5 tips to help you on your first days as a Locum...

Congratulations, you’ve landed the job, you’re excited, eager to start but are you worried that your superintendent and new work colleagues will be judging you almost as soon as you walk in the department?

We all do it, we judge even though we know that we shouldn’t go on first impressions.That’s why you need to create a good impression starting on day 1.

The hospital has taken you on; they need you, the locum hospital worker to deliver. Here are 5 tips to set you in the right direction:

1) Don’t act like you know it all

If you speak too authoritatively: give the impression that you know it all – it will look like you’re showing off. Your new boss knows what you’re capable of: she’s studied your CV and has a clear idea of your skills that is why she hired you. You don’t have to prove anything. Of course you need to show them you know your stuff, but communicate professionally, show respect by listening intently and asking questions. Fall in with their routine, their way of doing things: don’t tell them there’s a better way of doing the job. Wait until they seek your feedback and advice.

2) Don’t complain

There’s bound to be a situation or two that you’re not comfortable with. It might be about parking at the hospital, your starting time, or even the hospital accommodation. Instead of complaining or getting agitated, try to find a solution – there’s bound to be one.  Contact your consultant at your recruitment agency – that’s what they are there for. Most team leaders these days have an open door policy; employees can reach out to their superiors. Ask the right questions and get possible solutions as soon as you can.

3) Don’t use your mobile phone unless you really have to

Improper use of mobile phones in the work place is fast becoming a problem.   It’s best to keep yours out of sight while at work:  wait until lunch time to talk to friends, to tweet, to blog because the hospital is paying for you and your time. Even though your co-workers seem to be spending endless time on their mobiles you, as a locum don’t have the same privileges and besides, mobile phones cause distraction and irritation amongst colleagues.

4) Don’t be too over excited

If you like cracking jokes or have a reputation of laughing too loudly, then watch it the first few days; it might not go down too well.  This doesn’t mean a personality change, just be mindful that you’re dealing with new people, a new workplace.  Remember your new colleagues are happy to have you because they’ve been overworked recently. For them you are new vitality, new energy, they are already drawn.

5) Don’t get caught in work politics

You should never get involved in work politics. Watch out especially for individuals who potentially want to recruit you on to ‘their’ side. By all means be friendly and listen but step back, you cannot solve their problem and remember it’s not about entering a popularity contest. Have a good look and you’ll soon see the happy workers, they stand out: they are motivated, optimistic, cheerful and eager to help.


Not surprising, at a recent survey by RIG Healthcare, communication was voted the number one skill to achieve success in the workplace. As locum health care workers, we owe it to ourselves to interact well with colleagues, our superiors and our patients.

What are the basics for success in the workplace?  Interpersonal skills and communication top the list every time.

What are your thoughts on this check list? Do you have an interesting, funny or embarrassing story to tell about your first week at work? Contact RIG at marketing@righealthcare.co.uk and please feel free to share.

Alice Alech



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