shadow a nurse

  1. I currently volunteer at a hospital and I was assigned in the telemetry to answer phone calls from patient and staff, basically to alleviate some tasks of the unit secretary. So far it's been chill, but my counselor and mentor told me about shadow nursing. What are some things that I can do aside from observing and shadowing the nurse? Have any circumstance happened that you really appreciated from a volunteer?
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    About jtoms

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 21
    Student; from US


  3. by   Esme12
    Have any circumstance happened that you really appreciated from a volunteer?
    Is this a homework question?
  4. by   jtoms
    No, I wanted to know the boundaries of how far I can shadow a nurse, more of like the ethics portion of it.
  5. by   kijuanxpablo
    Well I also volunteer at my local ER while im in school and I shadow many different nurses and it really just sepends on the nurse. Some will be mean and not teach you because they dont respect you as a volunteer, and some will be happy to let you assist in certain minor procedures and teach you! It also depends on the hospitals policies. (Like if you are allowed to do anything invasive, or do anything at all)
  6. by   classicdame
    we do not allow shadowing of any discipline in our facility due to risk of HIPAA violations and the liability if the observer gets infected or injured. Also, if you do not have the educational background you really do not understand what is going on. It makes patients nervous, too, to have someone just watching. And, as you mentioned, is somewhat of a burden to the licensed nurse. I recommend concentrating on school.
  7. by   nurseprnRN
    Dear kijuanxpablo, it's not all about you.
    OP: Let me clarify. Classicdame is right. They might not be being "mean because they don't respect you as a volunteer" but because:
    - they are busy
    - they don't have time to teach you
    - it's completely illegal for them to have a volunteer perform or assist in nursing-related tasks outside of the formal student-facility relationship and it exposes the facility to risk
    - you really are in the way even though you don't realize it
    - the patient situation is not your business as a volunteer, not an employee
    - it would be a HIPAA violation and as a volunteer you have not been trained by the faciity in their HIPAA responsibilities (no, your student training doesn't count because they can't vouch for it)
    - it is precisely because they "respect" you as a volunteer....and not a nursing student, which, as a volunteer, you are not