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Job shadowing is a short-term observation experience for students who want to learn more about the job duties and educational requirements of a specific healthcare occupation. Students are paired with a healthcare professional whom they will observe performing their routine duties throughout the day. Job shadowing is usually 4 to 8 hours long and may be completed in one to two days. College students may participate in longer experiences if the job shadowing is a prerequisite for admission into a clinical education program or a course requirement.

Job Shadowing is commonly available for the following occupations*:

  • Registered Nursing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Radiology and Imaging Services
  • Clinical Medical Laboratory
  • Pharmacy
  • Speech Therapy

*Other occupational areas and medical specialties may be available. Every attempt is made to accommodate students’ interests but placement cannot be guaranteed.

Job Shadowing is offered at the following locations:

  • Summa Akron City Hospital
  • Summa St. Thomas Hospital
  • Summa Barberton Hospital
  • Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital
  • Robinson Memorial Hospital - an affiliate of Summa Health System
  • Summa Wellness Institute (College students only)
  • Summa Physicians Inc.
  • Summa Enterprise Group
  • Summa Health Network
  • Ohio Health Choice

What to Expect During a Job Shadow Experience
Job shadowing at Summa Health System  provides students with a view of the patient-care delivery process and the business functions of a hospital. Activities vary depending on the occupation you will observe. In a clinical setting for example, you will observe how staff, directly and indirectly, diagnose illness and injury, prescribe and administer treatment and therapies and help patients cope with their illness. On the business side, you can shadow a manager as they direct and supervise staff, develop reports and budgets, and manage the facilities, technology and communications of the hospital. Some job shadowing experiences may offer hands-on activities to help students learn more about the occupation they are observing. Those activities are supervised by the job shadow host and do not allow students to provide direct care to patients.

Prior to your job shadow, you will receive a written confirmation with the scheduled date, time and location of your job shadow, your host’s name and department, and instructions to prepare for your shadowing day. A human resources representative or your job shadow host will greet you when you arrive at the hospital and provide you with a brief orientation. During the orientation, you will receive a visitor’s badge, a meal card for lunch and a parking validation. A hospital-issued scrub shirt or uniform will be provided if the shadowing will occur in a clinical area.

Typical job shadow schedule for middle and high school students:

  • 8:00 a.m. -  Arrival and Check-in at hospital main entrance
  • 8:15 a.m. -  Welcome & Orientation with HR staff or job shadow host
  • 8:30 a.m. - Shadowing Begins
  • 11:30 a.m. - Lunch
  • Noon -  Shadowing Continues
  • 2:30 p.m. -  Wrap Up / Dismissal

Student Requirements
Individuals interested in job shadowing must meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 14 years of age
  • You are in middle or high school, college or an adult in a career transition
  • Complete an online Job Shadow Request Form
  • Submit proof of current immunizations or pass a health history screening
  • Pass a criminal background check (if 18 years of age or older)
  • Complete a Job Shadow Orientation

How to Request a Job Shadow
To request for a job shadow, download and complete the Job Shadowing Application (PDF).

Please allow at least two (2) weeks for the Human Resources Department to respond to your request. Every attempt is made to accommodate students’ interests but placement cannot be guaranteed. If you are in the 11th or 12th grade, please read the section below on the NEONI career shadowing program before submitting a request through this site.

NEONI Healthcare Career Shadowing Program
High School juniors and seniors are encouraged to shadow through the NEONI Healthcare Career Shadowing Program. The program offers job shadowing opportunities at hospitals throughout Northeast Ohio for high school students who attend a school that is registered to participate in the program. Speak to your guidance counselor or visit to register or determine if your school participates in the program.

Summa Health System is a healthcare partner of NEONI and offers shadowing October through April at its  Summa Akron City and St. Thomas Hospital campuses in the following careers:

  • Registered Nursing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Radiology and Imaging Services
  • Clinical Medical Laboratory
  • Pharmacy

Shadowing days begin  at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 2:30 p.m. Lunch and materials are provided. Shadowing dates for the remaining 2011-2012 school year are:

  • April 17
  • May 2

Check back in August or visit to view the shadowing schedule for the 2012-2013 school year.