Starting work placement (with confidence)
We often feel uncomfortable, nervous or downright terrified when it’s time to start something new. Starting work placement is no exception!
Your new skills and knowledge are about to be tested in a practical environment – but it doesn’t have to be so scary! We’ve got some advice to help you tackle your first day with confidence, so starting work placement isn’t so bad after all.
Know the way:
Do a trial run to get to your place of work. The last thing you want is to find out you have the wrong building or address with 2 minutes to spare on your first day! Plan your trip carefully so there are no unpleasant surprises with traffic or public transport.
Confirm your hours:
Make sure you’re confident about your start and finish time so you can plan appropriately.
Sort out what you’re wearing in advance: Again, this is about minimising stress. Try on your clothes, make sure you’re comfortable and have your outfit ready to go on the day of work placement. Double-check the dress code too and make sure you have any required uniform items.
Get it right by asking questions:
Chances are you will be asked if you have any questions. Don’t just say no on autopilot. Think it through for a moment and ask any questions you have. Where is the bathroom? What time is break? Who do you report to? There really is no such thing as a silly question, so ask away.
Don’t be afraid to do things. In most cases, using your initiative is great. Just be sure to stick to company policy and be realistic about what you are capable of in the early stages of your work placement.
Be friendly and communicative:
Don’t just disappear to lunch – tell your colleague or manager that you’re going on lunch so they don’t have to go looking for you or wonder where you are. Always say goodbye when you leave at the end of your shift too – it’s friendly and polite, and lets people know that you’re done for the day.
Remember, everyone had a first day once and it won’t be long until you know all the ins and outs. Be kind to yourself and be sure to contact your Royal College of Healthcare manager or trainer for support and guidance. Good luck!