Let’s just say…

The weekend has not been great.

Not that I want to sit and moan-type it all out, more that it is important to acknowledge that things aren’t going the way you planned, or wanted, and that sometimes it is just simply out of your control.

So the last couple of days have been pretty stressful and chaotic, but the week ahead is shaping up to be a busy and eventful time. I have two hospital placements coming up, one of which will be in the A&E department, as well as a learning forum event that -while I may usually sprint away from social events – I will make myself go to. And not just because they threaten to fine you if you don’t turn up, but it will be a valuable experience. The topic should focus on Parkinson’s Disease and as this is an important condition to understand for my future career, why not grab the opportunity with both hands and head to the event.

University projects are getting pretty heavy lately, and the revision is piling up around me (literally, my table is covered in books and notes so high its like a wall). So when I am not attending these events and placements, I should be hard at work studying. Hopefully it will all pay off some day.

 

So, just a brief update, but when I get more work done I will look to do more things and write them out.

 

 

Advertisements

Belated update on my life

I suppose it has been a very long time since I wrote anything at all, but that is not because nothing has happened. Instead, it is that too much has happened for me to even know where to start with a blog post.

So I guess I should just start!

The last couple of months of my life have been dedicated mostly to my final year research project – A.K.A. The Dissertation. This is one huge commitment and is filled with many nasty little surprises. Like figuring out how the hell to use SPSS.

SPSS is a statistical software, which would very conveniently help in the analysis of my quantitative data if I only knew how to use SPSS in the first place. It is like Microsoft Excel, but on steroids and then having been to the gym for about a year. In other words, it does fancy things with numbers if you know how to tickle it properly. Which, I do not. In fact, I have managed to squeeze out of it some descriptive stats and a few histograms…but that was after some long, tortuous hours and the results are not nearly enough to interpret the data set.

UGH! I hate stats.

On the other hand, the qualitative research side of things has been fun. Conducting interviews, carrying out observations and case studies…it is actually a lot more interesting than it sounds. Ok, maybe only a little bit more interesting than it sounds – but hey! next to stats it looks like a dream.

So aside from my day in, day out research there have been many other things happening too. Like learning how to drive – not that I have my license yet. In fact, the first practical test I failed in about 6 minutes. It was embarrassingly stupid but I was feeling pretty nervous and I knew that this bloody awful spiral round about was coming up – anyway, I was so focused on being in the right place and not dying on the roundabout that I forgot to look for the lights… You guessed it. I ran a red light.

Well, almost. The instructor slammed his foot down – “RED LIGHT LYNDSEY” – and I knew in that moment that it was over. But, instead of ending the test there and then in the first few minutes, I had to sit through the rest and drive through my manoeuvres knowing full well that it had been a waste of time and money and I was not getting that license.

Oh well. It happens. It wasn’t great to have wasted that money or sit silently on the drive home with my instructor with the sense that he was feeling more than a little disappointed…but you know what, it really doesn’t matter that much. It’s a driving test, not heart surgery – if I fail (and I did) then nothing truly bad happened because of it. Yeah, I have to take it again, spend more money, wait a little longer. But that is all extra experience added onto the fact that I am now super aware of the traffic lights on that roundabout – so, really, I am a better driver for it.

Other things happening are that I gained a penfriend! It has been quite exciting to get GOOD post, about things other than bank stuff and bills and pizza flyers. Finding out what someone is life, what their life is like, finding out who they are, and then sending off my own letters has been a lot more fun than I ever thought it would be. Sometimes, you really do just need small things to make your whole day seem much better.

I would need much more time to write about all the other things going on – which I will get round to! – but for now, I’m off to revise (sigh) and then sleep (yay).

 

I hope you have a great day 🙂

 

-L

I should start with an apology…

Sorry! It has been a very long time since my last post, and so much has happened in between then and now that I could spend all day writing updates. For now, I will gather together a few of the big things that have been going on and will be happening…

University

I am now entering my fourth and final (eek!) year of the Master of Pharmacy course at UCL. This upcoming year is going to be crammed full of projects, research, learning and preparing myself for the big wide world.

The biggest challenge recently has been to secure a pre-registration position following my degree. As a requirement of qualifying to practice pharmacy, you have to complete the GPhC registration exam following one year of learning and working in either a community, hospital or industrial setting. Pre-reg places in industry are scarce, so many tackle the hospital and community pharmacy application processes. However, as there are so many of us now, it is exceptionally competitive to get that hospital offer! For me, the process went like this:

Written Application – I spent a long time writing, re-writing and worrying about this. The application is your first line in selling your skills and so crucial to get that balance of professionalism and personality showing through. There were a number of questions that focused on experience and meeting guidelines… it can be tricky to make yourself stand out! So to ensure my written application wasn’t the newest sedative medication, I inflicted my writing on anyone near me. Thankfully, the advice and criticism I received paid off as my refined application took me to the next stage…

Stage 1: The Dreaded Calculations – it is a sad day when you find yourself excited about pharmaceutical calculations… I spent many hours in the days leading up to the Stage 1 (don’t ask why the second step was called stage 1) practicing and preparing for an onslaught of clinical and calculation based questions. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite expecting the questions on specific details of the logistics of the pre-reg year. But, though it took me by surprise, I managed to figure out answers and finish on time. At this stage, I was feeling pretty nervous. Just that morning I received two rejection e-mails! Without even having an interview! I was terrified and questioning my entire application… Luckily, my calculation enthusiasm must have paid off because I scored high enough to be called to interview for the hospitals in the South East and London…

Stage 2: Interview time – the dreaded interviews. No hiding. No running. No frantic Google searches for the online thesaurus. It was time to face the potential Big Boss. These interviews involved clinical questions, investigating experience and enthusiasm, even a small role play task to carry out! It was quite nerve wracking. But, to combat my nerves, I had on my battle armour…

20160922_072606

Results – waiting to hear from the hospitals…constantly checking e-mails…nervously pacing… It was the big day. And having had no offers so far, I was getting desperate to secure a place. When the e-mail popped up I was almost too nervous to take in the information – an offer! I had thankfully received an offer from both the South East (Darent Valley Hospital) and from London (Imperial College NHS Trust). I chose what was my very top preference – Imperial Hospitals! Yaaaay!

I am so thankful and excited for my upcoming pre-reg year at one of the Imperial College Hospitals. It is such a relief to know where I will be going in one year, and that it was the hospital trust of my dreams.

Before then, I just have to get through all of these fourth year projects!

xxx