Shadowing a Doctor

September 28, 2016

One of the most useful things you can do when you begin your nursing journey is to learn from those with lots of experience. Whether this is a friend or family member, a tutor or someone you train under, mentorship in nursing is extremely important. So how do you build up that vital experience?

Finding a nurse mentor

Some university courses or hospital trusts offer accredited or structured mentoring schemes for their nursing students, but this is not a necessity. Your nurse mentor may simply be a health professional at your local clinic who can offer you some shadowing, and who can advise you on your future career. You may take on work experience in different nursing specialities, to gain a broader perspective of this field of medicine. In this case, mentorship is great for asking those all-important questions about training requirements, working hours, responsibilities and more. You may seek different types of mentorship at different stages in your career.

Mentorship in nursing with Gap Medics

imageedit_1_7063957884Completing a nursing work experience placement with Gap Medics is a great way to receive some intensive mentoring over the course of a week or longer. This is something there is rarely the resources to do in a UK hospital, particularly for those who have not yet committed to a nursing degree. With us, you can benefit from this degree of mentoring as soon as you turn 16.

Whichever destination you choose, you will be assigned your own dedicated nursing mentor who guides you through each step of your shadowing experience and is available to answer any questions you have. Our students come home full of praise for the mentors they have met – each one is passionate about their job and eager to show our students the unique challenges and rewards of their particular role.

“My mentor took the time to go over each patient’s history, current condition, current treatment, and possibilities for future treatment. He also looked for patients or parents with whom I could speak English; having the opportunity to talk with the patients or their families was a great experience!”

Keaton Ollech

“The mentors were great and very good at explaining what they were doing and why they were doing it, and were very good teachers in things I wasn’t as familiar with. They were always helpful and informative, often looking for interesting things happening in the department that we might find interesting to watch, or bringing up old cases for us to look at. They were very keen for me to get as hands on as a shadowing placement would allow, letting me scroll through CT scans, analyse x-rays and letting me conduct an ultrasound on a patient.”

Kate Gunther

Tips for creating a great mentor relationship

– Always be polite and respectful – turn up on time, introduce yourself properly and be thankful for the opportunity to shadow your mentor. After all, they are busy people!

– Ask lots of questions – this is an unmissable opportunity to learn about the life of a nurse from someone with years of experience.

– Be flexible – times may change and emergencies happen.

– Keep in touch – let your mentor know how your educational journey progresses and how much you valued their input, however small!   

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.