Recognition of Excellence Awards 2021
“We would be absolutely lost without her,” says Bronwyn Heatherwick in her glowing Rising Star Award nomination for colleague Jenna McKenzie.
“I had been away from pharmacy for a few years, and when I started working at Strachan Pharmacy, I was shocked to find out that Jenna had only been working in pharmacy for a short amount of time as she is so knowledgeable,” Bronwyn adds.
Jenna has indeed only been in pharmacy for a short while – since January 2020, to be precise. Having been diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 16, Jenna had to leave her college hairdressing course because of her seizures and take time out. Now she has got her own medicines under control and her condition stabilised, she’s found a new niche, and hairdressing’s loss is certainly pharmacy’s gain.
When Jenna joined the team at Strachan Pharmacy in Banff, Aberdeenshire, she started her medicines counter and dispensing assistant courses straight away. The start of the pandemic a couple of months later hampered her progress slightly, but she doesn’t see this as having necessarily been a bad thing. “I could probably have got through it more quickly if we hadn’t had the pandemic,” she says. “But to be honest, the past 18 months have taught me so much.”
Jenna has even found the time to complete a few extra training courses that were recommended to her by some of her colleagues, including smoking cessation and anaphylaxis.
Her growing knowledge is the perfect complement for Jenna’s caring nature. Not only has she embraced training, she has also taken it upon herself to help colleagues by covering sickness and problems with childcare. And during the pandemic, her determination to support customers and patients was evident when she began doing medication deliveries to anyone stuck at home.
“The compassion Jenna shows cannot be beaten,” says Bronwyn. “She is an amazing person who lifts up all the people around her, a joy to work with and a reassuring presence in the dispensary.”
A bright future
Jenna has become a vital member of the dispensary team, as well as being a complete natural on the counter, and she has countless examples of when she’s helped customers with minor ailments and also used her initiative to refer people to the pharmacist for further advice.
For this rising star, the RoE judges say that she has clearly found her vocation and they see only good things on the horizon. For example, Richard Stephenson, chief operating officer at Right Medicine Pharmacy, says that Jenna is “a woman of many different talents with a bright future ahead”.
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