Job Shadowing Students


The purpose of this policy is to establish a program for high school students age 16 and over who are not yet enrolled in a healthcare-related education program, but who have an interest in pursuing a healthcare education and career to participate in job shadowing, while ensuring that safeguards are in place to protect the confidentiality of patient information.


It is the policy of SMH to allow students age 16 and over who are interested in pursuing careers in the medical field the opportunity to shadow employees or physician for one day, when the safeguards of this policy are followed. An individual who wishes to shadow an employee or physician must request advance permission and meet the requirements of this policy. SMH is not required to grant such permission, and such permission may be rescinded at the discretion of the Department Manager in which the student is to participate in job shadowing. It is the responsibility of the department and the preceptor where the individual will shadow to ensure that patient’s protected health information and other confidential information is properly safeguarded in accordance with SMH policies and state and federal confidentiality laws, including HIPAA.


This policy applies to any individual interested in pursing a career in the healthcare field, who (1) has completed the orientation and forms required by this policy, (2) has been approved by a Department Manager, and (3) has an employee or physician who has agreed to be their preceptor. The student shadowing is not an employee of SMH and will not be compensated. The student shadowing must be accompanied by a SMH employee or a physician at all times while at the hospital. Only one (1) shadow student in each area at a time.


1. Department Managers and physicians who sponsor a shadow student are responsible for the supervision of the observer and agree to ensure that the observer complies with all SMH policies. The decision to sponsor a shadow student is at the sole discretion of the Department Manager.

2. Applicant’s wishing to shadow must be at least 16 years old. Applicants under the age of eighteen (18) must provide written permission from a parent or legal guardian. Applicants must give at least one (1) week notice prior to participating in a job shadowing. Job shadowing students can begin the application process by contacting SMH Human Resource Department at (501) 776-6965 or by E-mailing for an application form. The Department Manager that closest fits the interest and needs of the job shadowing student and the HR Department representative will review the application. The Department Manager may allow or disallow the shadowing, or place further restrictions on the student, for any reason or for no reason; however applicants will be accepted and assigned without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, or disability. SMH Human Resources Department will communicate the approval or non-approval to the applicant.

3. Job Shadowing students are prohibited from observing in the following areas:
• OB/Nursery
• Mental Health Areas
• Emergency Department
• Surgery Observation limited to Laparoscopic/ scope cases only or at the Surgeon’s discretion.

4. The following guidelines pertain to the Job Shadowing Student:
• Must sign in at HR to obtain badge. Must return badge and sign out at the end of the shadowing experience.
• Can not perform any direct patient care.
• Must be enrolled in High School or College Program.
• Must be 16 years or older, and parental permission required if under 18 years of age.
• Observe only experience, no hands on.
• One shadowing student per area.
• Weeks notice before allowed to shadow to complete paperwork.
• Must wear ID badge provided, identifying them as a Shadow Student.
• No compensation.

Job Shadowing Student will not wear a lab coat or any clothing that might indicate they are a healthcare provider unless the preceptor/sponsor determines that protective clothing is necessary for the safety of the patient or student. (i.e. Surgical scrubs, PPE equipment, etc.)

For more information, please contact Carol Matthews at 776-6759 or
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