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Shadowing a nurse or practioner

emf1996 emf1996 (New) New

Hi, I'm a senior in high school and at my school we have a year round project called the Senior High School Project. This project allows us to either learn how to do something such as an instrument, shadow people in all different fields of work or set up tournaments to raise money for a charity. This project is required for students going on the distinguished plan for graduation, like I choose to do so. The project is suppose to be interesting and fun for students as well as a learning step for us. I would like to shadow a nurse or doctor in the NICU because I want to major in biology and go on to medical school, or major in pre-nursing to become a NICU nurse. I think shadowing a NICU nurse or doctor would be a great learning step for me, to dip my feet in the water of the medical field and being able to do hands on things, to see if this is a job that I truly see myself doing. I love working with children and for the last two years I've wanted to going down the path to becoming apart of the NICU department to help save lives of newborns. If anyone knows of any doctors or nursing who are interested in doing this or a hospital in the Dallas area (preferably) that might be willing to help me, please comment below! Thanks(:

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Have you tried contacting the hospital HR or nursing education department in your area ? NICUs are closed, secure units. The patients are high risk for infection or even environmental stress. It's rare for nursing students to even spend time in a NICU so I don't know how a facility would feel about a high school senior student.

NICU isn't just saving the lives of newborns. It's a highly specialized critical care unit with some of the most fragile critically ill human beings. Some just 23 or 24 weeks gestation just over half the time of a typical gestation. I suggest a good read in this forum to get a better idea of what goes on in a NICU. I don't work NICU but nearly all of my patients are NICU graduates. I have a lot of respect for the nurses who care for these neonates and their families. (Like any specialty you aren't just caring for the patient but their family also)

Good luck.


Has 16 years experience.

I would say it's highly doubtful that you would get to shadow the amount of hours necessary to complete your project. You might consider taking a CNA course. This would provide you with the hands on experience you say you want although it wouldn't be in a NICU.

Then you might find someone to let you shadow for a few hours in the specialty that most interests you and conduct an in depth interview on what working in a NICU is like, preferable with people working in several different roles, and include that information in a report along with what the educational path is for the different people working in the NICU (neonatal nurse practitioner, RN, RT, neonatologist) and what you learned about being a healthcare provider as a CNA.

This would give you an idea of what working in healthcare is like, what the role of all the providers in the NICU are, and how you should map out your own educational plans depending on which role you fell best suits you.