Requirements for Visiting the Adult OR

All visitors must be one of the following:

  • College student enrolled in a healthcare related program.
  • Medical student.
  • Nursing student.  
  • Research student / staff participating in related research.
  • VUMC patient care providers.
  • High School students are not permitted in the Adult or Pediatric Operating Rooms, or the Adult or Pediatric Emergency Departments


Non-Vanderbilt undergraduate students, graduate school students, a first, second or third year medical student, or working professionals, should visit the VUMC Observational Experience web site  and complete the online application.  When the online application has been approved the visitor will receive an email from Linda Partridge saying they are approved to observe in the OR. 

  • Vanderbilt employees are required to go through the VOE office for approval to observe anywhere at Vanderbilt. Employees are required to complete the application and upload the required documents:  Occupational Health transcript and insurance card. Most employees are able to get approval right away but it just depends on whether they went through New Hire Orientation and have completed everything that is required by Occupational Health. Regardless, though, VOE is required to keep their application on file so they can keep track of who is observing where. Employees are also required to wear a separate Observer badge so it is clear that they are not allowed to be helping or doing anything hands-on while there. 
  • All visitors must attend a virtual training class with Perioperative Education prior to observing in the OR
  • Once your observation has been approved by VOE, Periop Education will schedule your class
  • Currently, classes are held twice per month
  • Note: Observations are from the non-sterile perspective.

All visitors to the OR must adhere to these established guidelines to ensure patient safety, patient privacy, and visitor safety.

Non-physician OR Visitor Approval SOP

For questions regarding observing in the OR, please contact any of the Perioperative Educators:


High School Students

High school students cannot observe in the Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments, Adult and Pediatric OR's, and other areas determined by unit management.

High school students interested in observing other areas at VUMC, click here for the Vanderbilt Observational Experience (VOE) site which outlines requirements.