How Make the Most of Orientation
Travel Nurses must enter a facility ready to hit the ground running. Often, you'll only receive 1-2 days orientation at your new hospital, so it is crucial that you arrive experienced and practiced in your specialty and ready to quickly learn the ways of your new facility. Although shorter than orientation for a perm job, Traveler orientation is the foundation for your entire assignment, so make sure you build a strong one!
On this page we'll share some tips for excelling in your travel nurse orientation, but first, check out this quick video to see how NOT to make the most out of orientation.
But of course you would never not pay attention during orientation! Medical Solutions Travelers are the best of the bunch — focused, dedicated, and skilled.
Now, here are few important tips for how to make the most of orientation at your new facility:
Before you get to your first day of orientation, work with your recruiter to make sure you know what to expect.
Ahead of time you should find out where to report, the length of orientation, the dress code, and if you'll be taking any tests.
Research the facility so you are familiar with its history and mission. Typically, a little online searching will give you plenty of info, but if you like, you can also reach out to other Travelers who have worked there, in person or via sites like Facebook or Healthcare Travelbook.
Bring any necessary identification, licenses, certifications, and any other applicable paperwork. Ask ahead if you will need any additional materials. It's also smart to bring prescriptions for any medication you may be taking, just in case it might impact your drug screening.
You're probably in an unfamiliar city, so it's a good idea to do a practice transportation run. Before the first day of orientation, drive to the location to make sure you know where it's at and how long it will take you to get there. If you're taking public transportation, it's still a good idea to do a dry run to avoid tardiness and/or confusion on your first day.
Have a Good Attitude and Be Professional
This isn't Saturday School, it's your career! Maybe you can't wait to get to working with the patients, but remember that orientation is a very important precursor to your work at a new facility.
Show up on time and with a can-do, positive attitude.
Maintain the same professionalism throughout orientation as you would while on the job — turn your phone off and your listening ears on!
Smile and act friendly. You may even strike up friendships with other new Travelers during orientation, which will help make for a better assignment.
Pay Close Attention
Don't just be there, be engaged. Orientation is chock full of important information that will be an asset to you — and by extension, your patients and colleagues — throughout your assignment.
Treat all instructors with respect. Pay attention, look them in the eye, and participate fully in all orientation activities and lessons.
Take notes. They will be an excellent reference for you throughout your assignment.
Even the most experienced nurse will have a thing or two to learn at a new facility.
Each facility has their own way of doing things, so you should always ask questions when curiosities arise during orientation.
Don't assume. Just because you are used to a certain way of doing things, do not assume it is also the procedure at a new facility. If something is left uncovered or unclear, just ask.
Remember: In the long run, extra knowledge gained at orientation will only make your job easier, your patient care better, and your performance more exceptional — all of which contribute to you being offered extensions and great jobs down the road!
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