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

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