10 Ways to Make a Great First Impression Your First Day on Assignment
We all want people to like us, which is why a good first impression is so important. For travel nurses, it’s especially important. You want the staff at your new facility to see you as a positive addition to their team — someone they can trust and get along with.
It can be hard to give off the right first impression on your first day, though. There’s a lot to learn and take in, but don’t worry. Sometimes the simplest way to get off on the right foot is to be yourself and let everyone know you’re ready to do the best job you can.
First impressions matter
Just like in other jobs or personal encounters, making a good first impression at your new facility is extremely important. Beginning your travel nursing assignment in a positive way sets the tone for how your new co-workers view you. These initial reactions can last the entire duration of the assignment.
It’s crucial to start your first day with a strong, confident, and friendly persona. This helps show that, as a nurse, you’re competent and ready to work hard and, as an individual, you’re kind and personable. Here are 10 quick tips for nailing your first day of assignment.
- Do a dry-run — If you’re in a new city, you don’t want to risk getting lost on your way to work! Take time the day before to plan your route and do a test run to ensure you’re prepared for your first shift.
- Arrive on-time ... or better yet, early — Get a good night’s sleep before your first day and plan to arrive early. That way, you have time to get settled and meet people while showing you’re eager to start.
- Introduce yourself kindly — A smile, handshake, and eye contact go a long way as you meet the staff. Make sure to ask for names and get to know everyone a little.
- Start asking questions — Every facility handles things differently. Ask questions and clarify procedures if they’re unfamiliar. Avoid comparing processes to previous assignments — just go with the flow and be ready to learn.
- Maintain a team mindset — Remember that your facility has had time to create a team atmosphere, and you are a new member. Be ready to join the team and alleviate some stress they might be experiencing.
- Stay positive — From your first day to your very last, try to stay positive. Nobody likes a complainer, so keep things light and stay confident.
- Offer to help — Travel nursing assignments often help alleviate staff shortages. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and jump in right away. Be proactive and ask your team members where you can lend a hand.
- Be flexible — Travel nurses often get floated to different units. Demonstrate your flexibility to show people they can count on you.
- Exude confidence — Nurses have a lot on their plate, so staying confident is a must in a stressful environment. Just don’t get so confident that you seem arrogant.
- Be yourself — At the end of the day, your new team members will want to learn who you are. Don’t be afraid to show them! Be open and be yourself for the best response.
Starting at a new facility can be challenging, but it will get easier over time. Experience helps you develop routines and nail those first impressions right off the bat. It’s okay to be nervous to start. Just focus on being positive and helpful, and you’ll quickly be on good terms with your temporary co-workers.