Fitting in as a Per Diem Nurse

Company culture always matters. In healthcare, culture affects how teams work together, employee retention and even patient satisfaction. In fact, there’s a growing body of scientific literature correlating “a healthcare organization’s culture and various performance measures.”

But one of the challenges of being a per diem, or on-call nurse, is quickly assimilating into the culture of a healthcare facility. To do your job well, you must fit in with co-workers and quickly become a functional part of the team to improve the patient experience. If you don’t, you run the risk of being less effective in your job.

What are some tips for feeling comfortable fast? How can per diem nurses socialize with co-workers from the very first day to help make the job more enjoyable for everyone?

Culture Fit From Day One

Per diem nurses step into roles where they have to hit the ground running. This includes establishing their place within an existing team. Here are some tips to make it a cultural fit from day one:

  • Use orientation to help understand the lay of the land. Ask questions and make sure you understand policies and procedures so you don’t inadvertently step on the toes of existing staff.
  • If you’ve been assigned a mentor, make them your BFF. Finding a seasoned nurse willing to take you under their wing will help you fit in faster.
  • Be careful not to throw people under the bus or join in on unhealthy dynamics. Always keep your responses professional, helpful and positive.
  • Bond with those around you by asking lots of questions to find out more about them. Get to know your co-workers by talking less and asking more questions about their lives. Find out more about who you’re interacting with to ease the way in your new per diem role.
  • Feel comfortable asking questions and taking feedback. Don’t feel threatened by teaching moments. Use laughter whenever you can to lighten the mood.
  • Be observant and make sure you know how the team responds in a crisis, how they handle the tougher patients. Watch for what works well in the environment you’re in and what doesn’t.
  • Don’t make judgments about workflows and don’t share advice on how the department can improve. At least not at first. You’ll come across as a know-it-all.
  • Be nice to everyone and practice being friendly, helpful and approachable. You could even bring in donuts on your first day to break the ice. Try building goodwill by offering to help others.

Chances are you’ll win over your teammates just by doing the job well. But having the right attitude makes a huge difference as you’re getting started in a new per diem nursing position.

Work hard, be helpful and be a team player to make your new per diem nursing role go smoothing from the very first day. To talk more about the various per diem nursing roles available today, contact us.

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