Meet Megan MacLennan

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Impact at scale: Embracing the challenge of constant evolution

Megan MacLennan, Pharmacy Technician, is one of Epic Pharmacy’s longest-serving employees.

Since joining more than 15 years ago, Epic has grown from one single South Australian site to four, and Epic has also transitioned to become part of Icon Group’s Pharmacy division. Megan has grown side-by-side with the organisation, keeping pace with every change.

With her high-level organisational skills, analytical brain, and genuine desire to do the best for her patients, Megan has been a key part of Epic’s fabric.

An eye for detail

When you imagine a dispensary technician, chances are a vision of the bubbly and artistic Megan doesn’t immediately come to mind. But it doesn’t take long to realise this creative individual is exactly where she needs to be.

As a teenager, Megan worked at a fast-food outlet in her hometown of Victor Harbour, South Australia. As she dished up burgers and fries to customers after school, Megan would gaze longingly through the restaurant’s big glass windows at the community pharmacy across the road.

“I always used to look at the pharmacists working and think, ‘Oh, it must be so nice to be clean,’” Megan laughs. “After every shift in the restaurant, I’d go home stinking like grease. I’d have mashed potatoes and gravy all over me!”

So, it wasn’t a huge surprise to anyone when Megan handed in her greasy apron and secured a traineeship at a local pharmacy.

Megan initially worked on the floor in a retail role. However, when her sharp eyes identified a medication error in a script, she was quickly promoted to the dispensary.

“Working in the dispensary revealed a different side of me that I’d never really nurtured: my analytical side. But I found I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the routine and being methodical about tasks and being really organised. It gave me a sense of satisfaction to have that constant attention to detail and accuracy.”

Finding meaning in medical trials

After five years in community pharmacy, Megan made the leap to clinical pharmacy, applying for a role with Epic – back when it was known as APHS. Since day one, Megan has continued to grow and learn every day. While her role still requires high-level organisational skills, her responsibilities are varied.

“Epic is the kind of place where it can be confronting – our patients are going through some of the most challenging times of their lives. By the same token, your role makes a huge difference to them. If you’re up to the challenge, it can be a really fulfilling place to work, and you can get a lot out of it.”

As a Dispensary Technician at Epic’s Windsor Gardens in South Australia, Megan recently became validated as a chemotherapy compounder, which involves manufacturing medications for clinical trials.

Windsor Gardens runs a robust clinical trials operation with active trials all centred on people suffering from very specific types of solid tumours, including lung and prostate cancer.

Megan continually finds the compounding work rewarding, especially when she sees drugs that were investigational products in past clinical trials approved for use on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

“That means it’s been a successful trial with positive outcomes for patients,” she says.

“Working in cancer care, there’s definitely a sense of hope and pride in what you do. When you’ve got a friend or family member who has passed away from cancer, and you’re working on a study that’s targeting better outcomes for cancer patients, it gives you meaning and a sense of purpose in your role.”

Constant evolution

While Megan finds fulfilment in the positive outcomes her role delivers for patients, she’s also been recognised for what she contributes to Icon. Megan has been nominated twice for the Group’s Annual Awards and has also been involved in training new team members, travelling to various sites across Australia to connect and upskill her colleagues – something she’s genuinely enjoyed. Plus, she’s found there are always opportunities to learn.

“I feel like we are constantly evolving our practices. Initially, I found that very challenging but it’s now something I enjoy the most about my role. It keeps me relevant and up to date. Even though I’ve been doing the same role for 15 years, I don’t feel like my skill set is stagnating; instead, I’m keeping up with the newest ways of our profession and providing the best possible service I can.”

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