Eleanor is a pharmacy graduate now working in a community pharmacy in Liverpool. She attributes the ‘nurturing’ approach of her LJMU lecturers as key to shaping her and her colleagues into the professionals they are today. Pharmacists who can show their personality and vulnerabilities with their customers, to build a lasting rapport that creates excellent service for the community they serve.
Eleanor features in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
In her interview she reflects on her connections with Liverpool, how her training shaped her into the pharmacist she is today and how she dealt with her experience of miscarriage, sharing her story to break the taboo of tiptoeing around conversations about pregnancy loss.
“The lecturers at LJMU always said remember you are people. They had their own personalities and they didn’t hide them. They were never trying to mould us into one specific pharmacist, they nurtured us into people that do the right thing.”
– Eleanor Whitloe
Eleanor’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview
“People would always ask me ‘Did you not want to move away for uni?’ Why would I? I live in the best city in the world. Once you’re in Liverpool and you embrace the Liverpool way, you are a scouser. We don’t care where you’re from. You’re one of us.
“I met my best friend at uni on my course, and we’re still best friends now. He’s like my right arm. Pharmacy is a really tight network, everyone knows everyone and people who come to study here tend to stick around.
“In our pharmacy, we have student pharmacists from all over the country and our team feels like a family. I’ve never had to tell my team to have personality, we just do. We really genuinely care about people. The head office always say that we always deliver excellent customer service. I’m really proud of that.
“That personal touch has built a trust from the local community. Instead of going to the doctors with their minor ailments, they’ll come here because they know we’ll chat with them. I remember once though, a man came in and he had been sawing a hedge and cut his finger almost completely off. He came in with a paper towel on it and said which plaster would you recommend? I don’t want to bother the hospital. They know it takes so long to see a GP now and they could be in A&E all night. It’s nice that they look to us but some things of course need hospital treatment.
“I do attribute that personableness to our training. The lecturers at LJMU always said remember you are people. They had their own personalities and they didn’t hide them. They were never trying to mould us into one specific pharmacist, they nurtured us into people that do the right thing.”
In the second part of her interview, Eleanor also spoke about her experience of miscarriage and how she has navigated the experience working as a pharmacist.
“I don’t ever want anyone to feel alone about it, because at no point on my pregnancy journey did I feel alone. When we knew we were having complications so many of my friends, men and women, came to me with their own stories about them and their partner’s own experiences, which I knew nothing about.
“I had the miscarriage at 17 weeks, during a music festival. We suspected it could happen but it was still a shock at the time. It was my first pregnancy. I’m okay with talking about it, because I think that miscarriages and pregnancy losses should be talked about openly, they shouldn’t be a taboo. If I can help comfort one person by sharing my story then I’m happy.
“I usually handle bad news well, I don’t tend to dwell on things and I try to see the positive in everything. I think it’s just the way I’ve been bought up by my family. There was nothing we could have done or didn’t do, it just is what it is.
“I came back to work really quickly. I had a pregnant patient that came in for a consultation and I asked her due date. It was the same as ours was supposed to have been. I said I’m going to need two minutes. That was quite sad, it was just unexpected and triggered memories.
“My boss was tiptoeing around me, asking me what I wanted to put on my leave form, I think he felt a little awkward. I just said miscarriage, that’s what happened, I wanted to be honest. I made it really clear - this thing happened to me, if any of you want to come talk to me about it, I’m not closed off.
“I remember when we spoke to the consultant she said you might be feeling feelings of guilt or jealousy. I didn’t. Every time I see a child now I think oh my god, you don’t understand how much of a miracle you are. I don’t know what your mother might have gone through to get to you.”