Meet Yvette Watts

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Ready to take the next step in your pharmacy career? Yvette Watts says at Icon, you can.

Yvette Watts has come a long way since working as a junior at her local pharmacy. From the age of 15, she diligently honed her skills to become the trusted Pharmacy Technician she is today. Yvette had long been interested in becoming a Clinical Pharmacist but never quite believed she had what it took.

That all changed when she joined Icon Group, and now, she’s working towards the next big step in her career.

An exciting new chapter

For Yvette Watts, it’s the simple things that make all the difference to a patient’s quality of life. It’s something this empathetic Pharmacy Technician often reflects on as she compounds chemotherapy treatment at Icon Cancer Centre Mackay.

“I love the clinical side of my role, but I also enjoy that one-to-one time with patients,” Yvette says.

“Taking that time with the patient to learn about their life means a lot to them. And the fact I can mix their medication on-site means they don’t have to travel to Brisbane or Townsville for treatment. They can receive their care and support close to home, which is what Icon is all about.”

Yvette began her pharmacy career when she was just 15-years-old, working at the local chemist in her hometown of South Lismore, New South Wales. A keen learner, Yvette quickly discovered her passion for patient care and has steadily built her career ever since.

In 2009 Yvette joined Epic Pharmacy Lismore, part of Icon Group whose mission is to provide the best care possible, to as many people as possible, as close to home as possible, a goal that strongly resonated with Yvette. When the opportunity arose in 2017 to be part of the team establishing the new Icon Cancer Centre in Mackay, Yvette jumped at the chance.

“It was so exciting to be part of. We all pulled our socks up and got stuck in. It led to a lot of positive team building, and we’ve got a really great, close-knit pharmacy team.”

The experience also gave Yvette the self-confidence to step outside her comfort zone and embark on the next chapter of her career.

“I always felt I wasn’t quite cut out to be a Clinical Pharmacist,” Yvette reflects. “But over time, talking to the Pharmacist I work with at Icon planted a seed. I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to give it a go!’”

Yvette is now studying part-time for her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. Balancing study and work isn’t always easy, but Yvette is flourishing – and she’s been backed by her team every step of the way.

“Icon always encourages and helps people to advance their careers. It really is the best place for me to work and study. We can apply for up to four days of paid study leave, which helps me during exam time, and I’ve also been able to swap to a nine-day fortnight, which gives me that extra day at home to study. It’s so supportive of our development, and I’m grateful for the opportunities Icon continues to provide me.”

Work that counts with people who care

Nights at the Watts household are often spent huddled around the dining table, where Yvette studies alongside her two teenage children – who even take time out from their own studies to help Yvette with those tricky maths units! Meanwhile, Yvette’s supportive husband helps with the running of the house – and keeping the peace!

Yvette receives this same level of support each day from her team at Icon, where every person, no matter their role, is united by a commitment to deliver exceptional care to people at a vulnerable and uncertain time in their lives.

Providing vital cancer treatment is rewarding yet challenging work. Medication stock is transported to the Icon centre in Mackay from Townsville and Brisbane, which means Yvette and her team must be highly organised to ensure medications are available for patient’s scheduled appointment times.

“Living in regional Queensland has given me the opportunity to learn how to compound infusion treatments. Having an isolator onsite allows us to manufacture medicines here in Mackay, which reduces delays to patient care. It is very important to me to provide the same level of care our patients would receive at our metro sites. Living in our beautiful regional area should not be a disadvantage.”

But the most difficult challenge is one that affects Yvette deeply. And it’s also what makes her work so meaningful.

“The biggest challenge is losing a patient. You build such a relationship and rapport with them. Often, they don’t want to talk about their cancer; they want to talk about their grandchildren or what’s happening in their lives. You get to know them quite well. So, that can be difficult.”

To deal with these challenges, Yvette says it’s important to have outlets outside of work – and to keep a sense of humour. And it’s during these difficult times that the strength and compassion of Yvette’s connected team truly come to the fore.

“We build each other up. We all genuinely care for one another, and that makes such a difference. Icon looks after the wellness of its people, too. Every six months or so, we have a team-building activity. Last year, the Mackay team got to sail around the Whitsundays to let our hair down. Especially during COVID-19, Icon was so flexible and supportive. It’s during times of crisis that you truly get to know where a company stands, and Icon has proven that it definitely steps up for its people.”

At Icon, You Can.

Find your place with a team of connected, caring and committed people with real pathways for growth.

Join Icon Group today


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