A “first day on the job” nurse checklist
We talked to Dana Elmer, RN. She’s not only racked up plenty of frequent flier miles in her years as a travel nurse, she’s also put together a full-proof list of DOs and DON’Ts for your first day.
Here’s her checklist. Would you add any advice?
- Get an extra head start on your shift, always accounting for traffic. If you arrive early, you can walk around and get a feel for the unit.
- If necessary, check in with the human resources department before you go to the unit.
- Sign in.
- Introduce yourself to the management.
- Introduce yourself to the experienced nurse you’ll be shadowing that day. This nurse will give you an orientation.
- Introduce yourself to the rest of the staff.
- Find out the nurse’s mandatory paperwork requirements.
- Obtain information on the facility’s procedures and policies.
- Find out how lunch breaks are handled.
- Bring paper for note-taking or find out if the facility takes reports on printed-out patient summaries. If yes, obtain the printout report sheets.
- Work your day like you would at any other facility by assessing the patients, pulling medicines and sending them to tests and procedures.
- At the end of the day, give your report to the oncoming nurse.
- Breathe a deep sigh, reflect on the people you helped and go home to rest up for tomorrow.