Preceptors play a critical role in the education of pharmacy students. The experiential education component comprises a large portion of Pharmacy PharmD curriculum.
Volunteer faculty preceptors teach a large percentage of both IPPE and APPE practice experiences at West Virginia University, and each year the school recognizes one preceptor who has shown outstanding support for WVU’s pharmacy students and the pharmacy program.
Preceptor of the Year is an honor bestowed upon just one exceptional School of Pharmacy volunteer faculty preceptor. Recipients are not only excellent role models for PharmD students, but have demonstrated commitment to the core values of the School of Pharmacy. This year, UHC Pharmacist Sonny Hoskinson was recognized with this prestigious award.
Carlton “Sonny” Hoskinson Jr., WVU Class of 1986, spends much of his time in his role as a clinical pharmacist helping educate future pharmacy professionals. He has been a pharmacist at United Hospital Center (UHC) in Bridgeport for 30 years and has been working with WVU student pharmacists almost the entirety of his career.
“I really enjoy helping students with these educational experiences because I feel it is an interesting way to help foster the learning process,” Hoskinson said.
Hoskinson is the director of Camp Catch Your Breath – a camp for children ages 8-13 with asthma – and has been involved with the organization for approximately 25 years. The specialty camp is staffed by medical professionals, such as nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and a physician, and annually gives 70 children with asthma a summer camp experience that they might otherwise not be able to have.
Student pharmacists have the opportunity to complete a rotation at the camp with Hoskinson as their preceptor each summer. During this rotation, students build their clinical skills through completing medication profiles, showing the children how to properly use their inhalers and nebulizers and answering any questions the children might have.
“By participating in Camp Catch Your Breath, the students get to see the outcomes that we as pharmacists might not see in outpatient settings,” Hoskinson said. “It’s really great when you listen and hear someone’s breathing clear up after a treatment and know that you were able to help them. I tell the students that, more than likely, they will not see the children again after camp, but you don’t know what kind of impact you are going to have on someone.”
He added, “In pharmacy, we provide medication treatments, and we may not always see it, but we are helping a patient feel better and are giving them more quality time with their families.”
Hoskinson has received numerous positive responses from students about the uniqueness of the rotation. Several students have been inspired to further their education and complete hospital pharmacy residency programs, and some have even completed programs to become certified asthma educators.
In a rotation evaluation, one student stated, “Sonny demonstrates his commitment to our school and profession by consistently volunteering to accept students on rotation at both UHC and through his Asthma Camp rotation at Camp Catch Your Breath. Camp Catch Your Breath is a prominent example of Sonny’s willingness to lead and further our profession.”
Hoskinson hopes that student pharmacists see a more diverse picture of the profession of pharmacy when they complete rotations at Camp Catch Your Breath. He strives to provide students with memorable learning experiences and encourages them to get “hands-on” and involved in all aspects of the rotation.