencies. I was given the task to deal with all FP10MDA prescription and so I start my day off by making sure all these prescriptions are ready and that supplies are available. Aside from this I am also in charge of maintaining the stock balance of all medication in the pharmacy including the controlled drugs. I will also settle any queries regarding prescriptions with the doctors in the surgery next door. Lunch is vital! I have an hour lunch break to boost my energy back up. I also have an hour to study a day. I handle all NMS cases in the pharmacy and any OTC queries and my name echoes throughout the pharmacy all day because of this. Every now and then I will be asked to check for dispensing accuracy and interactions and I phone up the NPA for extra information if necessary.

 

5. What are your plans for the future?

My immediate plan would be to pass the pre-reg exam of course. I haven’t thought much about the future and to be honest I’m just taking things a step at a time but I will definitely work towards being an independent prescriber.

 

6. How is working life different from being a student?

Lets start with the differences. Working life is like putting theory and knowledge into practice. All the exercises that we did in legal and clinical seminars come to life. You will see scripts with no signatures on a day to day basis and CD Rx without dose information. Fascinating stuff. You will experience interaction with patients more often than you are accustomed to. Depending on the area you work these interactions can be quite interesting and certainly unique. I work in Byker and trust me, it is INDEED interesting! Apart from that you will have interact a lot with the other professionals as well, for me it’s mainly interation with the community nurses and the doctors from the next door surgery. An extra difference is that you can literally feel that your pocket is heavier by the passing of each hour because you get PAID! In general, the similarity of both working and student life is that there is constant drama and gossips! 🙂

 

7. What do you miss most from being a student?

Sleep. Time. Friends….Sleep…. More sleep. 🙂

 

8. Advice for future pre-reg pharmacists?

The first day you turn up for work will be a lasting memory for each of the staff members you work with. I’d also recommend that you choose the place you want to work at wisely. For example when working at Seahouses you will mostly be exposed to travelling OTC queries. If you do not have a surgery nearby you will have fewer opportunities for inter-professional interactions. If you work in hospitals your clinical skills are tested constantly, but you might not get to experience the business side of the job like what you would in community pharmacy, so choose wisely. Start applying now if you haven’t already done so.

 

Leonard Tan

Here’s Leonard Tan looking sharp!

 

 

 

 

  • 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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