​Making a good first impression on shift

By Josh Jezard

​Making a good first impression on shift

As an agency nurse, you should be relatively familiar with the ever-changing nature of the job. Working in new locations, with unfamiliar colleagues and patients can be quite daunting at first. However, going into a new shift fully prepared with a good attitude can make all the difference on how your shift goes and how well you’re received by your new colleagues and patients.

Obviously being a seasoned agency nurse, you’ll already have a mountain of knowledge and experience but in a market where competition can be fierce it’s always a good idea to brush up on your soft skills to set you apart from the competition. Word gets about and building up a good reputation in the industry will unlock many doors including, preference of shifts, ongoing work and higher demand.

Remember rightly or wrongly, first impressions count and can’t be changed easily, so the moment you walk through the door, the pressure’s on and you have to make a stellar first impression.

1.Dress to impress

Your appearance plays a huge part in how you are perceived. Turning up in the correct attire will ensure that your shift starts off smoothly and shows that you are professional and serious about your work.

You should arrive in a clean MedGen tunic, along with your MedGen ID visible on a lanyard. We’re sure we don’t need to tell you but comfortable durable shoes are absolutely essential!

2.Arrive on time

This one may seem obvious but often it can be easily overlooked. Arriving late raises immediate red flags, puts you at an immediate disadvantage and can even result in you being turned away.

Now we know that unforeseen circumstances such as a car breaking down can’t be helped. If there is a genuine unavoidable reason as to why you’ll be late to your shift it is vital that you contact your MedGen booking consultant to let them know so they inform the client.

3.Be confident

As an agency nurse people’s lives and wellbeing are literally in your hands. Displaying an air of confidence to your colleagues and patients is imperative when you arrive. This will reassure people that you know what you are doing and are comfortable with getting on with the job you are there for.

4.Keep a positive attitude

We all have bad days, and once people know you, they’ll be able to differentiate between those days. However, when you’re making a first impression with a new nursing team or trying to support a busy nursing team, it’s best to remain positive and helpful in all situations no matter how stressful they may be. The best thing they could receive is a friendly, smiley and positive agency nurse.

5. Ask Questions and use your initiative

This is a priority, doing things before someone has to ask, is a godsend. Some days you just don’t have five minutes to ask someone to do something, so if you’re able to use initiative before being asked that’s great.

6.Break the ice

If circumstance allow before the shift begins, try and break the ice and build some rapport. Ask your colleagues how their day has been, it should hopefully make you feel more at ease, you may even find that you have something in common with your new colleagues. Connecting on a personable level as well as professional will go a long way towards standing out from the rest of the agency nurses.

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