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How to integrate with a new team as an agency nurse

Starting a new nursing job? How to integrate with a new team as an agency nurse

Although there are many benefits to working as an agency nurse, sometimes it can be challenging to integrate into a new team, especially when working somewhere new for the first time. Working as a nurse, you’ll understand how important it is to build trust with your colleagues. In this guide, we’ll share top tips on how to work in a new team as an agency nurse and how to make sure you’re prepared for your first shift.

Preparing for your first shift as an agency nurse

Get organised

Arriving at your shift on time and prepared is a sure way to make a good impression on your new team. Make sure you’re organised and ready to start, by checking that you have all of your equipment on hand. Don’t forget to bring the essentials such as;

We recommend arriving for your shift at least 10-15 minutes early. If you’re unfamiliar with your commute, it’s a good idea to research how long it takes to get to your placement on time. If you have to travel in rush hour, it’s a good idea to allow extra time in case of bad traffic or transport delays. It’s always better to arrive too early rather than too late!

Make sure you’ve had an adequate induction

When starting your shift,  you should always be given an induction. Your induction will make sure you’re familiar with your surroundings as well as explain any policies or procedures specific to your location. After you’ve had your induction, you should feel confident enough with your surroundings and be provided with all the information you need able to carry out your work safely. If for any reason you do not receive an induction when you start your shift, it is essential that you ask for one to be arranged at the first opportunity.

Get a good handover

Arriving for your placement early will give you the opportunity to read your handover. Your handover should inform you of any relevant patient information you might need to start your shift along with any scheduled procedures you need to be aware of. After a long shift, your colleagues may be eager to get home and things can be forgotten, so it’s always good practice to ask the nurse you’re taking over from any questions so that you are fully aware of everything you need to know going into your shift.

Don’t forget nursing basics

When working in a new environment, and with a team of people you don’t know, it can be daunting. So, even if you feel flustered, don’t forget the nursing basics. If you are unfamiliar with a task and don’t feel comfortable, make sure to ask questions to ensure you are following procedures correctly, after all – it affects the safety of your patients. Even if you are on a busy shift, it’s important to remember to show compassion for your patients to make sure they feel comfortable in your care.

Preparing mentally for your placement as an agency nurse

Mindfulness exercises

Working as a nurse can be a high-stress job, but a quick mindfulness exercise can be an effective way to combat stress. It can also help reduce any anxieties you might have about joining an unfamiliar team and can help you come across as open and approachable.

Writing down any negative thoughts

Take a few minutes to write down how you are feeling considering any worries, your energy levels and if there are any outside factors that could affect your mood. After you’ve written it all down, rip up the paper and discard it. This will help you let go of your worries and have better focus throughout your shift.

Scan your body

A popular mindful technique is a mindfulness body scan. Bringing awareness to your breath, work through each body part from the top of your head to the tips of your toes noticing how it feels. This will help you feel more present in your body.

Conversation starters

Having some good conversation-starting questions in mind can help you to get to know the other people in your team, some questions that are guaranteed to start a conversation include;

  • How long have you been working here?
  • What are your favourite things about the job?
  • What are your interests outside of work?

One of the perks of working as an agency nurse is all the new people you get to meet. Now you’ll be well-equipped to integrate with the team with our top tips. Here at Thornbury, we have a wide range of nursing shifts available across England and Wales, with exclusive benefits, flexibility and high pay rates. To join Thornbury, register online today.

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