Excited about shadowing opportunity but.....what to wear??

  1. 0
    Hi All!

    I am super excited about the opportunity to shadow in my top 3 choice areas for a graduate nurse internship. 2 hours in the ER, 2 hours in ICU and 2 hours on an observation unit! Since my application is already in, there's a possiblity of an interview as well (which may also be in my head since no one has said anything about interviewin.g..yet ).

    Anyway, it's in 2 weeks and I'm confused about what to wear. My former corporate American half is saying to wear business casual and some flat, comfortable shoes. My current nursing student/ER PCT half is telling me to bust out some scrubs and look like the position I want!

    I've asked a nurse recruiter at the hospital and I'm waiting to hear back from her but I wanted to see what you guys think. Thanks!
  2. 25 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    you should wear scrubs so while you're "observing" you can jump in and help/get your hands dirty so dress for the job.
  4. 0
    I was thinking the EXACT thing! But, I didn't want them to frown upon me...for what, I don't even know. OK...so 1 for the scrubs...well, 1.5..half of me..lol. Thanks for your reply!
  5. 5
    You really need to find out the parameters for shadowing. In most shadowing opportunities I am aware of, you are not supposed to jump into anything. You are there strictly to observe and shouldn't even touch a patient because of hospital liability concerns. It doesn't matter if you have your own student liability policy (and far too few do), the hospital policy would still probably not cover you because you aren't an employee or a student with a faculty advisor responsible for your actions. Shadowing is often considered a courtesy position, not an official role.

    If that is the case with the facility in question, you might be better off to wear dress pants, an nice blouse/shirt, and a jacket. That way you'll be ready for the interview and you won't be tempted to jump in to patient care that you're not allowed to do.

    Best wishes with your shadowing.
    Lovelymo79, sevensonnets, Flare, and 2 others like this.
  6. 1
    well, i shadowed once before accepting a job and the hospital had me to sign a waiver of liability - this is true. but just because you may not be touching patients doesn't mean there aren't things you CAN do that you wouldn't want to be "dressed up" for. i mean, i'd personally feel kind of silly standing there watching someone empty a cath or something of that nature when i could help out without ever putting a patient at risk. if someone wanted to hand me a urinal to flush down the toilet - i wouldn't want to be like, "sorry - i'm not dressed for the job."
    just because you might not be "allowed" to help clean up a bowel movement doesn't mean you can't take the dirty rags from the employee's hands and place them in the dirty linen. who wants to be dressed up for that? i dunno - all i know is wearing scrubs will not and would never be "inappropriate" in a clinical setting.
    Lovelymo79 likes this.
  7. 2
    op: no one (future co-workers in particular) are really impressed as you think with people who jump in to do dirty things when he/she is trying to get a job. they are used to seeing former and current interns/externs/student nurses/volunteers/new grads doing everything under the sun to be noticed. your future co-workers will be impressed after you have the job and you go out of your way for a patient that is not yours. thus, focus on your future bosses and be dressed for an interview. this means you should also carry a copy of your resume and portfolio at all times, plus use the opportunity to take notes, network, and find out the names and contact information of hiring managers.

    by the way, being dressed for an interview will not negate opportunities to show good customer service. you can always help visitors with directions to the bathroom, provide patients with water or a warm blanket (after asking the nurse if it is ok), and find additional chairs for family members to sit down next to his/her loved one. it is not necessary for you to get dirty when you shadow to prove your worth as a potential nurse.


    Quote from backatit2
    well, i shadowed once before accepting a job and the hospital had me to sign a waiver of liability - this is true. but just because you may not be touching patients doesn't mean there aren't things you can do that you wouldn't want to be "dressed up" for.
    true, but it is not necessary to dress in scrubs and to do dirty things to gain respect or be noticed by your future co-workers. if you make it known that you are shadowing today and hope to also interview, the staff will understand.
    Last edit by MBARNBSN on Mar 1, '11
    Lovelymo79 and Sparrowhawk like this.
  8. 0
    Thanks everyone for your replies! Everyone has made some very valid points. Ultimately, it will all depend on what the nurse recruiter says and while I'm leaning more towards the business casual (especially since if they want me in scrubs, I'm sure I can always get a pair from the OR), I'm going to see what she says. My exact question was would wearing business casual be appropriate so I should hear by sometime today.

    And while I do have student insurance (we are not even allowed onto clinical sites unless we present copies of our certificates of insurance), it wouldn't be needed because as a guest (in business casual or scrubs), I would never do anything that would jeopardize me or my host hospital.

    So, we shall see! I'll let you knoiw what she says!
  9. 1
    do you have a lab coat? if you wear street cloths, I would at least wear a lab coat. And you said you don't have a scheduled interview? you put in an application. I would not assume that HR would know you are shadowing in the ER, and see it as an opportunity to call you for an interview. They do that on their time, not just because you are in the facility.
    Lovelymo79 likes this.
  10. 3
    I'd try my hardest to find out from the nurse recruiter what to wear.

    If they don't call back in time, I'd wear something that looks professional (like business casual) but that you wouldn't mind getting stained or dirty should something happen...and things do happen even if you're not doing anything. I was once bled on by the patient while observing their cardiac cath from two or three feet away. They apparently hit that vessel just right

    And NO heels! The last thing you need is to trip and fall, and end up being a patient in the ER
    Lovelymo79, sevensonnets, and netglow like this.
  11. 6
    HR knows I'm shadowing. They are the ones who set it up with the nurse managers. I did an online application, then set up the shadowing day and then turned in a longer paper application (where I noted that I would be visiting the hospital that particular day). So everyone know Ms. Lovelymo79 will be in the building

    I received this from the nurse recruiter today:

    I would recommend wearing scrubs and athletic shoes (something comfortable). I know it seems funny to 'dress down' when you are potentially meeting the hiring managers but believe me they will not find it offensive and would rather you be comfortable and better able to fully experience the shadowing opportunity.


    So...I guess scrubs it is!
    rn/writer, flyingchange, noyesno, and 3 others like this.


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