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Home  »   Latest NewsPDA Students   »   Student e-newsletter – April 2021

Student e-newsletter – April 2021

In this edition, read first-hand accounts of how MPharm students across the UK are coping with studying during a global pandemic. 

Thu 22nd April 2021 The PDA

In this issue:
  • Useful tips and helpful learning techniques for the OSCEs
  • How the coronavirus crisis has impacted on pharmacy students
  • What I’ve found out talking to pharmacy students
  • Adjusting to blended learning: A day in the life of a first-year MPharm student
  • PDA student careers event success
  • PDA NAWP IWD2021 event – Women Leading in Pharmacy
  • First PDA BAME Network event hailed a success
  • Follow the PDA Student Reps on Instagram!
  • Getting in touch

Useful tips and helpful learning
techniques for the OSCEs

By Sarah-Ann Famakinwa, third-year MPharm student, Wolverhampton University

As future pharmacists, it is important that we develop our communication skills. This includes verbal and non-verbal communication. During our pharmacy degree, we have classes and exams to practise and see where we can improve.

Whether working in a hospital, community, GP or practising in class, how we communicate helps us to properly consult. It also affects the trust that patients and other healthcare providers have in us.

Always start by introducing yourself with your name and role. It is important to put a name to your face for familiarity. After asking for the patient’s name, age or date of birth, and address, ask the patient what their presenting complaint is, then ask for the patient’s consent to continue.

For privacy and patient confidentiality, in a community pharmacy setting, ask the patient if they would like to go into the consultation room. In a hospital setting, you would close the dividing curtains. Ask the patient if they would like a chaperone with them during the consultation.



How the coronavirus crisis has impacted
on pharmacy students

By Jay Patel, fourth-year MPharm student, De Montfort University 

During the early stages of the pandemic, I didn’t have a clue what would happen. I didn’t know if there were going to be exams, so I focused on helping out. I did a month of just working every day. Eventually, I got Covid-19 and had to self-isolate. After that, I started thinking about studying again and it seemed like my course was going to continue, though I kept working.

I had done a bit of work in pharmacies, but I had minimal experience. Where I ended up volunteering was a busy pharmacy so suddenly, I was going into real-world stuff.

At university, they tell us a lot about best practices, but in that environment, a lot of that cannot apply. You can’t ask all the questions you want to, it’s impractical. The experience, although difficult, was really beneficial.



What I’ve found out talking to pharmacy students

By Hannah Baker, PDA Student Recruitment Assistant

One of the overarching issues affecting most students, unsurprisingly, is online learning. Although some are still attending labs, social distancing means that mingling with fellow students is near impossible. Asynchronous lectures seem to have been adopted in lieu of lives for many reasons (poor wifi, time management, crammed timetables). This means that although students can avoid breakout rooms, the majority of their studying is solo.

A piece in the PDA’s BAME newsletter written by Nahim Khan, academic, GP practice pharmacist, and PDA Regional Committee Member highlights how many lecturers and students alike are missing face-to-face teaching. Despite the desire to continue learning in the safest way possible during the pandemic, the struggle to feel connected via teams seems pretty much universal.



Adjusting to blended learning: A day in the
life of a first-year MPharm student

By Caroline Matthew, first-year MPharm student at De Montfort University

Becoming a PDA student representative has massively aided the transition process this year. It has been beneficial conversing and liaising with pharmacy students of all years across the country who are going through the same thing right now. The PDA is a supportive community, and it has allowed me to learn many things about pharmacy, especially the legal aspects of it.

Being a first-year pharmacy student in the current climate has been challenging. I’ve gone from seeing my friends and professors on campus daily to attending most of my lectures in my room. The transition from an in-person foundation year to blended learning was unprecedented, but we’ve found ways to adapt.



PDA student careers event success

The PDA’s student event “Life as a pharmacist; What to expect from a range of settings” provided student members with the chance to speak to pre-reg and pharmacy professionals.

One of the speakers, hospital pre-reg pharmacist Holli Brown, said: “I felt inspired from the event and hearing from such amazing, hard-working individuals in my profession. I was so impressed with the turnout and engagement from the MPharm students. I feel confident that the future of pharmacy is going to be very bright!”

We plan on holding more free student events in the future. If you have any suggestions for future webinars, email your thoughts to:


PDA NAWP IWD2021 event – Women Leading in Pharmacy

Recently, four female pharmacists in leading roles offered their insights into their careers, how they found their passions, and what they wish they had known when they started out. Some key takeaways were to be curious and try different roles early in your career. Be confident in your professionalism and unique skill set and knowledge, work hard and be persistent.

Learn more here.


First PDA BAME Network event hailed a success

The PDA BAME committee met on the 30 March to discuss the Covid-19 vaccine uptake amongst BAME communities, the practicalities of running a vaccine centre, and tackling myths regarding the Covid-19 vaccine.

Zahra Nawaz, PDA student rep and third-year at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “A really positive and insightful meeting by members of the PDA BAME Network. It was especially great to hear the discussion of how we can promote confidence and trust amongst BAME members of the community to promote uptake of the Covid vaccines.”

Students can join the PDA’s EDI Networks for FREE. It gives you the opportunity to join in on events like this where you can learn more and bring your questions to the committee and speakers.

Learn more here.


Follow the PDA Student Reps on Instagram!

Keeping up to date with the PDA’s campaigns and news can be tricky when you’re busy, so PDA student reps have set up a PDA student Instagram account. We hope it can help to inform students about what the PDA is doing at universities and the wider pharmacy sector as well as giving some top tips from our student reps to help students throughout their MPharm.

We want PDA student members to know they’re part of a community, so we hope that this page can bring students across the UK together.


Getting in touch

We want the PDA student newsletter to be representative of students’ experiences. If you would like to feature in a future issue, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing your views to:

We also encourage you to forward this email to pharmacy students who are not yet members of the PDA. Membership is FREE to students and pre-regs. Join today!








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