Making the transition to a new medical job can be overwhelming. Tie in the fact that, as a traveling medical professional, your new job is in a new location and you’ve got enough complications to overwhelm even the most experienced individual. Adapting to a new environment pales in comparison to learning all the new safety procedures at your new assignment. Don’t sweat it, though. We have a few tips to ease the learning curve at any new position.
Keep Yourself Healthy
Rule number one for adapting to any job is to remain alert and at your best. One surefire way to meet this important rule is to keep yourself at peak performance with a nutritional diet, enough sleep, an exercise routine and managing stress. You’re paid to care for the health of others, but even with the best of intentions (and a brain chock full of healthy living facts), medical professionals have been known to let their own health fall by the wayside.
Luckily, as we mentioned, you know what you need to do for your mind and body to run at its best. Practice remaining accountable by creating meal plans, exercise schedules and strict, work night bedtimes. Don’t give up hobbies either! They’re important to managing stress and staying positive. If you ask us, one of the best hobbies of traveling medical professionals is exploring the city, state or region of their assignments.
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Don’t Assume You Know the Rules
You received the lab/site safety talk at your current job, you will receive it at your next placement and you will again at the one after that and the one after that. It’s important that sites go over these rules with new employees because though the guidelines will be similar, each place will have different processes. Just because you’ve been in multiple safety meetings doesn’t mean you know the rules. Assuming so is not only rude, it’s dangerous to you, your coworkers and patients. Stay vigilant in safety training and don’t groan if the manager calls for refresher meetings, even if it’s #184 of your career.
Ask Clarifying Questions
When attending safety training, take the time to notice subtle differences between this assignment’s procedures and the last. When there is a difference, make a mental note of why that change is better/necessary for your current employer. Can’t see the benefit? Ask the trainer about it. If you learn the ‘why’ behind the regulations, you’ll be able to make connections to your current organization or, at the very least, be able to create a memorable conversation around the procedure, making it easier to commit to memory. It might seem silly and could slow training a little, but the exercise will ensure you are engaged in the conversation and, most importantly, will keep you from confusing this site’s rules with that of another assignment.
As you begin working on the floor alongside your team, observe how others are dealing with everyday procedures. This will remind you of those little differences and similarities between this assignment and the last as well as show you how more practiced employees handle the regulations. If you see something amiss, ask about it. Avoid sounding accusatory by asking your manager to clarify the way he or she would approach the situation and following their guidance as best as you can.
The above tips probably have you thinking of all the extra time you will need to get working. As a traveling medical professional, you want to be an asset as soon as possible and any shifts spent not helping with everyday duties might seem like a burden to your new assignment, however, the real burden is making a safety error that endangers your new team. If there’s one place that it’s pivotal for you to understand the rules, it’s safety. Get lost going to the water cooler once or twice the first day, ask where the cafe is a few times the first week, but never leave training confused about the safety regulations of you, your team and your patients.
How do you adapt to new travel assignments? Share your tips with us @TriageStaff and we’ll share your expert advice!