NHS job

Setting first day expectations

By Daniel Allard

From the moment you start on your first day of a new contract, you’ll be expected to hit the ground running. As a healthcare professional, you know how fast-paced the work is – especially if you are working within the NHS. With a considerable number of patients to care for, you may not have time to think about the specifics of your new job role.

We take the time to help set expectations so that our nurses, allied health professionals, biomedical scientists and mental health practitioners can arrive feeling confident of how their skills match what their new employer is looking for.

Remind yourself of the job description

This is the most important thing you can do is to ensure that you’re fully aware of what your new job may entail. You were successful in your interview because your new employer felt that you were the perfect fit for the role, so it is good to remind yourself of what they are looking for. It will not only help you make a good first impression, but you’ll feel more confident and ready to get on with the task at hand.

Consider your workload

If you’re working in an NHS nursing job, then you’ll be aware that the workload may fluctuate. Some days you may have a greater number of patients than others.

For others, such as those working in physiotherapy jobs or occupational therapy roles, you may find that you have a clearer expectation of what the workload may be. With specific appointment times, you should know how many patients you will be seeing during a shift. Consider what you need to do to ensure that is is manageable.

What about corporate culture?

If you’ve spent much of your career focusing on contract jobs, you’ll have a strong insight into what types of corporate culture allow you to thrive.

Every workplace is different. Even if you’re working for a separate team within the same NHS Trust, there may be alternative leadership styles and policies. If you know what managerial styles work well for you, then you may have had the opportunity to ask questions during your interview. If you didn’t, it’s wise to use sites such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn to see what other employees are saying about the corporate culture.

Stay open-minded and flexible

It’s good to prepare yourself for a new challenge but remember that you also need to stay open-minded and be able to adapt yourself to new situations. If the reality is different from what you expected, then consider how you can use it as a learning opportunity or a chance to try something new.

We have written a selection of pieces around starting and navigating your nursing career. If you’re starting a new role and are unsure what to expect from your first day, then please get in touch.