As a nurse, your first day working at a new facility can be daunting. Everyone knows what it’s like to be the new person on the job – unfamiliar surroundings, new faces, different systems and processes – the list goes on. For connectRN nurses and clinicians, walking into a new facility is a regular occurrence that some are more comfortable with than others.
However, there are some steps you can take before and during your first day on the job to help make the transition easier and set you up for success. We recently surveyed some connectRN clinicians and asked what information is most helpful to have before starting at a new facility. Here’s what they had to say as well as some top recommendations:
1. Ask about the nurse-patient ratio.
Seventy-four percent of respondents said knowing the nurse-patient ratio is the most important information to have going into your first day. Make sure you ask the supervisor in advance because knowing the nurse-patient ratio before your first shift at a new facility allows you to better mentally prepare for the day and how many patients you will likely be caring for. Starting without this information can often be overwhelming if 4the ratio ends up not being what you expected.
2. Research what Electronic Health Record (EMR) is used.
This is another tip to consider before your first day at a new facility. Sixty-four percent of clinicians responded that this information is also very helpful to receive in advance. There are many different medical systems out there, and different facilities often have their own way of doing things. While it’s hard to know exactly what a facility’s processes are before working there, inquiring about what EMR is used ahead of time can be useful in preparing for your first day.
3. Find the clinician in charge.
Forty-four percent recommend finding the nurse supervisor or clinician who is in charge as soon as you arrive. They will show you the systems, where you need to be, and any other information you need to know to be able to do your job safely and effectively.
4. Look into parking and entrances.
Almost half of respondents (49 percent) emphasized the importance of knowing where to park on your first day. Having this information in advance can help save time and prevent you from being late. Check out the facility’s website or call in advance to ask where you should park and what entrance you should use if you’re not given that information upfront. If you live close to the facility, you can even do a drive/walk-by ahead of time to survey the parking and entrance situation.
5. Go in with a positive and confident attitude.
It may sound simple, but offering a smile and positive attitude goes far on your first day – you are making a first impression, and you want it to be a good one. Be willing to learn and jump in and help where you can. Remember, you were hired because they need you (and your skills). When meeting your new co-workers for the first time, give a firm handshake and your full name, showing that you are both professional and confident. No matter how nervous you may be, always know that you are here for a reason and you know how to do your job.
We hope these tips help you overcome any first day jitters, and start your first day at a new facility off right!