Tips for Picking up the Routine at Your New Hospital

Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, October 10, 2019 Posted in On the Job

routineRemember your first day of college? You had no idea what you were walking into ― all you knew is that you were doing it all by yourself. But after a few weeks, everything became normal and routine. Every semester was new, but also the same.

It’s the same idea for travel nurses ― each new facility you walk into is a brand-new experience you’ll have to face all by yourself. But the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes; you just need to find your rhythm and develop a routine.

Take time to make transitions

Transitions tend to not be easy. As a travel nurse, every city, healthcare facility, and even department you take an assignment in will be different from the last.

At first, you may be frustrated and feel lost or out of sorts with your new environment’s routines and surroundings. You need to give yourself time to sort these things out. The longer you work in the travel nursing field, the easier making these transitions become. Old habits die hard, however; and you may still struggle with some things, even on your 20th assignment.

Fortunately, you won’t need to adjust to a new everything. Many aspects of your life stay the same as you begin a new assignment, including your nursing skills and experience. When in doubt, fall back on these things as you forge ahead and focus on adapting to the new people and processes you encounter.

Making transitions easier

When you begin a new assignment, make transitioning into your new routines a priority, so you get your bearings sooner. There are many things you can do to help you accomplish this. Most simply have to do with paying attention and diving in:

  • Ask questions ― Things may be different at this facility, so put what you think you know aside and double check things as needed. Whether you need to clarify something about proper patient processes or documentation, asking questions is much better than assuming and making a mistake.
  • Communicate ― You’re a part of the hospital’s nursing team, so you’ll want to start communicating as soon as possible to establish a good rapport with your colleagues (and even make some new friends). Communicating clearly with your leads and superiors will also help you understand your responsibilities and their expectations.
  • Pay attention ― Even though you’ve worked in countless hospitals before, each one is laid out a little differently and has its own quirks. Pay close attention to your surroundings as you traverse your floor, noting the locations of things like supply closets and equipment stations. By staying alert and engaged, you’ll be able to pick up on things much faster.
  • Go through the motions ― After a few days, things will feel less scary and more familiar. Continue going through the motions, repeating what you’ve learned, while staying alert to establish routines.

Most of us are uneasy when facing the unknown, which is why transitioning into a new assignment can be so difficult. Remember that practice makes perfect. The joy of travel nursing is the ability to switch up your surroundings and routines, learn new things and broaden your experiences along the way.

Remind yourself of the skills and accomplishments that brought you to this point. All you need to do is give yourself time to get used to the changes and things will fall into place before you know it.

Adjustments can be tough. But the more assignments you take, the better you’ll become at acclimating quickly and adapting well. Ready to tackle a new assignment and get your bearings in a new facility? Health Providers Choice will find a placement for you. Contact us online or call us today at 888-299-9800.

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.