Special Notice:

With the continued concerns regarding COVID-19, our utmost responsibility as a health care system is to keep our patients, employees, volunteers and visitors safe. As a proactive step to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we have suspended all Observation programs within Wexner Medical Center facilities. The goal of this suspension is to help people remain away from others and slow the virus’ spread.

We appreciate that observation experiences are an important part of applying to certain health science programs, and look forward to being able to resume these opportunities after COVID-19-related restrictions are lifted. Please continue to check this website for updates.

The observation program is only for individuals who have imminent plans to apply to a program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences that requires observation hours. This program is not intended to provide shadowing experiences or to be considered volunteer service. Observers must be at least 18 years of age at time of application.


We currently have observation opportunities in physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiography, sonography and radiation therapy at a variety of locations. We can accommodate a limited number of students; therefore, we encourage students to begin the observation process at least six months in advance of their application date. We cannot guarantee to provide all the hours a student wants or requires.


It is your obligation to know your program's requirements and to obtain the documentation form(s) the program requires prior to the start of observation hours.

Observers are responsible for ensuring all documentation forms are completed concurrent with observation experiences. The Observation Site Contact cannot and should not be asked to re-create documentation after-the-fact.

Observers are responsible for tracking their observation hours for Wexner Medical Center purposes. Observers use paper time sheets to track their hours. We will post your hours to your Observation record. A copy of your Observation Hours Record will be provided by Volunteer Services upon request.

Observers must look professional at all times because you will be interacting with patients, families and staff. The dress code described in the orientation packet must be followed:

Process to Obtain Observation Hours

  1. Review the available opportunities for the program to which you are applying.  A current listing of opportunities can be obtained by contacting Volunteer Services via email. Please specify if you need the Therapy (PT/OT) listing or the Radiology listing.
  2. Email the Observation site contact that is your first choice. Provide the Observation site contact with information on the program you’re applying to, your availability, your time frame, and your contact information. Since many of these contacts are therapists, please allow a minimum of 48-72 hours for a response, as they may often be away from their desks with patients. We ask our students to observe at one location at a time.
  3. If your first choice cannot accept you, email your next choice, and so on.
  4. If a site can accept you, they will e-mail Volunteer Services that you have been accepted.
  5. Once Volunteer Services receives confirmation that you have been accepted, you will receive an email with further information including the application, self-study orientation packet, and information on health requirements.
  6. Complete the requirements as outlined in the email. When completed, bring this documentation to the Volunteer Services office, (157 Doan Hall, 410 W. 10th Ave.) Tuesdays between Noon and 3 p.m. or Fridays between 9 a.m. and Noon to turn in paperwork and receive an Observer badge.
Volunteer Services will email the observer and the staff member that the observer is cleared for observing. It is the observer’s obligation to contact the staff member to arrange an observation schedule if one has not already been set.

For more information on observing, contact us by phone at 614-293-3983 or by email.

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