Shadowing an RN

  1. Hi all, I am a new poster to this site, just been lurking for awhile. My question is this... as a first year Nursing student is there a reason why I would not be allowed to shadow an RN? I am doing very well with classes but feel I could use much more clinical experience even if it is just observing. I am changing careers and have no previous medical experience and feel very lost to the whole hospital atmosphere. I really feel I could benefit just by being in the environment and seeing how things are run and handled. I asked my clinical professor if there was anything additional I could do and she told me I can't shadow an RN at this point. I am really not sure why - possibly HIPAA? Does anyone know why or have any suggestions where else I could look (short of getting a position as an aide which is not possible right now). Thank you!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Insurance reasons possibly? Thats why I was told I could not shadow before. For you to be a student shadowing an RN, your school would need to set up a contract with the hospital, and ensure you are covered in case something happens to you.....remote chances, but it is possible.

    However, maybe you could see if the hospitals near you have some type of program set up where you could shadow, but not as a nursing student. The hospital then might be able to cover you (insurance) in case something happens.
  4. by   BeccaznRN
    Contact nurse recruiters at hospitals in your area to find out their policies regarding shadowing. I know in St. Louis, most hospitals have no problem letting a nursing student shadow an RN - we just don't get to do anything other than observe. Many nursing students in my class have shadowed while deciding where to apply for jobs after graduation.
  5. by   Megsd
    I asked my clinical instructor about shadowing an RN because my rotations will probably not take me to floors I was interested in. She sounded hesitant and suggested I talk to our program director. The director told me there's no reason why I can't, especially if it's over winter break, because school won't be in session and I won't be a "student", so there's really no link between me and the school over those few weeks. I don't know if my situation is any different because we had to all purchase individual liability insurance, or not.
  6. by   NaomieRN
    Quote from S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Insurance reasons possibly? Thats why I was told I could not shadow before. For you to be a student shadowing an RN, your school would need to set up a contract with the hospital, and ensure you are covered in case something happens to you.....remote chances, but it is possible.

    However, maybe you could see if the hospitals near you have some type of program set up where you could shadow, but not as a nursing student. The hospital then might be able to cover you (insurance) in case something happens.
    Why would insurance be a factor if you only going to shawdow?
  7. by   augigi
    Because something could happen to you on their premises?
  8. by   moongirl
    I shadowed an RN my 7th week of clinicals for 2 days then was allowed to take my own pts, with supervision. Why arent you allowed shadow? is this not the facility that you are going to do clinicals??
  9. by   NaomieRN
    The hospital I am doing my clinical allows students to shadow nurses.
  10. by   NaomieRN
    Quote from augigi
    Because something could happen to you on their premises?
    What about all the visitors going in and out of the rooms?
  11. by   augigi
    I'm sure they are insured for that. And if a visitor injures themself, they could sue.
  12. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Ok, so this is what I was told about why insurance was a reason in case something did happen to me while on the premises. As nursing students, we do not purchase our own liability insurance where I live. The school does that on our behalf. Therefore, should something happen to you as a nursing student in the program, you are covered.

    If the shadowing is not a part of the nursing program, than you are not covered. Being a visitor and shadowing an RN are two different things. Whatever the argument is, I didn't seek to further clarify. The answer to me was a clear NO, and there was no point in pushing the issue. If shadowing is an option to you, go for it....more power to ya!

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