It’s natural to feel nervous on your first day at a new job. Whether you’re just starting out as a locum tenens clinician or you’re a seasoned provider beginning another assignment, all of the unknowns of a new work environment can leave you feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety.
Will you like the staff? Who do you report to? How much time should you spend with each patient? Do people take lunch breaks together? You will be given an orientation, but the process is different from one assignment to the next.
First things first—take a deep breath! Then give the following tips a look to make the start of your new assignment as smooth as possible.
Preparing to Take Off
If your assignment means traveling to a new location, save yourself some stress by including the following in your preparations:
- Keep all important items in a carry-on bag, including documents, badges, jewelry, a change of clothes, personal medications and toiletries.
- Scan and save important documents. Just in case your bags get lost or you misplace something, having all of your necessary paperwork saved digitally (like in an email) can help you avoid a big headache.
- Give yourself time to get acclimated to your new environment, if possible. It’s helpful to be able to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and local traffic, find a grocery store and other essentials close by and start to settle into your living arrangements before diving into work.
- Plan to keep expense records all throughout your assignment. This includes tracking assignment-related expenses like parking, fuel, your meals and accommodations. Click here to get more details and read up on other tax tips for locum tenens clinicians.
Your First Day
Almost your first day on the job? Be sure you:
- Get plenty of sleep the night before! You’re at your best when you’re well rested.
- Avoid the stress of being late. In fact, show up early if you can! This will probably mean getting to know your commute beforehand, so try to fit in a dry-run at the same time as your shift to give yourself a heads up on any potential obstacles, like construction or parking issues.
- Introduce yourself! Get acquainted with everyone, from the administrative professionals to nurses to advanced practitioners. See if you can join some of your coworkers for a break or lunch so you can talk with them about their experiences and ask any questions you have.
Steer Clear of These 3
As you’re easing into your new assignment:
- Don’t assume things will work the same way as they did at your last job. You’ll likely need to give yourself time to adjust to a completely different work culture, not just a new location and faces.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you’re unsure of something, ask someone. And if you can offer a more efficient or simplified way of doing things, share your ideas. Just be sure to address it tactfully, without any unnecessary criticism.
- Don’t hesitate to contact your recruiter if you have any questions or concerns about your new assignment.
Last But Not Least: Relax.
Doing anything big for the first time is scary! Chances are good that your team is happy (or even relieved) to have you come aboard. If this is your very first assignment, know that you’ll feel more comfortable and confident with every day as a locum tenens clinician.