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Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

Program Overview

Job Shadow requests submitted after April 11, 2014, will be on hold. These requests will be processed begining the week of May 19, 2014. Thank you.

The job shadowing program at the medical center provides current or prospective health-care students a chance to observe health-care employees in a workplace setting. The goal is to help individuals learn about health career options, as well as the education and skills required for different occupations in the health-care field. The job shadowing experience is designed to be a one-time observation only experience, lasting two to four hours. The job shadowing experience does not fulfill any clinical or internship requirements; nor does it provide any hands- on experience. Job shadowing is for individual participants only, and is not available for groups of students. Job shadowing is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Job shadowing participants are not paid for their time.

Job shadowing program goals

  • Observe the daily routines of health-care workers
  • Help students begin to identify career interests in healthcare
  • Help students gain awareness of the academic, technical, and personal skills required in health-care professions
  • Help students develop an understanding of the critical connections between school, work, and goal attainment

Who is eligible to participate?

  • High school students age 16 and above (parent or guardian signature required for all applicants under 19 years of age)
  • College students
  • Individuals exploring a second career

Available departments for shadowing

The following is a list of departments participating in the job shadowing program. All shadowing requests are subject to department manager approval and will be granted based on available staff and individual department workload.

Students may choose up to three departments or areas for shadowing per calendar year. Click on department name below for information on shadowing experience and restrictions.

Job shadowing application procedure and contact information

  1. Read through all program information and frequently asked questions (FAQ) on this site
  2. Student must review Job Shadowing Program Guide prior to taking the required quiz
  3. Student must pass required quiz Click here to take the required quiz
  4. Print and complete job shadowing application and confidentiality form, found at the end of the online quiz
  5. Please allow up to two weeks for someone from the department you requested to contact you to set up your job shadowing experience
  6. Each student must return completed and signed forms on the day of the job shadow. A parent or legal guardian must sign all forms for applicants under 19 years of age.
  7. Please do not send this application in prior to your job shadow.

Contact Information

Any questions regarding the application process or if you would like more information on the job shadowing program please email program staff at

If you are seeking information on health-care education programs please visit

Clinical Laboratory Scientists (formally known as Medical Technologists) are responsible for the development, performance and evaluation of laboratory testing that is needed in patient medical care and clinical research.

70-80% of all medical decisions are based on the accurate and precise results of these scientists. They analyze samples of blood, tissue, and body fluids using cutting-edge technology and a variety of analytical techniques.

Clinical Laboratory Scientists are at the forefront of healthcare guiding other health care professionals. A Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Lab Science will give you the ability to work in many different environments and several areas of expertise.

Clinical Lab Scientists work in many environments:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor's Offices
  • Reference Laboratories
  • Forensic Laboratories
  • Research
  • Veterinary Clinics
  • Industry
  • Public Health
  • Pharmaceutical Labs

Areas of Expertise:

  • Chemistry
  • Hematology
  • Immunology/ Serology
  • Microbiology/ Virology
  • Blood Banking
  • Toxicology
  • Urinalysis
  • Molecular Diagnostics

This job shadow experience is open to all students age 16 and older.

Radiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the use of radioactive substances in diagnosis and treatment of disease. This includes the use of ionizing radiation for medical diagnosis, especially the use of x-rays in medical radiography or fluoroscopy.

Students can expect to observe routine radiology exams during this job shadowing experience. This job shadowing experience is limited to students with at least a high school senior level of education. It is primarily for those interested in pursuing radiology technologist programs.

There are many opportunities available within the specialty of nursing. Nurses are an integral part of the health-care team. They work in a variety of areas and in many different capacities. Most nurses begin their career at the bedside as staff nurses in a hospital. This helps the nurse gain valuable experience. This bedside experience can also provide the experience necessary to move into nursing leadership positions or lead a nurse to make decisions about pursuing advanced practice degrees. If you choose to shadow an inpatient nurse at our hospital, you’ll have the opportunity to observe how most nurses begin their exciting careers.

A job shadowing experience with one of our staff nurses will include a tour of a nursing unit and the opportunity to discuss education and career path with a nurse. Students will be allowed to observe the flow of patient care areas, see specialized equipment used by nursing staff and follow the nurse in to patient rooms to observe the patient and nurse interaction. This job shadowing experience is open to all applicants age 16 and older.

Often times in hospitals, patients or families will have to face a difficult diagnosis or make tough decisions in regards to the care of their family members. Hospital chaplains help patients and their families who need spiritual support or prayer. Hospital chaplains also help the patient contact communities, congregations or faith groups. Chaplains are there when a patient or family member just needs a caring person to listen to them. Pastoral care departments are very important members of the health-care team.

Those who wish to job shadow in the Pastoral Care department can expect to meet with a staff chaplain to discuss the education and career path required to work in the field. They will also be able to round with a chaplain on a unit to observe the patient and chaplain interactions, as well as participate in a chapel service. This job shadowing experience is open to all applicants 16 years of age and older.

Physical therapists provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They restore, maintain and promote overall fitness and health. Physical therapy patients may include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries and cerebral palsy.

A job shadowing in the physical therapy department will include an overview of the typical work day for a physical therapist, a tour of the workplace, the opportunity to discuss the education and career path required to become a physical therapist and seeing the physical therapist interact with a patient.

This job shadowing experience is for all students interested in pursuing education in the field of physical therapy. Priority will be given to individuals who are currently applying to or are enrolled in a Physical Therapy program.

This program will be unavailble until Spring, 2014. Thank you.

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to treat cancer in the human body. As part of a medical radiation oncology team, radiation therapists use machines, called linear accelerators, to administer radiation treatment to patients. Linear accelerators are used to conduct the external beam therapy. External beam therapy projects high-energy x-rays at targeted cancer cells. As the x-rays collide with human tissue, they produce highly energized ions that can shrink and eliminate cancerous tumors. Radiation therapy sometimes is used as the sole treatment for cancer but usually is used in conjunction with chemotherapy or surgery.

For a job shadowing in Radiation Oncology, the qualified individual will have access to the work environment, which includes direct contact with oncologists, nurses, dosimetrists and medical physicists. The job shadowing participant will also be able to observe highly-sophisticated equipment used to generate high doses of radiation in the treatment of disease. The goal is to provide a heightened awareness of the cancer treatment process. This job shadowing experience is limited to college students only. Please see restrictions below.


Job shadowing in Radiation Oncology is limited to the following conditions:

  1. All participants must be enrolled in or have completed an accredited radiography program.
  2. The interested party cannot be currently enrolled or accepted into any radiation therapy program other than the program at UNMC.

Respiratory therapists are also known as inhalation therapists. They treat patients who have difficulty breathing and work with all types of patients from premature infants to elderly patients with lung disease. They operate equipment such as ventilators and nebulizers. Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals under the supervision of physicians but a growing number are contracted outside of hospitals in home health agencies and nursing homes.

Job shadowing in the area of Respiratory Care will give the student an overview of what a respiratory care practitioner does in a critical care setting. Job shadowing in Respiratory Care is for high school students who are interested in applying for respiratory therapy programs, college students who are currently enrolled in respiratory therapy programs or individuals looking to make a career change.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

Job shadowing in The Diabetes Center is available on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Students will meet trained diabetes educators, nurses, dieticians and an exercise physiologist. Students will be able to observe a Type 2 diabetes education class. Students will learn about a multidisciplinary approach to diabetes management. Job Shadowing in the Diabetes Center is open to all job shadowing applicants.

This department is responsible for improving quality and patient safety measures within the hospital. The organization’s needs dictate the current tasks for this department. This shadowing experience takes place in a business setting, not in a clinical area. Interested students can expect to visit with a professional in this area to discuss education and career path, and view routine reports on patient safety indicators, core measure compliance and incident reporting.

*This job shadowing is only for college students interested in this field. Shadowing experience will be limited to two hours, and is not available on Mondays.

Patient Financial Services handles insurance verification and authorization for medical procedures, billing and collection on accounts; as well as many other patient-related financial functions. Patient Financial Services also has counselors to assist patients who have financial need or other difficulty with their medical bills. The PFS employees are customer service oriented and important members of the health-care team.

For a job shadowing in this area, students can expect a business office atmosphere, rather than a clinical experience. The PFS employees will discuss recommended education and career path for a career in this field and allow students to review processes and reports unique to this area. This job shadowing opportunity is open to all students interested in pursuing a career in this area.

Pulmonary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the lungs. Pulmonary function technologists perform basic diagnostic testing such as spirometry, lung volume testing and oximetry. They are often responsible for explaining tests to patients and putting them at ease before the procedure. Pulmonary function technologists work under the direct supervision of a doctor, most frequently in physician's offices and hospitals.

Shadowing in the PFT lab allows students to tour the lab and get overview of the types of diagnostic testing done. Test may include breathing tests, bronchoscopy, stress tests and more as well as the related test results. Students will see specialized equipment used by professionals in this area. Students will be able to discuss the education and career path required for a job as a pulmonary function technologist.

This opportunity is open to all applicants 16 years an older. Job shadowing in this area is only available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Due to the large number of Physician shadow requests only those that meet the criteria will be considered. Thank you.

A physician, or medical doctor, leads the medical team in caring for patients as the primary health-care provider. A doctor diagnoses and treats diseases and conditions.

Treatment may include

  • medication
  • procedures
  • surgery
  • therapy

The physician shoulders the highest degree of responsibility of coordinating the patient’s medical treatment. This includes analyzing symptoms and conditions to determine care which will yield the best possible results and recovery.

The job shadowing student will be allowed to visit with a physician regarding education and career path required for the line of work, tour areas in which a physician might work and witness the physician and patient interaction.

*Preference will be given to students who have who have taken the MCAT, applied for medical school programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center or have other academic pre-med sponsorships.

*If you have already spoken with a physician and made arrangements for shadowing, please indicate the name of that physician when submitting your request.

Nuclear medicine combines chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology and medicine in using radioactivity to diagnose and treat disease. Nuclear medicine uniquely provides information about both the structure and function of virtually every major organ system within the body. Nuclear medicine technologists operate cameras that detect and map the radioactive drug in a patient’s body to create diagnostic images. After explaining test procedures to patients, technologists prepare and administer radiopharmaceutical medicines necessary for testing.

A job shadowing in this area will give students the opportunity to tour areas where a nuclear medicine technologists work, see specialized equipment used in this profession, witness the technologist and patient interaction and speak with a professional regarding the education and career path required. This job shadowing experience is open to students interested in pursuing a career as a nuclear medicine technologist.

A medical social worker is the professional responsible for helping patients and their families adjust to the impact of illness or injury on their lifestyle. Social workers provide advisement and referrals for home care and other facilities after discharging a patient in an effort to help ensure continued needs are met. Social workers assist patients of all ages (pediatric, adult & geriatric); medical and surgical services (primary care, trauma, transplants); settings (inpatient and outpatient); practices (a blend of private and academic); and patient diversities (socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, geographic). Social workers are an integral part of the health-care team.

Job shadowing in social work will provide the student the opportunity to discuss the education and career path required for a career in social work, tour hospital areas where a social worker is being done and witness the social worker-patient interaction. This job shadowing experience is limited to college students interested in careers in social work.

The Six Sigma department is responsible for leading process improvement projects throughout the organization. The goal of Lean Six Sigma is to reduce waste and variation in our organizational processes and to make customer-focused, data driven decisions. Our projects are determined based on strategic objectives and focal areas identified by the executive team. Students shadowing in this area can expect a business office atmosphere and possibly some work in clinical areas. The shadowing experience will include partnership with a Six Sigma black belt for the duration of the day, an overview of the Six Sigma process, an overview of 3 completed Six Sigma projects, and at least one of the following: a meeting with a Six Sigma project team, a meeting with an executive sponsor of a past/present Six Sigma project.

This job shadowing is only for college students interested in pursuing a career in Six Sigma, Industrial Engineering, or a health care related field. The shadowing experience will be for 4 – 6 hours depending on meeting times.

Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who assure that patients receive safe and effective medication therapy. They are very important members of the healthcare team. Working alongside other healthcare providers, pharmacists evaluate the appropriateness of the prescription orders, screen for medication allergies and drug interactions. Pharmacists make medication therapy recommendations to assure high quality outcomes for patients. A pharmacist will counsel patients and members of the healthcare team on the proper use and adverse effects of medications. They play a vital role in the overall disease state management of patients.

Job shadowing experiences in the pharmacy will give students the opportunity to see the flow of the pharmacy, and observe the typical routines of pharmacy staff. Students will be able to ask questions regarding the education and career path required to become a pharmacist. This job shadowing opportunity is available for all job shadowing applicants aged sixteen and above.

There are different opportunities within a healthcare setting available within the specialty of Child Life. Child Life Specialists are an integral part of the healthcare team. They work in a variety of areas and in many different capacities. Child life specialists are experts in child development, who promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization. Understanding that a child’s wellbeing depends on the support of the family, child life specialists provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress.

If you choose to shadow a Child Life Specialist at our hospital, you will have the opportunity to discover how our Specialists began their exciting careers. A job shadowing experience with one of our Certified Child Life Specialists will include a tour of the pediatric inpatient units, play room and teen activity room and out-patient areas, see specialized teaching resources used by our specialists and hear about what they do on a daily basis for the pediatric children and families, as well as those children of our hospital’s adult population. Applicants will learn about the dedication and process required of becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.

The job shadowing experience is only open to applicants 18 years and older who are enrolled in Child Development related courses. Because of the limited opportunities in the Omaha area and the competitive nature of the field at both the practicum and internship levels, we ask that all applicants be actively pursuing the field of child life.

Registered dietitians, in the hospital or outpatient clinic setting, are Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapists who help patients and their physicians address nutrition problems related to a variety of health conditions. They are key members of the health care team and perform such services as: assessing and monitoring nutritional status of patients; developing care plans to complement the patient's overall plan of medical care; counseling patients and their families to help them achieve nutrition care goals relating to their health conditions, and working with the physician to manage enteral and parenteral nutrition support for patients who are not able to meet their nutritional needs with oral diet.

Job shadowing in Clinical Nutrition is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. Students will observe a registered dietitian interacting with patients and other health care team members. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions about career paths in dietetics and educational experiences at UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center. This job shadowing opportunity is available for students enrolled in undergraduate dietetics education courses and considering application to dietetic internship programs.

A perfusionist is a skilled, allied health professional, trained and educated specifically as a member of an open-heart surgical team. Perfusionists are responsible for the selection, setup, and operation of a mechanical device commonly referred to as the heart-lung machine.

The cardiovascular perfusionist becomes the heart and lungs, figuratively, for each patient undergoing open-heart surgery. These allied health professionals operate the life-sustaining equipment that keep patients alive during major surgical procedures. The perfusionist utilizes artificial organs (hearts, lungs, kidneys) to perform procedures such as adult and pediatric cardiac surgery, transplantation, and emergency medicine. The perfusionist also plays an important role in blood management for orthopedics and neuro surgery as well as transplant and trauma surgery.

A job shadowing in cardiovascular perfusion will provide the student with an understanding of the role of the perfusionist and their management of the heart lung machine in support of the cardiac surgical patient. In some instances, shadows will also observe other types of cardiac support devices for heart failure patients. Shadows can be expected to see the relationships between all of the members of the heart team; surgeons, anesthesia, perfusion, nursing and physician assistants. Observation of a surgery is not always possible. This job shadowing experience is for students 18 years of age or older who have graduated from high school.

Occupational Therapists work with individuals of all ages whose ability to function in everyday life has been disrupted because of physical illness or injury, the aging process, birth defects, disease process, or mental illness. Occupational Therapy helps individuals restore, maintain, and develop skills that are essential for independent functioning, health, and well being. In the hospital setting, Occupational Therapists work with patients to safely participate in basic activities of daily living and facilitate early mobilization.

Job shadowing in the occupational therapy department will include an overview of the typical work day for an occupational therapist, the opportunity to discuss the education and career path required to become an occupational therapist, and observe the occupational therapist interacting with patients.

The job shadowing experience is for all students interested in pursuing education in the field of occupational therapy. Priority will be given to individuals who are currently applying to or are enrolled in a Occupational Therapy program.

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