EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If you’re a nurse or heading into nursing school and don’t know what setting you’d like to work in, this shadowing program might be for you.

Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York (HOA) has a shadowing program to help people determine whether cancer care is their calling.

The Clinical Observation Program is made up of 21 hours of observation spread across three days.

Alexandra Rouse went through the program while she was in nursing school. Now, she’s a registered nurse working at HOA.

“I worked as a nursing assistant at two hospitals and I realized that I didn’t love that. So, when I shadowed here, I just realized that like this is really just what I wanted to do.”

Alexandra Rouse, Registered Nurse

The program gave Rouse a different perspective on nursing that she can now share with students who shadow her.

The 21 hours of observation takes people through triage, case management, infusions, and cyber-knife radiation among other things.

Even with all that experience, for Rouse, the most influential part was meeting the people who become so much more than patients. It’s something she didn’t see in the hospital since those patients change so frequently.

“They’re going through some of the hardest times in their life and despite that, they’re still so pleasant to be around and they become like family to us,” said Rouse.

To qualify for the program you have to be:

  • a licensed or graduate nurse (LPN/RN) or certified medical assistant
  • a high school senior in their spring semester who has been accepted to an accredited nursing or medical assistant program
  • a nursing student enrolled in an accredited nursing or medical assistant program

To learn more about the program, email the Director of Nursing at mganley@hoacny.com.