advice for new grad shadowing?

  1. 0
    I had an interview today and asked the nurse manager if I could shadow as part of the interview process. She said sure and imagine my surprise when she asked me if I could come in tomorrow at 7 am! I am exhausted from a full day of interviewing and a week of finals, graduation, parents visiting, etc. I am still trying to prepare myself for tomorrow.

    Can anyone give me some specific advice about shadowing on a unit where you want to work? I have a good idea of the questions I want to ask, but any additional ideas would be appreciated. Also, what's customary for a shadowing nurse to do on your unit? Things that shadowing nurses do that bug you? Stuff like that. I asked the NM if there was anything special I should do and she just said to show up in some scrubs!

    I am so excited!
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    We do not allow shadowing due to risk of HIPAA violations. You do not have a "need to know" about the patient's care, which means you are personally responsible for violation of that law, if discovered. Also, there is risk of infection, so I find it strange that the hospital would allow you there. That said, ask the nurses about hours, number of patients, do people get along, how long is orientation. Watch for lack of resources, including supplies, equipment and online helps for data.
  5. 0
    Just make sure you exude the professionalism that they are looking for in your dress, manner, and appearance. Don't expect or try to do anything unless asked. Certainly don't do anything except the basics like hold something, lower a side rail if asked and so on. Do ask intelligent questions but you don't need to know every little detail of what's going on. Make sure nail the basics like hand washing, gloves, masks, patient safety and privacy. It would bug me if a shadow tried to show off, help when not asked to, or not be interested. Good luck!
  6. 0
    Show up on time, dress neatly, smile, and offer to help even if they don't let you!
  7. 0
    All good advice, thanks! Now you've got me wondering if I should be ironing my scrubs!

    I also signed a confidentiality agreement and had to show proof of vaccination, but I understand the hesitancy about shadowing.
  8. 0
    In a perfect world there is perfect nursing, in am imperfect world there is priorities and common sense that comes with experience. If you are the shadow you might see both of these that are necessary but not necessarily by the book, thus the apprehension.
  9. 0
    I would absolutely iron my scrubs!

    Hey the next shadow might and we all know there are 100s of applicants for every job...

    Good Luck!!
  10. 0
    Quote from nurse2033
    Don't expect or try to do anything unless asked. Certainly don't do anything except the basics like hold something, lower a side rail if asked and so on. Do ask intelligent questions but you don't need to know every little detail of what's going on.
    That's funny- the advice I was given was the exact opposite of that. Jump in, ask lost of questions, interact with the patients.
  11. 1
    Hello. I agree with the other suggestions to dress professionally and ask intelligent questions. Regarding your question about "...things that shadowing nurses do that bug you....", one thing is making too many comments about the patient's condition in front of the patient. Sometimes even a small well intended remark can frighten a patient. For example, one time a shadowing nurse was observing the assessment of fetal heart tones in a pregnant patient, and she commented that the heart rate seemed a little slow--though she was correct, it is frequently best for a shadowing nurse to remain quiet and let the experienced staff calmly act to counsel the patient and try to solve the problem quickly. Best wishes!
    JenRN30 likes this.
  12. 0
    Thanks for all your comments! It went well today. I showed up early in my ironed scrubs and got a really good sense of the unit. I am cautiously optimistic!

    I basically just followed the nurse around, she was really busy so I just tried to stay out of her way. While she was running around she told me a lot about the unit and the patient pop there, so it was very educational. I was able to watch the docs, pharmacy and nursing staff all work together very well to handle an emergent situation, so that was great. It was kind of overwhelming so I didn't get to ask as many questions as I wanted to, but I think that was okay. We shall see what happens!


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