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Eight Questions to Ask on Your First Day of Your Nursing Travel Assignment

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You may be excited about starting a new nursing travel assignment and look forward to the many challenges. But along with excitement, may come some questions. Don’t worry about asking too many things. It’s normal to have questions anytime you start a new job.

Certain information you may have gotten from your recruiter, but there are still plenty of things you may not know. Even if you are an experienced nurse, facilities may differ in policies, dress codes and charting. You want to be prepared and hit the ground running. The best way to do that is by asking what you need to know. Below are some typical questions you may want to ask on your first day.

Questions to Ask

  1. Determine what method of communication your supervisor prefers. Some supervisors may prefer an email or a phone call, while others may like a face to face meeting when available.
  2. Find out where the policy and procedures manual is. Although healthcare facilities vary in policies, most will have a manual for you to refer to. Since it may be in print form or online, ask where to locate it.
  3. Request a tour. Hopefully your new boss arranged for you to have a tour of the facility if not don’t be shy about asking. Locate time clocks, staff break rooms, supply rooms and the human resource office.
  4. Ask about scheduling. You may already have a set schedule which was determined when you signed you contract. But in other cases, your schedule may change week to week. Find out when the schedule comes out and when the deadline is for requesting days off.
  5. Locate the crash cart. Make sure you know where all emergency equipment is.
  6. Find out which codes are called in your facility and be sure you know how to activate the code teams. For example, in most facilities codes may be called for a cardiac arrest, fire, and a violent patient.  Get a cheat sheet if you need to in order to remember codes.
  7. Determine if overtime needs to be approved in advance. In some situations, you may need to work past the end of your scheduled shift. Make sure you know if your supervisor needs to preapprove any OT.
  8. Find out if there is an onsite information technology (IT) team. Almost all healthcare facilities rely on computers to some extent. If your facility uses computers as part of the medication administration or charting process, glitches are bound to happen. Knowing whom to call in advance can save time and stress when problems arise.

Don’t be afraid of asking questions. Your coworkers and supervisor have all been new once and should understand. Keep in mind that you won’t learn everything on your first day or even first week on the job. But the more you ask, the sooner you will adjust and thrive in your new work environment.

Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the senior vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 25 years in public relations, social media, marketing, and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Additionally, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida. Tera has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!