Student Shadowing

Information for Therapy shadowing opportunities at Boone Hospital Center

Contact information:

Occupational Therapy:
Monica List, OTR/L
Speech Therapy:
Jeri Schoemehl, CCC-SLP
Outpatient Physical Therapy:
Katie Darkow, PT
Inpatient Physical Therapy:
Laura DeShon, PT


Expected time frame:
Requests for observational opportunities should be submitted at a minimum of 3 weeks in advance.

Number of hours to be provided:
Observations are typically one 8 hour day, but alternative arrangements may be made at the discretion of the therapist.

The student may request a particular area of interest, but the final determination will be based on availability of staff and needs of the Rehab Services department. Areas available for observation:

Outpatient - pediatrics, orthopedics, Balance program, Neurology, Hand therapy, Ergonomics, Cognitive, Workman’s Comp, Infant Developmental Clinic and Lymphedema.
Inpatient - Joint Replacement and Spine Centers, Inpatient Rehab Unit,  Intensive Care Unit and general acute care.

Times and Days of Week:
Observations will typically occur between 8am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. However, alternative arrangements may be made at the discretion of the therapist.

Due to the high number of requests for observational opportunities in the rehab services department, we are now requesting that you compose a one page essay detailing your interest in therapy services.  For instance, how did you become interested in pursuing a career in a healthcare setting, and what future plans for your chosen career have you developed. Each month we will review submissions and select 1-2 students that will be given the opportunity to shadow a Physical Therapist, Physical Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapist, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant or Speech Therapist.

Observations are typically one 8 hour day, but alternative arrangements may be made at the discretion of the therapist.

Please send your response to the contact person listed above for the area of requested observation.

Shadowing Guidelines

Please arrive ten to fifteen minutes early for your shadowing experience. Arriving late makes a bad impression. If you are going to be late, call the person with whom you’ve arranged to shadow and let her/him know.

Do not use your cellphone while observing and make sure that it is shut off. Do not wander throughout the hospital. If you feel like you need to remove yourself from a situation, do so politely and quickly. Express gratitude for your experience to those who have made your experience possible.

A hospital is a professional work setting. Therefore, your dress and appearance should be professional. Clothing should be neat and clean. Shirts should be tucked into pants. Avoid jewelry; women with long hair may want to pull it back. Do not wear clothing that portrays suggestive or derogatory pictures and messages, including advertising of alcohol, tobacco, music bands, etc. Clothing needs to cover undergarments, and must not be revealing. Wearing nose, eyebrow, tongue, lip and body jewelry is discouraged. Wear flat, comfortable closed- toe shoes-no sandals. Do not wear mini skirts or jeans. Be sure that your hands are clean and fingernails are clean and trimmed. Do not wear perfumes as some patients have sensitivities to strong odors.

Shadowing Etiquette
During your experience, the caregiver’s focus (and your own) will be on meeting patient needs. Stand behind or to the side of your assigned caregiver (like a shadow) unless invited to sit or are directed elsewhere.

Avoid asking the patient questions or asking the caregiver questions in front of the patient. Respect privacy. Avoid taking notes during patient visits. Allow your assigned caregiver to introduce you to the patient but don’t be concerned if he/she doesn’t.