Do you mind being shadowed?


Hi. So I'm in semester 2 of nursing school and just beginning clinicals. This semester I'm doing them on Saturdays at a small community hospital, and at orientation this past Saturday we were told we probably weren't going to be able to have many opportunities (if any at all) to observe surgeries since it will be the weekend.

This really bummed me out since the OR really interests me. So I was thinking that since I currently work at a large teaching hospital I may ask an OR nurse if she/he wouldn't mind me shadowing them for a day. So here's the question: do you mind being shadowed? Or is it a pain in the a$$ for you?


231 Posts

I'm a newbie OR nurse (started in July) but I've been shadowed a couple of times by students from a local community college program and I found that I love it. Once I'm confident that they know how to keep out of the way and "not touch anything blue" ;-) it's really fun. A lot depends on the case, of course-- real quickies like cystos don't give much chance for talking. Laparascopic cases are great 'cause the student can see what's going on via the monitors (as opposed to the surgeon and assistants hands doing mysterious things down inside an incision).

Since I'm pretty new to the OR, being shadowed makes me focus my own thoughts about a case so I can tell someone else about it. So, it's good for the student and it's also good for me. Down the road when I have more experience I'd love to be a preceptor.

OR nursing is a wonderful field, and you really SHOULD try to experience it first hand. Talk to the surgical department at your hospital and ask them to assign you to a nurse who likes teaching. Good luck!


1,313 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I don't mind being shadowed at all. I was a student recently myself so i can still remember how intimidating the OR is to a new person.

There are some people at my work thought who are completely unsuited to having a student under their wing because they are bullies, and don't have any teaching skills whatsoever. I would hope they team you up with someone who is going to be supportive.


369 Posts

Specializes in surgical, emergency. Has 40 years experience.

I really enjoy being shadowed, or having students in the room!

I feel that I can learn a few things from them too. Afterall, students are pounded with all the latest info, right.

When students are observing, I often ask them to watch, and try to figure what we are doing AND WHY.

I love it when what we do, isn't "by the book". Oh, yes once in a while, what I (we) are doing maybe isn't quite right, a student's question, may actually pull us back on track.

I guess what it does is gets a conversation going, makes it easier to learn, for everyone.

I have been doing OR nursing for over 25 years, I've been an RN for 30. I'm proud of that, and feel that I've got some info that students can benefit from.

I've got feed back from inservices taught that students say I'm a goo teacher too. I'm proud of that too!

I will admit, that some days, no, I'd rather not have a student. Some days I just want to concentrate on my job, and patient care. I just don't want to talk that much. Strange, huh?


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