A Day in the Life of a First Year Pharmacy Student

Zehraa Cheaib is a Year 1 student on the MPharm Pharmacy course at Manchester. Here, she takes us through a typical day on the course.


3:55am – 4:10am

My alarm goes off for my morning (before sunrise) prayer, and I head back to sleep 15 minutes later.

7:30am – 9:00am

My alarm goes off for the second time. Just got ready and finished eating breakfast and it’s time to walk to Stopford Building for my Extemporaneous Dispensing Practical.

9:00am – 12:00pm

No matter how tired I am, this is my favourite part of the day. I head to my station where I will be extemporaneously preparing eight copper sulphate suppositories! In this practical session, every student is expected to demonstrate professionalism in their attitudes and dispensing practice. By the end of this three-hour practical, we are required to manufacture the suppositories using the standardised method, fill a product record sheet and get our final product checked by a member of staff.

pharmacy student lab collage

12:00pm – 1:00pm

It’s lunch time. I grab a bite of my homemade hummous and fatoush salad, and before you know it, I am already running to my chemistry professor Dr Sally Freeman’s office to ask questions about the ionization state of prednisone in the stomach at pH of 2, and in the blood at physiological pH of 7.4. This is for a paper I am writing regarding treatment options for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

I meet a friend for coffee before rushing to a lecture, which is conveniently located in the same building. Today, one of my favourite professors, Dr Jason Hall, will be lecturing on drug misuse and how pharmacists can help drug misusers.

pharmacy student work collage

2:00pm – 4:00pm

The last slot for my university schedule is an exciting one! Dr David Allison seems to be extremely passionate about the study of microbiology. He explains the steps for the laboratory practical very well. I examine culture plates from the last practical, when I inoculated three test organisms at various temperatures, pH, salt concentrations, and oxygen requirements. I also determined whether erythromycin, nalidixic acid and penicillin were sensitive or resistant to the three test organisms.

4:00pm – 7:00pm

At home, I catch up on my midday and late afternoon prayer. I look at my calendar and remember I have a night shift as University Student Ambassador at the Manchester Calling Campaign. I re-energise with a nice meal!

 

7:00pm – 9:00pm

I walk back to the campus and head to my work station. This is a fantastic opportunity because it provides potential international offer holders with a chance to have a high quality conversation with a current international student.

As soon as I sit down, I call a potential applicant to allow them to ask me any questions they may have about living and studying in Manchester. During these informal calls, I spend a good chunk of my time sharing my experiences. Thousands of calls are made each year by my team, and I find it such a rewarding experience!

 

9:00pm – 11:00pm

9pm signals the end of my shift, and I treat myself with an ice cream before reaching my flat. Once I arrive home, I pray after sunset and before midnight. Before I head to sleep, I call my parents, fiancé and siblings to check how they are. I think it is now safe to say goodnight!

The typical experience at pharmacy school differs on a day-to-day basis. Some days are easier, while other days are harder. So far, pharmacy school has been my greatest challenge in life!

Learn more about the MPharm Pharmacy course at Manchester.

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