As a professional healthcare traveler, it’s imperative that you begin work at your new assignment by “hitting the ground running” as much as possible. That’s why it’s so important to not only pay close attention to your orientation/onboarding at any assignment, but to also ask as many questions as you deem necessary.

Read below for some more tips on how to make the most of an assignment’s orientation.

First, your travel staffing firm should have some basic orientation information for you before you even leave for your assignment. In addition to the facility’s location and your assignment supervisor’s name and contact information, your staffing manager should let you know what kind of orientation you can expect at the assignment facility. Your staffing manager also should either make sure all the necessary paperwork is completed prior to your assignment arrival or work with you to make sure all documents are complete.

Once you’re on assignment, you should expect to receive a short overview of the assignment facility’s policies and procedures, a tour and, of course, a short introduction to other staff (and possibly other travelers).

Once in your unit or department, you’ll be given instructions on “the way it’s done here.” That is, how the unit/department performs charting, documenting, sending/receiving faxes, where to go to find supplies (or whom to ask), etc.

Once the official orientation is over, it’s up to you to fill in the blanks/get answers to questions you may have. For example, if you’re a nurse on assignment at a hospital, introduce yourself to the charge nurse and go over the shift routine and assignments with him or her. You also might want to introduce yourself to the unit secretary, as he or she can be a great resource for questions you may have about the phone system, order entry/retrieval, etc.

Naturally, you’ll want to take plenty of notes during orientation. You also shouldn’t be shy about asking for a list of frequently dialed numbers such as the pharmacy, physicians, laboratories, etc.

Realize that your first two weeks at any assignment probably will be your most challenging. Never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how minor you may think them to be.

Whether you’re an RN, OT, PT, speech therapist, pharmacist, or other allied health professional, if you have at least one or two years’ professional experience and want to explore the great career available to you as a traveler, contact a MedPro Healthcare Staffing recruiter today.