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27/9/2020 // 16.27

Did a full mock exam today, I got 78% on calcs and 87% on clinical and I am thrilled! Now I’m doing some planning with lots of chocolate biscuits and my hot chocolate because I deserve to relax dammit.

Quarantine fall study challenge: what is your plan for the upcoming week?

I have two webinars, and then I want to try to finally finish the bnf off, and then do some relaxing for a day or so before I kick off the revision again. We’re getting there slowly.

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Happy world pharmacists day! To celebrate here’s some info about us:

  • We’ve done 5 YEARS of training to become a pharmacist
  • We’re the experts of medicines, how to take them, side effects and monitoring that is needed, what to do if patients can’t swallow, what medicines interact with, and much more
  • We can provide advice on health conditions and offer services such as flu jabs and blood pressure checks
  • When we get a prescription, we check it to make sure it’s legal, safe and appropriate. We also make sure what has been dispensed is correct. This is why it might take a while! We do not simply put labels on boxes!
  • In hospital, your discharge meds may take a while to arrive. But I guarantee you the doctor took a while to write it, please don’t blame us for everything when it isn’t always our fault!
  • We work incredibly hard and receive endless abuse and blame, please be nice to your pharmacy teams 💚 we can’t control stock shortages so please don’t shout at us if your medicine is discontinued or in national shortage. We will work with you to find other options or alternatives with the doctor, please let us help and don’t be mean
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25/9/2020 // 8.34

Got a hot fancy coffee from my machine today to treat myself for making it to the weekend, and also because LOOK OUTSIDE ITS FREEZING OMG 🍂🍁❄️ (okay it’s like 7 degrees but that’s way too cold for me.) I’ve realised I might not finish the bnf today, but that’s okay. No more beating myself up.

Quarantine fall study challenge: unpopular studyblr opinions?

The waste of time it takes to make aesthetic notes is not worth it. I would rather be messy and actually get through content than have a nice title and nice handwriting, especially this year where it takes an hour to do 5 pages, I don’t have time to go any slower!

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22/9/2020 // 21.59

Finished up with anaesthesia, and the last light pink BNF notes I’ll hopefully ever make. Now onto overdosing for the last section, before I go back and do the intro and then I’m done!! I didn’t do a lot because I ended up watching boris’s speech, then being sad there’s no eat well for less on tonight because of the speech -honestly the worst thing to happen in the past 6 months of quarantine - so I watched bake off and did some crochet to relax from my brain melty day of researching infusion rates of cetuximab.

Quarantine fall study challenge: autumn starts today! What’s your favourite thing about it? 🍁

I love love love when the trees turn different colours and it’s a nice crispy sunny day and you’re walking through the woods though all the crunchy leaves! 🍂

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21/9/2020 // 22.18

I actually did some pharmacy today at work, and here’s a question for all you healthcare professionals out there. If someone asks you for advice, do you google it while you’re on the phone to be sure, and then after you’ve given the advice, do you then re-google it another 3 times using different sources just to be completely sure you’re definitely right? I’m super super paranoid about everything at the moment and I don’t know if this is a me lacking confidence because no exam thing or a me having zero self-belief thing or just a healthcare professional thing? Do any of you do this and does it ever go away??

Quarantine fall study challenge: what do you do for self care?

Hahahahaha oops I don’t? I used to go to the beach, and sometimes I’ll go for a walk here. I do a lot of baking and sometimes I’ll put on some body lotion.

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List of apps I use (1/?)

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  • Calendar

- This one has to be one of my absolute favorites, especially now. With online classes, it’s hard to keep up with tasks, especially when your profs suddenly give updates in the middle of nowhen. It lets you color-code your tasks, set times and reminders, add locations and descriptions, set recurring events, etc. It even lets you customize the app icon color, themes and widgets (did I mention that all these features are FREE?). The homescreen widgets are the absolute cherries on top. You can place two types of widgets: (1) the monthly overview of your calendar, and (2) the detailed list of things you need to do on certain dates and times. I personally have both widgets on my lock screen. You can even customize the font size and the opacity of the widgets (like if you still want to see your wallpaper or not).

Why is this helpful: Deadlines. Honestly, deadlines are hard to keep track of, especially with online classes. This helps me keep track of deadlines, activities, lectures, etc. However, I only use this to keep track of schedules set. I use other apps to plan out my day so my calendar isn’t so overloaded and also hard to keep track of. [Pro tip: I use to do lists and calendar printables when it comes to planning and prioritizing, but I’ll explain further next time.]

  • Notebloc

- I had Notebloc before I had Cam Scanner and I’ve been using this ever since. I can’t compare it to Cam Scanner because I’ve never used that, but here are things I like about it: Like Cam Scanner, you can also adjust the borders to fit the edges of the page you are scanning (that’s all I know about Cam Scanner lol). For Notebloc, you also have an option to do batch processing which is very efficient when scanning a lot of pages. There are also filters that you can use to make pictures more vibrant or words more readable. You can save files as PDF documents or as pictures, and have options to send it out immediately after scanning without having to download the file. You can also organize your files into folders, move and edit individual pages after scanning, etc.

Why is this helpful: This is helpful when sending out some notes to a friend, scanning your answers for assignments, saving PDF files for your readings, scanning certificates, etc. It is better to scan with your internet turned off because the ads can be a tad annoying.

  • Study Bunny and Forest

- Honestly, I can’t choose between these two apps which is why I have them both on my phone. Most of you may recognize Forest as it is a popular pomodoro app within the studyblr/studygram/studyvlog community. The goal of Forest is to focus on your work and avoid distractions from your phone by planting virtual trees. The tree dies when you exit the app and look at other apps while your work session is still on going. This is really helpful to minimize distractions. However, if you only have one gadget to work with (like if you are just studying from a textbook and rely on your phone for internet), this is going to be a problem because you can’t look things up on Google. I can’t even look up words on my phone’s dictionary! This has proven to be a hassle when I’m on the go studying and I don’t have my laptop or tablet with me.

For Study Bunny, it doesn’t have this feature so it might be easier to get distracted. But I found that it can actually strengthen my discipline because I have to force myself to not be tempted to exit the app. But Study Bunny is so cute that I actually don’t want to leave the app. If you guys know the game Pou, Study Bunny is like that but you earn coins by studying. Aside from this game feature, there are also built-in study features like to do lists, flashcards, and ambient music (I don’t use the ambient music feature because I either prefer silence or my own playlists, but we’ll get to that next time). The goal of this pomodoro app is to keep your bunny happy by buying them things from the shop, feeding them, or studying.

Overall, I would recommend Forest if you are studying at home or at a group study with your friends where you can have access to the internet while minimizing the distractions from the notifications of your phone. I would recommend Study Bunny if you were on the go, or if you like the mini game interface (I personally prefer that because I have another external reason as to why I should work while the timer is running).

Why is this helpful: The pomodoro technique is for you to work more efficiently and productively, and overall avoid procrastination and burnout. I personally like using apps like these instead of just timers because they are designed like fun mini games or enable you to minimize the distractions from social media.

Posted 09.19.2020

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I’ve been working here long enough to have a subset of my favorite prescribers who are my special favorites, and they’re universally a type: they come off like high functioning people with autism who are super dedicated to the evidence and providing the very best care but who occasionally make super dumb mistakes because they were hyper-focusing on the wrong thing at the moment.

In my pharmacy you call them about the mistakes, but you never judge them and you tell them they they’re doing amazing because they are indeed perfect in every way.

I had one of them thank me today for all of my hard work and I didn’t even work with him this week. I just delightedly laughed when he came to the pharmacy to try to dig himself out of a hole with another pharmacist. My friend, that wasn’t work, it was pure joy.

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Study Tip # 1: Print out the powerpoint presentations the night before

[Blurring out the ppt so I don’t get in trouble in case it’s copyright protected]

For online classes, I usually check our LMS the night before. For our uni, we mainly use Canvas, sometimes  Moodle. I check if there are any activities or assignments that I may have missed. I also make it a point to check the discussion boards if any new DBs open up.

Some professors also upload their presentations early, so one thing I do is to print them out. As you can see, I print PPTs on loose leaf, specifically Compera B5 (26 holes). I have two types of the Compera loose leaf: plain and lined (8mm spaced). I usually use the plain for transes, readings, reviewers, or basically anything that all I have to do is highlight the words. I use the lined paper for jotting down notes during class, and for printing the PPTs so I can just write my notes on and around the slides as the lecture goes on. This is also an alternative for people who don’t have/can’t afford and iPad Pro (like me), or for people who simply prefer pen and paper. While typing notes on your laptop is a more sustainable way, sometimes there are figures, equations, etc. that you have to take note of that you can’t just type out (e.g. graphs). Don’t worry, though. I make sure to keep all my notes because I will eventually need to review them all again when I have to take the pharmacists’ licensure exam. And hopefully, I can also pass down these notes to someone else, or find a recycling company. [It’s very hard to find recycling companies in the Philippines, so if you know of any, especially within or near Metro Manila, please do tell me!]

Posted 09.18.2020

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18/9/2020 // 08.22

More early morning revision today, because I have so much to get done and I’m not going to get it done before my bf comes to visit me (so I won’t be posting this weekend). I just want vaccines to be over already! Although I’m not working next Sunday now so can do my mock exam then, so now I don’t have to panic as much as I have a whole extra week to get this revision done 🎉 I WILL finish it, I am so determined!

Quarantine fall study challenge: do you read motivational books?

Not really, I never have time to read but when I do read it’s usually just a good murder mystery!

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17/9/20 // 22.04

Did a tiny bit of vaccination before work, then had the most wonderful yet chaotic day shadowing the acute oncology nurse. Fine, except I also had to keep an eye on the ward. I was going to skip lunch to do the ward but then it turns out I had three lunchtime meetings so had zero time to even attend all of them let alone do anything else, but it all worked out in the end. Except I had barely any lunch and I did not drink enough water. At least the vancomycin dose was appropriate. It was actually a really good day, I loved the chaos, I loved being a pharmacist and I enjoyed doing my first phone consultation. Also look my spider plant has flowers! 🌼

Quarantine fall study challenge: how do you organise your to dos?

I sometimes write a list, but honestly I’m really awful and will rely on my brain to remind me, and then it doesn’t, and then a few weeks later I’m like oh I didn’t do that thing. In work it’s deffo lists and tick boxes, and I do try to bring that into my study life, but I’ve got so lazy with my organisation now my revision is purely making notes on ONE book.

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You can call me Xien. I’m a Filipino. Currently studying at the University of the Philippines - Manila. I’m a BS Pharmaceutical Sciences student, but I’m one org away from being BS Org major in Pharmaceutical Sciences XD. I took BS Pharm Sci because I want to be a researcher.

When I was younger, I would tell people I wanted to be a physician because I really love science (particularly biology and chemistry). But I never felt so sure when I said that. It was always something I said just so I could say something but I knew in my heart it just didn’t feel quite right. I knew I wanted to work in the lab, but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on what I really wanted to be. It was only a few years ago that I realized I wanted to become a scientist all along. It’s not going to be easy getting that PhD, and competition is tough. But this is how I feel I could maximize my potential while being satisfied with what I’m doing.

I’ve got a long way to go and the future is uncertain, but at least I know now that I’m right on track. I’ve got a long way to go, and I’m taking things one day at a time. After all, there’s #NoWayButUP.

Padayon <3

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