What to Expect on Your First Day

Even after graduating with your degree and making it out into the real world it may seem like first day jitters will never be a thing of the past. Worrying about where to go, what to do, and what the people will be like can keep you up all night. As a traveling healthcare professional, “first days” are anything but few and far between.

We know you can’t help but worry as you progress from assignment to assignment. You also don’t have the time to be staying up all night worrying, though. That is why we have crafted up a short list on what to expect on your first day of your new traveling assignment. Check it out and kick those first day jitters to the curb!

First things first

Before even stepping foot in the facility, you should do the best you can to prepare yourself so you don’t end up in a very stressful situation later. You can do this by:

  • Researching the facility
  • Arrive early!
  • Bringing along a notepad as well as all your certifications and driver’s license
  • Having a list of questions ready to ask your supervisor

Some of these questions could include:

  • What is the normal patient-to-healthcare-provider ratio?
  • Will I get orientation for the whole medical facility, or just my unit/department?
  • Will I be asked to pass any tests before starting?
  • Have you had travelers working in your department/unit before?
  • Will I be able to take on overtime hours?

There is no better time to ask questions than at the beginning, especially if it is a fast pace environment, so be sure to bring along any you can think of.

Tour guide

This is where the notepad comes into play. Anticipate taking notes for the first 2 or 3 days of the assignment. After all of the paperwork and questions are out of the way, you will undoubtedly be given a tour. Whether it be of the whole facility or just the unit you’ll be working on, depending on the size and time constraints. (Definitely make sure to find out where the bathrooms are.)

Use your notepad to keep notes on the tour as well as useful information like codes and best practices in order to avoid stress later on if you’re in a time crunch. You’ll also be meeting the people you’ll be working alongside for the next 13 weeks, so take the time to learn names. Use tricks like using their name every time you speak with them or associate their name with a word that begins with the same consonant. Like Apple and Amelia, so Amelia likes Apples. Cheesy, we know. But it will help get names committed to memory quicker and be more beneficial in the long run while working with others.

Get the deets

After taking your tour, filling out paperwork, and learning that your new coworker’s name is Kirsten, not Kristen, make sure to nail down the details of your assignment and what will be expected of you while you’re there. Not all traveling medical assignments are created equal and different facilities and supervisors will have certain expectations they want you to meet. Use those first few days to figure this out as well as what forms of communication work best for your supervisor and your new coworkers. Communication is key. If you get that down, you will be set!

We know that even with all of this fantastic advice, you still may have some nerves that you just can’t shake. Make sure and remember that you are a highly capable and qualified healthcare professional! You would not have been chosen for the assignment if you weren’t. So do your best to stay calm and put that skillset to work while you enjoy the road less traveled!

Have some “first day” stories? Let us know!

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