As a traveling healthcare professional you change jobs and locations far more than the common person. Each and every time you start a new assignment, you are thrust into unfamiliar territory with unfamiliar faces… This scenario is however not unfamiliar. I’m sure after having done this a few times you may be used to the transition period that all travelers must go through. Here are a few tips that may help make the transition a bit easier and give you a better chance at making friends along the way.
Step 1) Don’t be close minded: When starting your new traveling nursing or traveling allied health position there are lots of adjustments you must make in order to make it a successful and rewarding experience. First you must get acclimated to your new surroundings, the hospital and the city where you’ll be living for the next 13 weeks. There may be some things that are no different to what you’re use to, but there will also be many things that you will find to be unique to the area. Just because you may not have experienced anything like it, does not mean it is incorrect. Be open to the way things are done and don’t be quick to judge how it’s done. Besides, being the new person, it is best to observe and get your footing before voicing your opinions and suggestions.
Step 2) Finding common ground: While working in the hospital it’s obvious that you all have something in common, after all, you are working at a hospital full of other healthcare professionals. But that’s too easy. Once you have started to figure out what the area is all about and the things it has to offer, maybe drum up a conversation about events happening in your location like sporting events, an art exhibit or musical tastes. There’s bound to be something you can relate to with others, and it’s a sure way to start a working relationship.
Step 3) Be yourself: How many times have you heard that before? While this is the best advice, it takes time to let others get use to you and your ways. You’re not the only one going through the transition and it takes just as much time for them to get to know you as it is for you to get to know them.
Step 4) Remember who they are: You’ll never get anywhere if you can’t call a person by their name. This shows that you are really interested in the person and who they are. It shows respect and gives you a greater chance to make a good impression.
If you follow these 4 steps, you have a greater chance at making friends. Hopefully along the way, you’ll make friends that last a lifetime and not just for the time being. We all lead busy lives and have only so much free time to offer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your working experience all the more pleasant. It’s far easier to work along side a colleague who at least knows who you are and what you’re about. So on your next traveling assignment, make the best of it and who knows, you just might make a new best friend!