Program Policies & Tips

Tips for Job Shadowing

  • Bring a notebook to take notes
  • Wait to ask questions until after the patient interaction is completed
  • Respect patient privacy
  • Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes and appropriate dress
  • Reflect on your experience afterwards with your preceptor
  • Send a thank you note to your preceptor

A "preceptor" is a professional who provides guidance, practical experience and training to help you meet expectations of your program. It could take some time to find a professional who is willing and available so begin the process early.

Tips for Finding a Preceptor at Mercy

  • Ask family members, friends, neighbors, or acquaintances if they know someone in your field of interest. If referred, ask if you may use them as a reference. Note: Preceptors may NOT be family members (blood relatives or by marriage).
  • Healthcare practitioners typically know people who work in the same or other health fields. Check with physicians or other healthcare professionals you know for a referral into your field of interest.
  • Search Mercy.net for a provider in a specific location and specialty
  • Mail, email, or hand deliver a professionally written resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to each potential preceptor you have identified. Include a cover letter (one or two paragraphs) in which you explain a little about yourself and your goals, including why you are interested in the profession. Doing so can help you establish credibility as a serious-minded preprofessional student.
    • Professional programs desire applicants who have developed the ability to self-assess, and self-assessment is a skill crucial to being a responsible healthcare professional. Drafting a resume is in itself a self-assessment process, which is one reason creating a resume can also help you when the time comes to draft your application personal statement, and, hopefully, prepare for interviews.
    • Having a current resume can help you as you seek employment, volunteering, and clinical observation opportunities, all of which have the potential to help you develop the skills necessary for success in graduate school and in your career.
    • Have a resume ready to provide to those who have agreed to be your preceptor or write you a letter of recommendation.
    • A curriculum vitae serves purposes similar to that of a resume, but focusses more on your education and educational experiences, and allows for more detailed descriptions of these experiences.
    • A couple of days later, make a follow-up phone call to see if they have received your resume/CV.
  • Volunteer at a hospital or clinic to network with clinicians
  • Be flexible - the best time for you to observe is either early in the morning or during off hours, like weekends or evenings. In the hospital, weekend rounds are sometimes easier to observe. In addition, practitioners do not have clinic rounds.

HIPAA Compliance

During your student experience at Mercy you may come in contact with the Protected Health Information (or PHI) of Mercy’s patients. PHI includes any information about the patient’s health care, the patient’s physical or mental condition or payment for the patient’s health care. Even the fact that an individual is a patient of Mercy is PHI to be held confidential. Mercy and you are bound by law to keep this information confidential.

  • DO respect patient privacy. The requirement to maintain confidentiality of PHI applies to you
  • DO report any privacy concerns you have to the clinician you are following, the Mercy Privacy Office, by calling the Mercy hotline at 1-877-4MERCY2, or by accessing the web-based hotline at alertline.com
  • Do NOT attempt to access PHI or eavesdrop on discussions of PHI you do not need to know for your student experience
  • Do NOT take photographs of any kind during your student experience
  • Do NOT post photographs or descriptions from your student experience on social media
  • Do NOT remove records of any kind from the Mercy shadowing site.
  • Do NOT reference PHI in your coursework
  • Do NOT discuss PHI in public areas that could be overheard (e.g., elevators or public hallways)

Dress Code

Students completing a clinical experience must wear scrubs and closed-toe shoes to be in clinical areas. Long hair must be tied back, and no long or artificial nails are allowed. Students completing non-clinical experiences must wear a polo style or button-down shirt and dress pants (no leggings or jeans).

Student Identification

Students are required to wear a name badge while on Mercy campus.  Please wear your school name badge at all times.  If you do not have a school name badge, you may request a temporary name badge from your Mercy student coordinator.

Social Media & Recording Policy

Students are not permitted to take pictures or recordings in clinical areas. Watch this video to learn about Mercy’s social media policy.