Should I shadow a Nurse? HELP!

  1. The issue with doing this would be patient confidentiality. Allowing non health care people just to observe I don't think would be allowed.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   ceworden
    Hello,
    I agree with mcountry in the fact that patient confidentiality is an important issue. I have never heard of someone shadowing a Nurse unless they had sometype of dealing with the Profession...such as Ceritfied Nurse Aide's.
    Since you have expierance within the legal field you might wish to check into Legal Nurse Consultant as an option. You would still need to attend Nursing School.
    Maybe you can contact your local University or any other schools that have nursing programs and check with them.

    Sorry I was not much help.

    MNM---A Step for Our Future--5-5-2001

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    CEWorden, LPN
    Proud to be a Nurse
  4. by   beepers40
    Shadowing a nurse is a great idea. Try and find someone in the specific area you're interested in (ER, long term care, mom and baby, etc.) since the work and the environment varies so much from place to place. Find out who the director of nursing education or the nurse recruiter is and ask to be set up. Don't be discouraged by folks who are happy to give you a list of all the reasons why you can't do it (except to consider that this is a representative response from a certain percentage of the nursing workforce--unfortunately there is a lot of negativism out there.) What with the nursing shortage and whatnot, recruiters and educators are not about to turn away an interested prospect. Don't be discouraged by naysayers.
  5. by   vinca14
    I am a 27 year old college graduate with a degre in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a minor in Sociology.

    I have been working in the legal field for several years and don't feel satisfied. I have always thought of going to nursing school and am finally seriously considering enrolling. I'm very indecisive and don't want to enroll and figure out a year or two down into the program that it's not for me.
    I'm considering, and I don't even know if this is an option, shadowing a nurse a few days a week for a month or so to get a better understanding the of daily routine. Maybe this will help me in my decision.

    Any suggestions? And, has anybody ever heard of someone shadowing a nurse??

    Thank you.
  6. by   hollykate
    Shadowing an RN is a common practice. Sometimes it can be set up through the school you would like to attend or by simply calling a nearby hospital. It is a very good way to be exposed to what the daily life of a staffer is like. I shadowed a nurse when I was not a student in the BSN program, it was no problem. Usually, the shadowing experience is only one day however. You could do some volunteer work at a hospital- so you can see the environment and work with the pts- or even get certified as a Nurse Aide. Lots of ways to help you decide but do try to shadow. I've talked to quite a few people who have done this, and not just in my area. Good Luck.
  7. by   Jenny P
    Shadowing a nurse is a great way to find out what nursing involves, but shadow several nurses in different areas of nursing to see what nursing really is. You will probably be able to follow one nurse for just one shift (or day), but if you could shadow several nurses in completely separate settings-- such as on day with a nurse in long term care, one with a nurse on a med-surg floor in a hospital, one in an ICU setting ( adult or peds or neonates), and maybe one in home care or hospice, you would get a much better picture of what nursing involves. I think if we nurses could shadow someone in a totally different area of nursing than what we are currently in it could make a big change in our own view of nursing and possibly decrease our burnout.
  8. by   mustangsheba
    Vinca - I think the best suggestion is that you volunteer. That would preclude the question of confidentiality and also give you a more realistic feeling of the what the work is like. Tell nurses you work with you want to learn. The ones that don't enjoy teaching will let you know. Good luck.
    Originally posted by vinca14:
    I am a 27 year old college graduate with a degre in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a minor in Sociology.

    I have been working in the legal field for several years and don't feel satisfied. I have always thought of going to nursing school and am finally seriously considering enrolling. I'm very indecisive and don't want to enroll and figure out a year or two down into the program that it's not for me.
    I'm considering, and I don't even know if this is an option, shadowing a nurse a few days a week for a month or so to get a better understanding the of daily routine. Maybe this will help me in my decision.

    Any suggestions? And, has anybody ever heard of someone shadowing a nurse??

    Thank you.
  9. by   purplemania
    I recommend contacting an advisor at the nursing school to see how your current degree can mesh with nursing. There is a lot of variety to nursing/not all is at a hospital. The risk management field is one example. Medical facilities and insurance companies hire these professionals. Good luck. By the way, nursing school is hard at times and you have to be totally committed so you are smart to think ahead. That alone qualifies you for being a good nurse!
  10. by   ShannonB25
    Yes, you can definitely shadow nurses in some hospitals. When I lived in North Dakota I was able to contact United Hospital in Grand Forks, for example, and shadowed on 2 separate days. The nurse recruiter was the person I spoke to at the hospital. I told her that I was a student at UND and interested in the nursing department and she told me when to show up. Once there I had to wear a white lab coat over dress clothes and wore a badge that stated I was shadowing a nurse. The first day I followed around a nurse in Med/Surg, then Oncology, then Surgery. I was able to cruise around and watch 4 different surgeries and observe the nurse's role in the OR. The only area I was unable to go to was Labor and Delivery and the nursery and I think that was for security purposes (with the babies and all.) I did 3 other areas on the other day. And I think it was very helpful in determining whether or not nursing would be what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I hope this little description helps to give you an idea of what to expect. I would contact the local hospitals in your area and ask for the nurse recruiter and see what she/he can help you with. Best of luck to you! Nursing is a wonderful, unique profession. Shannon



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    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin

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