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Job Shadow Program

A job shadow is a one-time experience, typically one-half day in length, to observe a health care professional, ask questions and see what it is really like to work in health care. It is observation only, and you will not deliver any care or services to patients or their family members. We hope this experience will help you choose to make a difference by becoming a health care professional. You must be at least 16 years old to shadow at an Avera facility.  Most shadows are able to be scheduled within three weeks of receiving your submitted paperwork. 

Steps to apply:

  1. Carefully read all of the information on this page.
  2. Select the desired department from the areas listed.
  3. Print and sign the completed application document.
  4. Email a scanned copy of the signed application to the desired facility utilizing the links at the bottom of the application.

Download the Application

Who is Avera?

Co-sponsored by the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, the word Avera comes from a Latin word that means to be well. We are a large health care ministry operating from six main regions: Pierre, Sioux Falls, Yankton, Aberdeen, Mitchell, S.D.; and Marshall, Minn.

Confidentiality and HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law imposed on all health care organizations. It requires organizations to take measures to safeguard patient information and punishes individuals and organizations that fail to keep patient information confidential. 

Patient confidentiality is keeping a patient’s healthcare information private. Patient’s Protected Health Information (PHI) includes the following:

  • Patient information
  • Patient records
  • Employee files, computer information, business records or photographs
  • Conversations between patient and employee or between coworkers
  • All events and records pertaining to patients, employees and hospital business

In the course of your shadowing experience, you will become aware of patient PHI. You will be expected to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality during and after your shadow experience. Failure to maintain confidentiality can result in immediate termination of your shadow experience and may result in civil or criminal penalties.

Participation Expectations

Behavior: Patients will see you as an employee of the hospital and your behavior should reflect this. Show an attitude of maturity, greet people and introduce yourself, smile and make eye contact, and be sure to ask questions of the professional you are shadowing. No cell phones are allowed during your shadow experience. You are not allowed to take any pictures during your shadow experience.

Dress Code:

  • A student observer name badge will be worn during your shadow experience.
  • No jeans, leggings or shorts. Skirts are acceptable but may not be shorter than two inches above the knee.
  • No open-toed shoes; hosiery/socks must be worn.
  • No heavy perfume or scents. Offensive body odor is not acceptable.
  • No tank tops or sleeveless tops; spaghetti straps are not acceptable. Shirts must cover the midriff. No sweatshirts, hats or caps are allowed.
  • Fingernails shall be neatly trimmed, and artificial nails are discouraged.
  • Long hair must be held back, and only natural looking hair color is acceptable.
  • Tattoos must not be visible.

Your Safety

Handwashing: Handwashing is the most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of disease. It is required that all observers wash their hands upon entering and exiting a patient’s room.

Illness: You are asked to reschedule your scheduled shadow if you have active signs of illness, including stomach illness, draining skin sores, coughing, sore throat, fever, rash or other symptoms of illness. Proof of a current flu shot must be submitted if your shadow experience occurs between Oct. 1 and March 31.

Standard Precautions: You are required to utilize the same precautions for personal protection as the employees in the facility. You will be required to wear the same protective equipment as the staff person you are shadowing.


  • I understand that information I see and hear about patient identity and conditions is considered confidential and is not to be discussed outside of my job shadow experience.  Any violation of patient or hospital confidentiality will result in dismissal from the experience.
  • Avera will take immediate action in any situation in which my behavior or performance adversely affects the best interests of the facility or patients.  This action may include, but is not limited to, my removal from the facility and the experience.
  • Avera is not responsible for lost or stolen personal belongings.
  • I will hold Avera and its employees harmless in the event of incident, injury or illness. Avera is not responsible for costs involved with emergency or follow-up care.
  • I will call the facility and cancel, in advance, my shadow experience if I suspect I may be ill.

Where Can I Job Shadow?

Based on patient needs and available resources, participating departments vary by region.

Avera St. Luke’s Hospital (Aberdeen, S.D.)

  • Dietetics
  • Laboratory
  • Medical Records/Coding
  • Nursing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Radiology
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Speech Therapy

Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center (Marshall, M.N.)

  • Anesthesiology
  • Dietary
  • Medical Records
  • Nursing (Acute Care, Clinic, Long-Term Care)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Radiology
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Speech Therapy

Avera Queen of Peace Hospital (Mitchell, S.D.)

  • Anesthesia/Surgery
  • Cardiopulmonary/Respiratory Therapy
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Nursing (OB, Medical Surgical, Oncology)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Surgical Technician

Avera St. Mary’s Hospital (Pierre, S.D.)

  • Cardiac rehab
  • Lab
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Radiology
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Speech therapy

Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

  • Athletic Training
  • Bio-Med
  • Cardiovascular Services
  • Child Life Specialist (available September - December, limited days/times January - April)
  • Food and Nutrition Services
  • General Ultrasound
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing (Creative Writing, Graphic Design, Web Design)
  • Medical Records/Coding
  • Nursing (Orthopedics, Neurology, Medical/Surgical, Cardiopulmonary, Oncology,
    Intensive Care Unit)
  • Nuclear Medicine (very limited, must be 18 years old)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Phlebotomy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Radiology
  • Social Work
  • Speech Therapy
  • Worksite Wellness (Avera
  • McKennan Corporate Health)
  • Medical Records


Avera Sacred Heart Hospital
(Yankton, S.D.)

Many areas available; please inquire.