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Student e-newsletter – November 2020

In this issue, we hear from students on how they have overcome obstacles while studying during a global pandemic. We also have some top tips for studying from home, highlight some recent student-related stories and share how you can become a PDA Student Rep.

Thu 5th November 2020 The PDA


Welcome to the latest PDA Student Update

In this issue, we hear from students on how they have overcome obstacles while studying during a global pandemic. We also have some top tips for studying from home, highlight some recent student-related stories and share how you can become a PDA Student Rep.

If you would like to share your story, or if you have a key topic that you feel we should include in a future mailing, please email your thoughts to: We welcome all feedback.

Please share this mailing with your peers and let them know that PDA membership is FREE for students.

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Overcoming communication limitations during COVID-19

With so many restrictions on physical interactions currently in place, it can feel daunting to face the academic year. Rest assured, it is completely fine to feel this way and the chances are, your peers are probably feeling the same!

Effective communication techniques are taught and practised on most pharmacy courses. Virtual learning could be viewed as a potential limitation in allowing students to actively further their communication skills, resulting in some students feeling anxious about forming professional relationships.

Keeping informed about student opportunities is a fantastic way to engage within the profession, network virtually and develop interpersonal skills, which would ultimately aid in enhancing your communication abilities (albeit this would be virtual).

Many organisations such as the PDA and BPSA have organised virtual events, which give you the opportunity to meet other pharmacy students across the nation. Appropriately utilising platforms, e.g. LinkedIn, is another fantastic way of learning about other colleagues within the same profession.

So, take a leap of faith and dive right into the realm of virtual pharmacy opportunities! I would suggest starting by following both the PDA and BPSA to receive regular updates about opportunities to stay involved. You can find the links to the PDA’s social media platforms within this email.

By Saffah H. Danial
(4th year MPharm Student & PDA Representative)

Top tips for studying at home


Create your own study space

Whilst studying at home may mean less space than you are used to, try to make the space you do have your own personal study space. Where you can, do your best to create an area that is separate from your sleeping and living area, even if this just means using your desk rather than working from your bed. If you live in shared accommodation, you could try drafting a rota with your housemates so that each of you is able to make use of the dining table throughout the week. If you are spending a lot of time working on your laptop/computer, it is important to try to ensure you are seated correctly to avoid any posture related problems.

Set yourself some goals

Setting and achieving goals can be a huge help in increasing motivation. If you are worried your productivity may be affected by working remotely, try setting daily or weekly goals of what you hope to get done. Aim to make progress little and often to avoid any unnecessary stress. You could even reward yourself with walks or your favourite TV show at the end of the day as an extra incentive.

Put together a schedule

Your online lectures may be at set times, but the rest of your study is likely to be self-guided, so try writing out approximate times for when you plan to start and finish certain tasks. This could be written on a piece of paper, a word doc on your laptop or on a whiteboard but it should be somewhere where you can look at it throughout the day.

Take some time for yourself

One positive thing to have come out of lockdown is that there are now more ways to get moving or try something new from your own home, and even better, many of them are free. Whether a yoga class on Instagram, guided meditation on YouTube or simply going for a walk, it’s important to make time for yourself and have some downtime where possible. Not only will this increase your sense of wellbeing, it could also make you even more productive when you return to your desk.

Keep in touch and know where to find support

It is important to remember that you are not alone. Students across the country are having to adapt to a new way of studying and it is bound to take some adjusting to. Reach out to fellow students on your course, friends and family and check in with your tutors on a regular basis. If you find you need extra support, contact student services, or check your university website for who is best to talk to. Don’t forget, you can also contact Pharmacist Support for support and guidance. As the profession’s charity, they have a range of free and confidential support tailored to meet your specific needs as a pharmacy student.

COVID-19 security for university students

PDA student members and reps have been sharing their challenges and experiences of the new university term as we all face a second wave of the pandemic.

In this recent article, we touch on what our student members have shared with us about the impact of studying from home, how students feel about the communication they are receiving from their universities and we also provide some advice we hope will be helpful.


How the coronavirus crisis has impacted on pharmacy students – part 5

In the fifth instalment of this series, we spoke to Zahra Nawaz, a second-year student from the University of Wolverhampton. Find out about Zahra’s experiences of studying during a global  pandemic and why she decided to join the PDA and become a student rep.

“Talking to peers is something that really helps because it makes me feel like I’m not alone in this. It’s good to know that you’re not the only one that feels overwhelmed and that it’s okay to feel like that right now.”


November marks Young Workers Month

Did you know that November is Young Workers Month? Organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), each year it provides an opportunity for union reps, activists and campaigners to reach out and inform young workers about trade unions. The goal is to ensure that there are sufficient opportunities for young people to get involved and play an active role in shaping the movement. It’s also a chance for unions like ours to demonstrate to young people that we are campaigning on the issues they care most about and that we are relevant to their lives both in the workplace and beyond.

Why not ask your fellow students to join the PDA using the flyer within this email. If you are interested in getting more involved, find out how to become a PDA Student Rep below.

This year, one of the themes is young workers and mental health and TUC are putting on a number of digital events that you can participate in.

Would you like to become a PDA Student Rep?

Are you interested in getting more involved in helping to give pharmacy students a voice? Find out how you can get involved by heading to the PDA Student Rep section of our website and registering your interest.

We encourage members at each pharmacy school to have a PDA Student Rep because we value the views of student members and your issues are important to us.


ACT NOW, Pharmacist Support wellbeing resources are still available

As part of their ACTNow campaign, Pharmacist Support encouraged those working and studying in the pharmacy profession to prioritise their own mental health and wellbeing, and to check in on their colleagues. Whilst the ACTNow campaign has now ended, you can still access a wealth of resources below.

Join a PDA Member Network 

In January 2020, the National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP) started it’s 115th year by becoming part of the PDA. NAWP became our first Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) network. In April, we launched three additional networks; the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Pharmacists’ Network (BAME Network), the Disabled Pharmacists’ Network (Ability Network) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pharmacists’ Network (LGBT Network).

We encourage all PDA members to get involved in the networks that are of interest to them.


Share the PDA student flyer with your peers

Download our student flyer and please share it with your peers so that they can also benefit from FREE PDA membership and support.


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