Alright, you are packed and ready to embark on the next adventure of your life: travel nursing. It’s been a big but surprisingly interesting step. Your family and friends are supportive but curious about how you will go. You yourself are intrigued about the area you are going to be working and living in. Your extremely aware life is going to feel a little different and you’re trying to come up with scenarios about how not only your first day, but your first assignment is going to go. It’s a lot, and we understand.
In saying this, it’s nice to have some tips and tricks from previous travel nurses on how to get through your first assignment. Along with all of the packing tricks, travel tips and advice on the journey, there are some aspects of yourself and your skills that you should be bringing with you to work. For the most part, they may be simple reminders from your full-time position, but some in here can help you get your foot firmly in the door within the first week. Providing you with a jump start at the beginning and finishing off successfully after your first assignment.
Ask All The Questions
When learning anything, asking questions is the most critical part and you’re going to be learning a lot within the first part of your assignment. No question is a stupid question and despite how nervous you may have been in school to ask, this is not the situation to second guess. Asking questions will help you grasp procedures more easily, and comprehend exactly what you need to be doing in different situations, but most importantly, shows your coworkers that you are here to learn. Initial impressions can be significant in work life, so do your best to be approachable, curious about learning and hard working.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Your fellow nurses are now your teammates and there should be efficient back-and-forth communication between you. It is vital you put yourself in a position where you can openly communicate and be communicated with. In regards to the beginning of your assignment, you are going to have a lot of information thrown at you at once. When the outcome is for everyone to win, it is important to work together and listen to prompts in order to get things completed the right way. (or the way the hospital specifically wants you to do it). Everyone, for the most part, should be on the same page, and we have more communication tips on our blog here.
This may sound a bit absurd to do, but as a new and temporary worker in a high-paced and stressful environment, knowing names and others knowing yours can work wonders. This proactive approach not only makes you interesting but also makes you approachable. When you are approachable, less is being said behind you and more is being said to you. It becomes somewhat of a form of trust. They appreciate you and after your incredible first week, they also know they can rely on you.
Get Ready To Show Off Your Skills
Not show off in a cocky way, but show your levels of skills – especially in your speciality area. Sometimes in the first assignments, it can be a little daunting to show off what you are capable of. This hesitation is going to be your first mistake if you make it. You have been hired FOR your skills in a hospital that needs your extra hands to be effective. So, go for it! Without undermining anyone or anything else, show these other nurses what you are made of.
Be The Positive Travel Nurse
One of the most familiar tips for travel nurses is to be the one with a positive attitude. Not be mistaken with pushing positivity onto others, being overwhelming or being positive at inappropriate times, but rather remaining the person who is smiling, laughing or ready to take the more positive road in situations. When we are optimistic, we can often light up rooms and give other people moments to take themselves out of stressful situations. More positivity in the workplace = less stress!
Along with being positive; comes not complaining. This could also be seen as being negative. There is nothing worse than working with someone who complains about everything going on. In this specific position, as a temporary worker, being the person who is complaining about a temporary job can look unprofessional. Your goal already is to be a good coworker and nurse, when you are being negative and complaining, you are doing the exact opposite. There will inevitably be something that you don’t agree with or something you would perform differently. However, in this situation, going with the punches and flow of the workplace will make your experience that much better.
Keep Your Recruiter Close
You’ve already had your recruiter putting in the work for you and getting everything set up so you can have a successful first assignment. Once you are in that assignment, your recruiter doesn’t just disappear and it’s a good idea to keep in close contact with them. They are with you every step of the way and are on your side in this job. Everything and anything you want out of your assignment or any confusion you have can be discussed openly with them. Take advantage of that!
Now, with some extra information about what you can do to make your assignment that much better, you are definitely ready to go! With a positive attitude, lots of questions and being open to learn, you will smoothly glide through your first experience as a travel nurse and find yourself blending in well with assignments that come by after!
If travel nursing is something you are thinking about doing, but you have a few questions first, don’t be afraid to click here!