Job Shadowing at Des Moines Area Hospitals

DesMoines Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Program Overview

Thank you for your interest in a job shadow experience with UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. We are committed to providing educational opportunities for individuals interested in healthcare careers, whether they are clinical or non-clinical in nature. Our Job Shadow Program is for students or individuals who are considering a career change or exploration.

Job shadows are not clinical rotations and will not meet the requirements for programs that require clinical contact hours or internship hours, nor will it fulfill the requirement for volunteer or community service hours.

Program Offerings

We understand the value and importance of interviewing a healthcare professional or participating in an observation experience as part of the career exploration process. Experiences include virtual interviews, in-person interviews and in-person observations. In-person observations don’t include hands-on patient care.

*Parent/guardian consent to participate in any experience is required of all participants younger than 18 years of age.

Choose Your Experience

  • One hour maximum. Open to those 16* years of age and older.
  • This interview will be face-to-face in the designated location.
  • During this interview, you can ask questions regarding job functions and responsibilities.
  • View available observations
  • 8 hours maximum. Open to those 16* years of age and older.
  • Additional time is contingent on the individual's needs and area of interest. Approval is at the discretion of the healthcare host.
  • In-person observations consist of a designated team member showing various day-to-day job responsibilities in the area of your choice.
  • View available observations
  • One hour maximum. Open to those 14* years of age and older.
  • During this interview, you can ask questions regarding job functions and other responsibilities.
  • View available observations

Application Process

Those interested in a virtual interview, in-person interview or in-person observation must:

  1. Complete the fillable application.
    -The application requires a parent/guardian to electronically sign and provide consent.
    -The application also requires your electronic signature on a consent and release from liability form.
  2. For in-person observations, upload an acceptable copy of your immunizations and email them to the department you are interested in observing.
    -We require proof of immunizations. The required list of immunizations can be found within the application form. An acceptable copy of your vaccinations includes electronic health record documents showing the vaccine documentation and date administered, or a vaccination card with dose and dates administered.
  3. Email the completed application and required documentation to the program contact you are interested in participating in.
  4. Review the Self-Guided Orientation

    *All documents must be received as part of your application to participate and must be received at least two weeks prior to your scheduled experience. If these documents are not received, your application will be closed without notification.

Apply Today!

Thank you for your interest in job shadowing at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.
Once your application is emailed in full, including your vaccine documentation, someone from the program you are interested in will reach out within two weeks with information on how to schedule your job shadowing experience.
Job Shadow Application


What should I expect the day of my job shadow?
  1. Park in the visitor parking lot.
  2. A light meal is suggested before you begin your experience. Please let your healthcare host know immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseated. Cafeteria and vending machines are available. Cash and cards are accepted.
  3. Leave valuables at home or locked in a non-visible area of your vehicle. UnityPoint Health is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  4. Ask questions! We want this to be a learning experience for you.
What do I do with the completed forms?
Email all completed forms to the Learner Observation Opportunity coinciding with the experience you are interested in.
Who do I reach out to if I have any questions about my job shadow?
After submitting your completed application and applicable forms, a healthcare host will reach out and provide you with their name and work phone number should you need to speak with them before your scheduled experience.
I've returned the application and applicable forms and have a day scheduled for my experience. What do I do if I'm sick on my scheduled day?
Please be considerate of our patients and staff and re-schedule your appointment. Contact your healthcare host as soon as you know you will be unable to attend.
What should I do if I'm late on the day of my scheduled experience?
Call your healthcare host as soon as possible and let them know you will be late.
What do I need to bring with me?
You may want to bring a small notebook and a pen for questions/thoughts and a small amount of cash and/or card to purchase items from the cafeteria. Cell phones are allowed but must be turned off or set to silent during your experience. No backpacks, tote bags or purses should be brought with you. We are not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items; please leave valuables at home.
How do I know what day I will observe?
Completed applications will be reviewed and approved by the department you listed as your interest area. If your request is approved you will be notified of the date, time and location to report along with the name and contact information of your healthcare host.

Self-Guided Orientation

Job Shadows Are Unpaid
Interviews and/or observation hours are unpaid and will not provide any "hands-on" involvement during the experience. The participant will be paired with a qualified UnityPoint Health - Des Moines healthcare host. The healthcare host will be prepared to answer questions about a typical day, education and skill.
Confidentiality and HIPAA

All participants must comply with rules designed to protect patient privacy.

  1. Participants will not access any patient medical records or proprietary business information.
  2. Protected Health Information (PHI) includes patient name, names of relatives, patient address, photos, email address, phone number, or other information that can be used to identify an individual.
  3. The participant will not share patient information from their experiences with anyone.
  4. Patient information will not be released via social media or any other electronic or personal communication medium by the participant.
  5. No patient care is allowed.
  6. Participants may not take photos of patients, procedures or the UnityPoint Health - Des Moines facilities.
  7. Patients trust us with their healthcare information. Participants are required to maintain strict confidentiality and privacy about patient information.
Infection Prevention
  1. Participants with known exposure to a contagious agent, who have active colds or infections, or who do not feel well, may not observe.
  2. Participants will be asked to leave if the UnityPoint Health - Des Moines healthcare host believes the participant presents a risk to the staff or patients.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  1. Keeping our patients, visitors, guests, staff and providers safe is a primary safety goal in the UnityPoint Health - Des Moines facilities.
  2. Mandatory PPE will be enforced by UnityPoint Health - Des Moines healthcare hosts where and when appropriate.
  3. All participants will be notified if this specific safety matter is in place during the participant's experience.
  4. Different PPE may be required in different areas of the hospital and hospital properties.
  5. PPE examples include but are not limited to: facial masking, handwashing, ear plugs, non-slip shoes, etc.
  6. Participants will be required to demonstrate appropriate application and utilization of the PPE associated with the area they are visiting.
  7. Discussion and application of the site appropriate PPE will be done with their healthcare host upon arrival at their experience.
  8. Successful demonstration of application and utilization of the site-specific PPE will be completed and documented by the healthcare host prior to the actual experience.
  1. UnityPoint Health - Des Moines reserves the right to open, cancel or close any or all interview or in-person experiences at its discretion.
  2. All participants must be accompanied by their UnityPoint Health - Des Moines healthcare host at all times during their experience.
Professional Conduct
  1. Cell phones and other electronic devices will be silenced or turned off during the experience.
  2. Sending and receiving text messages or phone calls at any time other than break time are disruptive and disrespectful.
  3. Appropriate language will be maintained during the experience.
  4. The use of tobacco products and vaping is not allowed anywhere on UnityPoint Health - Des Moines facility campuses and property.
  5. No gum chewing, food or drink during your experience – unless accompanied by the healthcare host over a "break" or "mealtime."
  6. Participants will comply with all appropriate policies and procedures of the clinical area(s) where the experience is held.
Professional Appearance
  1. Participants must dress professionally with closed toe shoes.
  2. No perfume or cologne. Long hair pulled back and secured. Clothing must be clean. Jewelry must be conservative. No jeans, shorts, sweatshirts, T-shirts, tank tops or ball caps. No sandals, flip flops or high heels. Socks must be worn.
  3. Participants that are dressed inappropriately will be asked to reschedule their experience.
  4. Participants will be required to wear a temporary UnityPoint Health - Des Moines I.D. badge at all times during the experience. It will be issued to the participant at the beginning of their scheduled experience.