Health Sciences

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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 health sciences, 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 career exploration days 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.

Career Exploration Days

Career exploration days offer a great introduction to specific career fields and allow you to explore a broad scope of careers within that industry, all in one shadow experience. Career Exploration Days are a great option for initial exploration of a specific career or industry. On average, shadows are typically two to four hours in duration.

Adult Day Care Career Day:  Milestones Adult Health Center, Cedar Rapids/Marion

Explore the many exciting career opportunities available at our Adult Day Health Centers!  Our social workers assist with care plans, funding, and problem solving every day community needs.  Nurses monitor medications, work with community physicians, and complete health assessments.  Universal workers do many of the same tasks as a CNA such as safety awareness/fall prevention, bathing, activities, and meal assistance.  Program and activity coordinators and our habilitation staff engage our participants in programming, outings, special events, and individualized programming that helps them meet their goals. Our dining staff make sure we are following special diets and honor personal choice.  We would love to have you join us and show you not only what it takes to do their work day to day, but how roles interact to meet the needs of our participants!

Allied Health Care Careers Day: University of Iowa Health Care - VIRTUAL ONLY

Learn about occupations in health care fields such as respiratory care and perfusion technology.  Learn about blood transfusions in heart and lung transplants, get an overview of clinical areas in the hospital to learn about respiratory care and more.

Athletics Career Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

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!  

Athletics Career Day:  Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids

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 to be 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.

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 a 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.  February 11, 2022.

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

Are you interested in a career where you can build patient relationships and help teach them something they'll use long after their visit? Learn about a career as a registered dietician-nutritionist in the hospital and clinic setting. 

EMS Career Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

Learn about careers in EMS including careers as an EMT and paramedic. Get 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.  

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.

Healthcare Information Technology and Radiology Career 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.  Learn about the many careers in radiology such as radiologist, radiology technologist, and CT technologist.  You will be provided a tour of the imaging center, and have the opportunity to talk to individuals in all of these careers!

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 University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine to discover if med school might be right 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.

Nursing Day: Iowa City VA Health Care System, Iowa City

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. Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Nursing Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids 

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! January 5, 2022.

Nursing Day: UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids 

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

Learn about the many career opportunities available in the nursing field. University of Iowa nursing students will share their experiences in pursuing a nursing degree. 

Paramedic Day: Johnson County Ambulance Service, Iowa City

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 Johnson County Ambulance Service will give you all the details regarding what a typical day looks like on the job.  They will demonstrate a medical emergency call scenario and the teamwork it takes to work in this field.  Spring 2022.

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.  

Pharmacy Day: University of Iowa, Iowa City- 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.  

Physical Therapy Career Day:  Team Iowa Physical Therapy, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Join Kim Passini, physical therapist at Team Iowa Physical Therapy to learn all you need to know about this exciting and rewarding career!  Kim will share information about what her job is like on a day-to-day basis, the skills it takes to do this job and the education needed.  There will be time for questions and a game of Kahoot! 

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 University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

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.

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

Learn about occupations in rehabilitation therapies in this interactive session. You will see and practice techniques in clinical and educational setting used by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers while learning what it takes in each of those careers.

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.   


Individual/Small Group Job Shadow Opportunities

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.

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

Careers to Shadow

Certified Nursing Assistant

Assists patients with various activities in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities under the direction of a nurse in charge. CNAs often help people under their care with day-to-day activities such as bathing, toileting, dressing, etc.


Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system. May provide spinal adjustment or address sacral or pelvic misalignment.

Dental Assistant

Assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records.

Dental Hygienist

Cleans teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Dental Technician Lab

Construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.


Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.


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.


Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.

Health Care 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.

Musical Therapist

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.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies using a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.


Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.

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.


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.


Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.


Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

Pharmacy Technician

Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

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.

Radiologic Technologist

Take x rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other scanning modalities.

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.