10 Ways to Make a Great First Impression Your First Day on Assignment

Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, August 08, 2019 Posted in On the Job

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.

AB great first impressions

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Be flexible — Travel nurses often get floated to different units. Demonstrate your flexibility to show people they can count on you.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Looking for more tips on how to start your assignment positively? Your recruiter can help! They’re familiar with the struggles of starting a new assignment and can provide you with valuable insight for getting a running start. Contact us online or call us today at 888-299-9800 to learn more about how to succeed on your next assignment, right from day one.

About the Author

Rose Torrento

Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.