UNC Hospitals Volunteer Services does not arrange placement for shadow visitors. Interested parties must contact hospital departments directly to set up shadow experiences. After a department agrees to work with a shadow visitor, the preceptor and visitor must follow the directions below.


Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to shadow.

Do not email your immunization records to volunteer services. Please bring with you at the time you pick up your badge. Also, please make sure you make a copy of your records before turning them into our office. We will not provide you with a copy at a later date.

Requirements and Forms

Current UNC-CH students need to complete HIPAA Training.  Effective July 1, 2017 shadow visitors will need two (2) TB Skin Tests (both completed in the past year, within 12 months of each other) or a negative IGRA blood test.  During flu season shadow visitors must have a flu shot. UNC-CH students must have their student ID to show Volunteer Services when you pick up your shadow badge.

Current hospital volunteers (volunteered within the past year) and Hospital Employees do not need to complete any of the following steps, but must bring their Hospital ID to show Volunteer Services. You do need to pick up a shadow badge and cannot wear your Volunteer or Employee badge when you shadow.

If you are interested in shadowing, you must complete all the following steps:

  • All shadow visitors, please read the Shadow Visitor Policies
  • Complete the HIPAA Training. If you have any issues, please try using Internet Explorer. You will receive a confirmation email. Print this email.
  • Print an Immunization Review Form for Shadow Visitors and have it completed by your health care provider or bring your immunization records as proof.
    • You may pick up your badge and turn in your Immunization Review Form - Tdap & TB Skin Tests required. (Effective July 1, 2017- two (2) TB skin tests, both completed in the past year, within 12 months of each other, or negative IGRA blood test) to Volunteer Services 24 hours or more after we have received the email request from your preceptor.
  • Please contact the person you are shadowing at least one day prior to your scheduled shadowing time to confirm that your request has been emailed to our office. You will have to reschedule your shadow visit if we do not have the completed request from the preceptor.
  • The Volunteer Services Department is open for badge pick-up Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. We are not available on weekends to process or pick-up badge requests. We are located in Memorial Hospital on the Ground Floor.
  • NOTE: Shadowing is not permitted in operating rooms.

To the Preceptor

Please read the Shadow Visitor Policies. (please note that there are multiple HIPAA modules. Please make sure the visitor is directed to the Shadow Module and not the Med School HIPAA test)

Send an email to Volunteer Services with the following information:

  • Name of Shadow Visitor
  • Preceptor's Name, Department, and Contact Phone Number
  • Date(s) of the visit - beginning and ending (not to exceed 6 weeks)

Emails must be received at least 24 hours in advance.

Shadowing for Rehabilitation Therapies

As a shadow visitor, you will have the opportunity to observe UNC Rehabilitation Therapy practitioners. Due to the high demand for shadow hours, we are limiting all experiences to three (3 hour each) blocks per shadow visitor per calendar year. Shadow opportunities are for undergraduate students only.

View the calendar below to request the discipline/area of practice you would like to observe. Please do not select dates more than 3 months out. Please be aware that the team you select to shadow with may need to cancel and reschedule your appointment depending on the needs of the team and clients on caseloads.

Each team will try to give, but cannot guarantee, you at least 24 hours advanced notice if your session needs to be rescheduled. If we have to reschedule your shadow experience, we will not count that missed session against you. However, if you do not call or no show we will count the missed session as used.

Rules for Shadowing

Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your start time. If you commit to a time slot please be prepared to stay for the entire duration of the session. Please wear professional clothing (no jeans, no shorts, no tank tops etc. and closed toed shoes as noted in our Professional Business Attire Policy you are required to review. You must wear your nametag at shoulder level. Observation only - please do not engage in physical, verbal or psychological therapeutic interactions.

No cellphone use during patient observations.

We ask that you send an email to Volunteer Services.

In this email, please include the following:

  • Contact information
    • Name
    • Telephone number
    • Email address
    • A brief statement of intent
  • The dates and times that you would like to shadow

You will receive a confirmation email after your shadow experience has been approved. Once you receive this email, you can bring your paperwork (HIPPAA training certificate and proof of immunizations) to the Volunteer Services office and pick up your shadowing badge. For additional information, please reach out to Kristel Maes, CCCE, via email.

Visit Rehabilitation Therapies Clinical Education to learn more about related opportunities. Click to find directions to the Rehab Therapy Services offices.

Serve Others 

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