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BPSA Public Health Campaign: The Cardiff Story

As a National Representative of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) at the Cardiff School of Pharmacy I work with fellow BPSA National Representatives here at the school to organise various events throughout the academic year. I have been very fortunate to be part of a strong, friendly and proactive team whose aim is to get more pharmacy students involved with the BPSA. We understand that not every pharmacy student is able to participate in BPSA events so we decided that one way we could get pharmacy students to be more involved was by carrying out a BPSA Public Health Campaign here in our own School of Pharmacy.

Raising Awareness!

  Despite the best efforts of many, pharmacy teams still tend to operate in traditional sector-specific silos with little communication or collaboration between them. As financial and operational challenges really start to hit our workloads we have less time to discuss problems or learn and share with others, even as the wider benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration become more important. Despite these pressures, most of us still find time to be active online.  On average, social media users in 2015 had 5 to 6 different social media accounts - 320 million of which were on Twitter - and it’s here that we bring together pharmacy professionals looking to break out of their silos, communicate, network, collaborate and innovate.

Don’t Put your Lab Coat Away Just Yet…

To be honest with you, the idea of placements used to (and still does) scare me; mostly because of the number of let downs I’ve been faced with. During the summer of my second year, I undertook a laboratory studentship at the Guy Hilton Research Centre.

Industrial Opportunities for Pharmacists

Throughout my time as an undergraduate pharmacy student I was focused on becoming a hospital pharmacist, and for the first few years of my degree I didn’t even consider any other options. It was purely by chance during my third year that I found an advert for an industrial pharmacy summer placement programme and decided to apply – I had always assumed there was no chance of getting into the pharmaceutical industry as it seemed so competitive and I didn’t know anyone who had done that route.

Industrial Summer Placements

If you are interested in pursuing an industrial pre-registration place you should be aware that certain companies require you to have previous experience with them; via their undergraduate summer placement scheme.

My Year as a BPSA International Representative 15/16

Are you passionate about student pharmacy? Thinking of joining BPSA as a rep for your School of Pharmacy? Why not check out this timeline sneak-peak of my year!

Summer Placements

Hopefully you’re now back at uni and steaming through your assignments, or piling them up in the corner hoping they will disappear! Well it’s time to start thinking about what you are going to do with next summer to fill up your CV. What opportunities are available for pharmacy students?

Summer Placements and Opportunities

In the 10 years since I was an undergraduate, the number of pharmacy schools has grown resulting in fierce competition for pre-registration places and therefore opportunities for pharmacy experience, in particular summer placements.

How to make the most of your community placement

So you’ve managed to secure a placement for yourself in a community pharmacy? Fantastic, well done! Whether this is your first placement or one of several, the following are some general tips you can keep in mind to help ensure you have a successful and enjoyable experience.

Aspirations and Expectations of Pharmacy Students

The BPSA are pleased to launch their annual freshers survey. This year, we’re also inviting responses from students in other years of study. The survey can be accessed here.

Future Pharmacist - July 2016

Welcome to Future Pharmacist: PDS Clinic Edition July 2016. In this issue we focus on assessing travel health risks. Pharmacists provide a wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics to inform and educate the public.

Hospital interviews: signed, sealed, delivered? It could be yours…

It’s that time of the year where those of you who have decided to embark upon a career in hospital pharmacy will have either submitted your application or will be applying the final tweaks. It is a nerve-wracking time, to say the least, and those of you sending off applications will be on tenterhooks until those replies arrive. However there are better ways to spend your time than developing RSI from clicking the refresh button. Now that the applications have gone, preparation is the key. Last year, when I was in the same position that some of you are, I was determined to be ready for any questions thrown at me.

Clinical Pharmacy in the Community

Every pharmacist is a clinical pharmacist! But how does one move from ‘pharmacist’ to ‘clinical pharmacist’? In my view, this transition occurs as soon as pharmacists begin to deliver pharmaceutical care with patients… so probably within the first five minutes of being a practicing pharmacist!

The Future of Pharmacy is in our Hands

Hopefully, like me, you’re enjoying your time at university and excited for what lies ahead once you enter practice. Along the way, we might hear some horror stories and get dissuaded by the naysayers. I urge you to hold onto that appetite that brought you to study pharmacy in the first place! Your career is whatever you make of it, and a willingness to get stuck in will pay off. We may only be taking our baby steps into the world of pharmacy, but make no mistake that we have a voice and our opinions and aspirations are taken seriously.

Assisted Dying

As the Group Leader of the Pharmacy Law and Ethics group at RGU, my job is to get pharmacy students engaged with all things related to pharmacy law and ethics.  Needless to say, law and ethics underpin the pharmacy profession.  It is not black and white but very much a grey area in which decisions vary with each individual, but that is what makes the subject so interesting!

Careers in Focus - Lottie Bain

Lottie Bain Pharmaceutical Development Graduate, AstraZeneca What does your current role involve and how did you end up with your current job? I completed my pre-registration year in hospital, and had an absolutely fantastic experience. However, I have always been interested in all sectors of pharmacy and had summer placement experience in community, hospital and industry as an undergraduate.

Excel in your Summer Exams!

Exams; we've been doing them for quite a while now. So you think we'd be used to them, prepared for them, ready to face the seemingly never ending assessment process of a pharmacy student's life. And yet, the majority of us will spend the next few months with rocketing levels of stress, sleep deprivation and the dreaded eye bag "I don't know what sleep is anymore" look. Keep reminding yourself that it is all worth it in the end!

Future Pharmacist - Spring 2016

Welcome to the Spring 2016 edition of Future Pharmacist. We have a veritable feast of informative and  exciting content to see you through to summertime, so whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something to whet your appetite. BPSA President, Lottie Bain, explains to us how members can get involved with our BPSA campaigns. These are designed to promote your views in the wider world of pharmacy and help us to advocate for a better future. Annual Conference is coming up very soon. This is a life-changing early step on your journey in the world of pharmacy, and I look forward to seeing you there! Annual conference organisers Charlotte and Izzie give us a sneak preview of what they have lined up. Our CPPE professional development article gives us expert advice on honing your communication skills, all-important for providing good care to patients. If you haven’t heard of MedicinesComplete, check out our review of this comprehensive database. It could come in very handy during report writing. To download Future Pharmacist, click here.

Get Involved! - March 2016

Hello, and welcome to the March edition of Get Involved! With our Annual Conference just weeks away, spring is in the air and we can begin looking forward to summer. Other than taking a well-deserved break and some time away from university, some of you might be looking to build your skillset, and work towards becoming better future pharmacists and people. To give you inspiration, we have some top students writing about how they’ve developed as well-rounded individuals, honed their soft skills, and how you can get involved too. Saman Kay chose to help others by working with the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, who provide representation and development opportunities to pharmacy students. As the Southern Region Student Coordinator, Saman gained valuable leadership skills. Find out more about his experience in his article. Our Pennine Area Coordinator, Laura Sile, has been dedicated to serving BPSA members through using her soft skills, and gives us an overview of their importance. This month’s Careers in Focus is from Sarah Holliday, a Lead pharmacist in Diabetes Medicines Safety. What skills do you have which could help you follow a similar path? I hope to see some of you in Cardiff for our Annual Conference. For those of you who can’t make it, there will be a plenty of updates and discussion via Twitter. Have your say in matters and join in with the discussions by following @BPSA and your fellow pharmacy students. You can also follow events through the #BPSA74AC hashtag!  

BPSA & NPA Campaign Against Pharmacy Cuts #lovemypharmacy

Representatives and members of the BPSA are out today campaigning and collecting petition signatures against the proposed cuts to the community pharmacy budget.

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