Roosevelt University graduate Edward Oldfield may only now be starting his career as a pharmacist, but he has already made an impact in the field and in caring for patients.
Oldfield, a resident of Palos Heights, Illinois who graduated May 18 from Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy is the winner of COP’s 2017 Enlightenment Award, which recognizes him for, among other things, saving lives and moving fellow healthcare professionals to action while he was a student pharmacist at the CGH Medical Center in Sterling, Illinois.
“This is someone who taught me what it really means to be a pharmacist,” said Anne Blackwell, a staff pharmacist who supervised Oldfield’s rotations from November 2016 through February 2017 at the Sterling hospital. . “He reinforced for me the idea that in the end being a pharmacist is more about caring for patients than it is about having relationships with co-workers or a specific doctor.”
During 12 weeks at CGH, Oldfield visited the hospital room of a religious patient who refused medications, consulting the Bible with the patient in order to find a way to reach that patient on the importance of taking the medication.
He also visited the room of a new mother who refused to take her medication for fear during breastfeeding that it would harm the baby. Taking her hand and rubbing her back as he sat, answered questions and supported her during administering of the medication, Oldfield pledged to return to lend support when she needed another dose. On still other occasions, he convinced doctors of the need to change prescriptions that he felt were not the right fit or dosage for patients.
“I truly think in at least one case the patient would have returned to the emergency department in a coma or a body bag had Edward not intervened,” said Blackwell.
The new graduate, who started at COP in 2014, believes he has become more confident in himself as a person thanks to Roosevelt’s unique pharmacy program, which is the only one of its kind in the Midwest to graduate doctoral students in three years’ time.
“The person I am now is not the person I was when I started the program three years ago,” said Oldfield, who believes Roosevelt’s COP provided him with the three Cs he will need – competence, compassion and commitment – in order to be the best pharmacist he can be.
“I am so proud of Edward and all that he’s achieved at Roosevelt. He is a stellar example of the kind of pharmacist that graduates from our program,” said Melissa Hogan, dean of COP.
Weighing his options for the future, Oldfield will begin immediately preparing for his licensing exam. “Every day for the last three years I woke up, went to school, did my work and tried as hard as I could to help people. Caring for patients is the prime reason I want to be a pharmacist,” he said. “I just never in my wildest dreams would have imagined I’d be recognized for my efforts in getting there.”