8 Ways to Make a Great Impression on Assignment (And 8 Things to Never do!!)
Travelers. You have a million things going on in your world and mind.
Especially on day one of a new assignment!
I get that. Mostly because I am a traveler. Wow, do we have a lot going on by the time we walk through the door on day one of our jobs!
But this post is actually not about us.
This post is for you to take a moment to take yourself out of the shoes of being a traveler.
And we are going to plop ourselves in the shoes on our coworkers. The permanent staff. The managers. The non-travel nurses and therapists and ultrasound techs.
Let's just pretend like you are an employee who has been working in an inpatient unit for the past 5 years.
And let's assume this is a job that you at least moderately enjoy. Suddenly there is a significant spike in the caseload. A full-timer just quit. Everyone is feeling the stress of being understaffed. So the company decides to hire a very expense traveler to come in while they are looking for more permanent staff.
So Monday comes around and here comes a brand new traveler. Her name is Katie. She is from Texas, but that is about all you know about this new girl.
**Group Share Challenge** Everyone write in the comments of this blog and tell me, from the permanent staff perspective, what would be the biggest pet peeves that Katie could do?
How could Katie really make a bad impression to her new co-workers?
Here's a few ways:
1. Tell you how much she is making. You would think "Whoa, this brand new person who is doing the same job as me is making so much more than me! I've loyally been here for 5 years and have been struggling with the heavy caseload for the last few months!"
Yeah. Katie should not be talking about her pay.
2. How she did things back in Texas. Implying that her way is better. Katie goes on and on about the other ways to do things. She has traveled and seen so much that she acts like she here to save to save this poor unit with her supreme knowledge. (eye roll)
3. Katie starts to take it upon herself to create new systems and make changes as if she was the consult instead of temporary help.
4. When the caseload drops and Katie has guaranteed hours, guess who is getting cut? You are permanent staff! Now you have to decide if you want to use vacation days VS go home with no pay. Katie should not be bragging about her guaranteed hours if the perm staff does not also have those benefits.
5. Complaining in general. And stay away from the gossip wheel, Katie!
6. Not being flexible and acting precious about floating or screening patients.
7. Not knowing how to treat patients well or can not get up to speed quickly. Katie should be able to get in there and relieve stress, not add stress by needing a lot of mentorship. The hospital certainly is not paying the extra cash it cost to bring a traveler in just to train and mentor them extensively. They are getting a traveler because they need support, not to give it.
8. Katie tells everyone she is counting down the days to leave. Or that this was option two for her. We stay when she leaves and she just made us all feel crappy about our permanent jobs.
Alright. Back into your traveler shoes. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Yes, you might know a better way.
- Yes, you might see so many obvious cracks in their system.
- Yes, you do get paid more than the permanent staff-- and for good reasons that the permanent team may not understand.
But there is usually one main reason we get hired. It is to help! Not to fix systems. Not to change the way they do things. Not to consult. Not to brag or complain.
We are an awesome human band-aide in a place that really needs someone to get in there and see patients. Facilities are not spending that much money for fun. They need us to be able to assimilate in with their culture and needs and not the other way around.
A little honest bomb here:
When I first got started, I was NOT thinking about them. (Them being the co-worker's feelings)
I was nervous.
I was thinking about parking.
I was studying up on my hip precautions the night before.
It did not even cross my mind to think about why healthcare travelers exist in this world.
What the staff and managers could be thinking about me.
And most importantly: I was not thinking about how I could add the most value to them.
Adding Value is...
1. Quality treatment of patients using the systems this facility has in place.
2. Asking questions and writing down the answers so you don't have to repeat the questions.
3. Self-studying where you feel weak at night so you can hit the ground running the next day.
4. Showing up on time.
5. Finding the parking the day before.
6. Smiling and being friendly. (Bring the joy!)
7. Being flexible to switch shifts or float (sometimes. Play as a team but don't get taken advantage of either).
8. Bringing goodies to the nurse's station or therapy unit or break room.
Travel Empowered my friends!
Laura & the Nomadicare Team xo
Check out the video below for my favorite secret I use on my first day of travel assignments!
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Recruiter matchmaking is also 100% free for the traveler, and we spend a ton of time and energy finding the very, very best in the industry (and hold them accountable to it! We will have your back!) We also match based on the location and benefits you need. We did all the work for you already! Yeah! And you finding your recruiter through us is how Nomadicare can keep providing free, empowered education to this awesome industry!