It’s no secret that for traveling healthcare professionals, changing hospitals, getting to know new colleagues, finding a place to live, and learning a new community takes some getting used to.
As a traveler, you’re not only trying to figure out a new assignment, but you’re also a newbie in a totally different town. So how can you make this transition less stressful? Here are 8 tips to consider:
1. Be Observant and Ask Questions
The first step in adjusting to a new setting is paying attention to the dynamics occurring between staff members at your new assignment. Talk to your coworkers about the unit and watch how the team works together. Be sure to ask questions – the process of blending in can take time, but it’ll happen.
2. Request a Tour
Chances are, you’ll be offered a tour during orientation, but make sure to ask if no one offers. This gives you an opportunity to locate and familiarize yourself with important details of your workspace, like supply areas and crash carts. It’s also a great time to ask questions so you can hit the ground running and make a good first impression.
3. Show Initiative
Professional development sometimes involves learning a new charting software or other systems. Putting in the extra effort to familiarize yourself with the idiosyncrasies of your new facility will pay off down the road. Not to mention, your new coworkers will appreciate your sense of initiative.
4. Build Relationships
Learn about your coworkers and interact with them as much as possible. Finding others with similar interests will create trust and compassion. It’s also a good idea to find a team member willing to serve as a mentor. This will be a great resource as you adjust to your new assignment.
5. Know the Rules
Because policies and procedures can vary greatly from facility to facility, it’s important to find and familiarize yourself with the policy and procedures manual ASAP. Ask whether any “cheat sheets” are available for quick reference or create your own to carry around with you.
6. Focus on Your Patients
While you’re learning how to work in a new environment, remember that patients are your priority. Being the “new person” can be stressful but work to be a patient advocate from your first shift. As a nurse or other healthcare professional, it’s your job to provide the best care you can to ensure positive patient outcomes.
7. Explore Your New Home
Get to know your surroundings before your assignment starts. Be sure to drive your actual commute before your first day and explore what your new home has to offer. Allow yourself time to unpack, get settled and get to know your town or city and surrounding areas.
8. Check Out Local Services
When you finish a week of 12-hour shifts, you don’t necessarily want to do much of anything. Rest is crucial, but as you’re adapting to your new location, it’s important to be researching local services (e.g., hairstylist, mechanic, nail salon, workout classes, etc.). By being organized, you can make the most of your off days and get things done without stress.
At Focus Staff, we understand the ins and outs of traveling healthcare professionals and have access to a wide variety of excellent professional opportunities locally or around the country. To learn more, contact us today.