Settling in to a new team can be difficult at the best of times but a busy dynamic environment like the nursing profession makes it even harder to settle in as colleagues are generally too busy to worry about the new tam member.
Here are a few things to remember that might make it that little bit easier to settle in and become a part of the team:
- Be Approachable: Smile, be friendly and show respect to your new colleagues, whether they are above, equal to or below you in the ´workplace hierarchy ‘try to take everyone on the ward into account, not just the nurses. If you don´t personally get on well with somebody, stay positive and at least try to forge an effective professional relationship with them.
- Be Enthusiastic: Even though you may have worked in a similar setting before, Just be careful not to come across as arrogant; regardless of how much previous experience you have in nursing, this is a new workplace and environment so you will have some new things to learn!
- Know the Rules: Make sure you know about any restrictions or norms of your new workplace before launching into your own routine. Things such as working hours, dress code and lunch breaks may be different to what you are used to so make sure you are aware of these before you start. This is particularly important if you are working abroad or in a new area as cultural differences are likely to impact upon daily routine and working norms.
- Set the Boundaries: While it is great to take on extra voluntary work and opportunities, make sure these don´t have a negative effect on your home life. Don´t take on extra shifts just to try and impress your colleagues as they may begin to take advantage of this and offload their work onto you whenever they can. You should also be careful about getting too involved on a personal level with workplace gossip in the early days as this could affect what your new co-workers think of you in the long term.
- Ask Questions: Your colleagues will not expect you to know everything about your new workplace so if you are unsure about anything, just ask and they will be happy to help. It may also be useful to take down notes when you are being shown around to avoid repeating the same question several times as when you are on a nurse’s schedule this could be frustrating.