Field Experiences

Field experiences are a great way for students to get a firsthand look at career paths that interest them or to gain exposure to jobs they may not have previously considered. Sentara RMH offers several different kinds of field experiences to suit the varying needs of high school and college students, both in patient care and in non-clinical settings.


Shadowing experiences are open to both high school and college students and can range from just a few hours to many months of observation. During shadowing, students will observe the workings of a department or unit, but will not participate in hands-on activities, including patient care. Short shadowing experiences are ideal for students who have some interest in a career, but would like more information about it before committing to a program of study. Longer experiences are available to college students who have to log observation hours to complete a degree or certification.


Mentorships are available to high school students, generally last for at least a semester, and are done for high school credit. Like shadowing, mentorships are observation only and do not provide hands-on experience. They do, however, provide a lengthy, structured observation period where students can learn about a career field that interests them while earning school credit. For more details, contact your school’s mentorship coordinator.


Internships are open to college students only, usually last a semester, and are generally done for college credit. Internships give students a firsthand look at their chosen career field through hands-on experiences. Not only do they gain vital knowledge and skills that can directly assist them in their job after graduation, but they also improve new graduates’ chances of getting that first job by giving them the valuable experience that employers seek.