Health Sciences

Find a future where you can put your passion for caring to work. Health sciences job shadow opportunities from Kirkwood offer a look into a huge variety of health occupations to help you make an informed decision. 

Discover the wide variety of careers in the field of human services, such as:  registered nurse, nurse practitioner, doctor, physician's assistant, medical and clinical laboratory technologist, dentist, dental hygienist, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, ambulance paramedic, audiologist, dietician, nutritionist, and physical therapist.

How to Apply for Job Shadows

  1. Review the group and individual job shadow opportunities available below and select your top two choices. Note: Your choices can be from two different industry categories.
  2. Review the application instructions.
  3. Start your application.

Group Job Shadows

Group job shadows offer a great introduction to specific health fields and allow you to explore a broad scope of careers within the highlighted path, all in one shadow experience. Group job shadows are a great option for initial exploration of a specific career or industry. Shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

Group Shadow Opportunities

Athletics Career Day: Kirkwood Community College

Here is your opportunity to learn everything you need to know about a variety of athletic careers!  You will have the opportunity to visit with an athletic director, athletic trainer, and a couple coaches.  You will learn what the daily tasks are in their jobs along with the education required.  This event will conclude with observation of a basketball practice to see some of these individuals in action! Held Spring 2021.

Athletics Career Day: Mount Mercy University

Would you like to be involved in sports and athletics with high level athletes in a college atmosphere on a daily basis. If you love to compete and being around competitive individuals striving to be the best version of themselves, then please join us at Mount Mercy University to explore career paths as an athletic trainer, athletic director and college coach.  Held Spring 2021.

*Dental Career Interest Day: University of Iowa - VIRTUAL ONLY

Learn about a career in dentistry with the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.  You will hear what the admissions process looks like as well as the various careers you can have if you'd like to work with patients and their teeth.

*Dental Careers Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

This interactive, hands-on session will allow students to experience firsthand the field of dental care and how each area of dental practice works together. You will learn about the careers of dentist, dental assisting, dental hygiene, and dental technology and orthodontist from knowledgeable faculty and staff, as well as students currently in those programs. A question-and-answer session will be held at the end of the day, providing the opportunity to hear personal observations, stories, and responses to your questions about Kirkwood’s programs and the dental industry in general. Held February 12, 2021.

EMS Career Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

Learn about careers in EMS including EMT and paramedic.   Experience hands-on practice of EMS skills including CPR, bandaging and splinting, and medication administration assistance.  Receive an overview of career options and opportunities in emergency medical services.  Cap of 12 students.

Paramedic Day: Johnson County Ambulance Service

Johnson County Ambulance Service provides an exciting experience for those interested in a public safety career.  If you’d like to learn about the skills and education it takes to be a paramedic, then this is the event for you!  Paramedics from the service will give you all the details regarding what a typical day looks like on the job.  They will demonstrate a scenario of a medical emergency call and the teamwork it takes to work in this field.

*Junior Medical School: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Experience a day in the life of a medical student as you engage in virtual medical training simulations. Talk with current medical students at the UI Carver College of Medicine to discover if med school might be for you.

*Mental Health Career Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Explore career opportunities in this growing field and learn how health involves not only the physical well-being, but also the mental well being of individuals. You will have the chance to learn about mental health research at UI Hospitals & Clinics and practice your responses to mental health scenarios with experts who work in mental health careers. 

Pharmacy Day: University of Iowa - VIRTUAL ONLY 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go to pharmacy school?  You will learn about the admissions process for pharmacy school, take a virtual tour of the brand new University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, and talk to current UI pharmacy students about their experiences. 

Physician Assistant Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY*

This session will explore the physician assistant role in health care and the top ranked program at the UI Carver College of Medicine.

Genetics Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Learn about the latest studies in the human genome.  Meet with a genetic counselor to explore different types of genetic disorders and discuss career options in genetics.

*Pathology Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Explore clinical and forensic pathology with a pathologist and a clinical lab scientist. Have the opportunity to investigate a mock case study and learn about the variety of careers available in pathology. 

*Radiology/Imaging Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Learn from UI radiology students about the training required to pursue a career in medical imaging and radiology. See pictures of clinical imaging units at UI Hospitals & Clinics to explore MRI, X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, ultrasounds and nuclear medicine imaging.

*Research Scientist Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Learn how biomedical researchers explore science through critical thinking, research methods, and different laboratory techniques.

*Surgical Tech Day: Mercy Hospital, Cedar

Come learn the proper way to scrub for surgery, practice suturing and more. You will have the opportunity to operate the da Vinci Robot and have hands-on activities to learn about the variety of careers in nursing and surgical tech. Held on a Saturday in Spring 2021.  Cap of 40 students.

*Healthcare Information Technology Day: Radiology Consultants of Iowa, Cedar Rapids

Do you love modern technology and wish to be part of the greatest period of healthcare transformation in history? Join us for a day at our state-of-the-art imaging center which is the heart of Iowa’s largest radiology practice.

See how information technology enables improved workflow, efficiency, and quality across the entire healthcare spectrum. Discover the ways in which we use technology to deliver our service to hospitals and clinics across the state of Iowa.

Interacting with our experienced and knowledgeable information technology staff you’ll get a feel for what it’s like to work in this highly in-demand and rewarding profession.

*Nursing Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids - VIRTUAL ONLY

Kirkwood Community College’s nursing program is rated top-notch in the state of Iowa. You will have the opportunity to meet virtually with current nursing students and faculty members to learn more about a career in nursing and how you can begin this rewarding career!

*Nursing Day UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital, Cedar Rapids - VIRTUAL ONLY

Interested in learning more about the career of nursing?  Join a group of nurses who work in different specialties of care to learn what it takes to get started into this exciting and rewarding career.  You’ll hear about their journey into this career, the skills it takes to do this job, education, and the many areas you can work. 

*Nursing Day: Iowa City VA Health Care System, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

The Iowa City VA Health Care System provides veterans with world-class health care and services. Please join us at the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City to participate in a simulation-based nursing day that will highlight the “Art of Nursing.”

You will observe the professional nurse completing daily tasks, procedures, and activities. You will also observe staff interactions, patient interactions, and witness a nurse responding to a simulated emergent medical condition.


Individual/Small Group Job Shadows

Individual/small group shadows allow for a deeper dive into specific careers, shadowing a professional(s) in that field. These small group shadows are perfect for those who are more confident in their career interests and have had some initial exposure to that career.

Shadows may be individualized or include a handful of students, depending on demand. On average, shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

Careers to Shadow

  • *Chiropractor - Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system. May provide spinal adjustment or address sacral or pelvic misalignment.
  • Dietician - Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quality food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.
  • Healthcare Administrator - Plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.
  • *Health Care Social Worker - Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family caregivers, providing patient education and counseling, and making referrals for other services. May also provide care and case management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease and address barriers to access health care.
  • Massage Therapist - Perform therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.
  • Medical Assistant - Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
  • *Medical Billing/Coding - Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, compile, and report patient information for health requirements and standards in a manner consistent with the health care industry's numerical coding system.
  • Medical Technologist - Lab - Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Music Therapist - Is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
  • *Occupational Therapist - Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.
  • *Occupational Therapy Assistant - Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.
  • Optometrist - Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
  • *Physical Therapist - Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.
  • *Physical Therapy Assistant - Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.
  • Respiratory Therapist - Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures, maintain patient records and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.
  • *Speech Therapist - Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language.