Successfully completing another year of my MPharm degree at the University of Lincoln and having such blissful weather gives me a relieving feeling that is almost indescribable. The break before the next academic year is a great time to engage in new activities, pursue hobbies and form new friendships. As well as this, getting a summer job and attempting to secure a pharmacy-related placement is something many students do to best utilise their summer break, prepare for the next term and stay involved with changes in the ever-evolving profession of pharmacy.
This summer I am completing a lab-based undergraduate research scheme at my university, which targets antibiotic resistance. As an antibiotic guardian, I find it exciting to be a part of research that will hopefully contribute to targeting antibiotic resistance – an issue of growing concern.
I also recently attended the launch of a network of people in Lincolnshire working in “clinical pharmacy”, which was a fantastic opportunity to socialise and learn about topics such as clinical pharmacy in general practice. Events such as this are a great way to be aware of local pharmacy services, to learn about common challenges in the area and to discuss ways students can be more involved.
As pharmacy is constantly evolving, I feel it is imperative to keep updated with changes in regulations and to gain as much experience as I can during my free time. Although there is a plethora of placement opportunities available to students, it can sometimes be challenging to secure a specific type of placement in a particular field of pharmacy – especially when limited by travelling distance or costs.
Being involved with the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) means being able to network and form friendships with students across the country, which is a great way to learn about the experiences of other students at their placements or summer employment relating to pharmacy. Another great resource for such information is the BPSA website, where students and pharmacists have shared their experiences of placements.
Due to personal commitments, some students may find it difficult to do much during the summer break. Luckily, there are many online resources, which vary in length and are free for students to access, such as the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education’s e-learning programmes. All this being said, the summer holidays are a well-deserved break. It is important to have fun, take time for yourself and rejuvenate before the next term.
Saffah Huseeba Danial is a pharmacy student at the University of Lincoln, and a national representative for the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association