Now that you have had a good night’s sleep and started your first day out right you should be full of energy and ready to start your first day. For travel nurses this means the beginning of orientation.
Each hospital has a different orientation process and some may be longer than others, but there are some basics you need to remember to be successful.
- Keep your all of your assignment documents with you, especially your driver’s license, nursing license and any certifications, (for example ACLS, BCLS, etc.)
- If you take any medications make sure you have the prescription with you in case it shows up on a drug screening
- Bring something to take notes with as you sit through orientation classes and tour your unit
- Pay attention, you will be learning a lot in a short time
- Be prepared to take tests whether they are general tests that cover areas like administering medications or more involved ones like the PBDS that is used to put in nurses in more real life situations and ascertain their competency
- Be inquisitive. You will probably be given time to be shown your around your unit with a preceptor. Take advantage of that time to ask a lot of questions and learn as much as you can about how the unit works and hospital policies.
- Be friendly. Introduce yourself confidently to as many of your new co-workers as you can. Especially the Charge Nurse or Unit Manager. Just remember not every hospital is going to be traveler friendly so do your best to not ruffle feathers by discussing things like your pay, hours, etc. or anything that could make a perm nurse at the hospital jealous.
Finally, relax, you are a great nurse and this will be an awesome experience. It just is going to go better if you are prepared.
To help you prepare check out this Travel Nurse Orientation Handbook.