How to Prepare for Your New Entry Level Healthcare Position
You’ve decided to pursue a career in healthcare and are ready to start your first entry level job. How you perform in this role could influence your career path options, potentially opening the door to other opportunities down the road. If your goal is to make this first healthcare position as successful as possible, these five tips can help.
#1: Keep Your Expectations in Check
What do you expect from this new healthcare position? What do you think your days will be like? What duties will you perform? What role will you play within the healthcare facility? Having realistic expectations keeps you from setting the bar so high that you wind up disappointed.
If you’ve taken a healthcare training or educational program, you may already have a good idea of what to expect in your desired role. You can also reach out to others who work in that type of position and ask them what to expect. Inquire about their first week on the job and seek their advice as to the steps you can take to help improve your success.
#2: Stay Positive
Having a positive attitude is helpful in life in general. It can make you feel good to always see your glass as half full. But this type of attitude is especially important when working in a healthcare role, also because it can impact how a patient feels about their healthcare team and partially because it can improve workplace morale and productivity.1
Even if you’re nervous about starting your entry level position, try to stay optimistic. Look at challenges as opportunities and approach your work with a smile on your face. Smiling also gives others insight into you as a caregiver. Or, as motivational speaker Denis Waitley says, “A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.”2
#3: Show Up Prepared
Showing up fully prepared for your first day on the job is akin to showing up to your first day at school with binders, pens, papers, and textbooks in hand. It ensures that you have the tools you need to begin doing your entry level healthcare job.
The night before your big day, set out everything you need to take with you. A notebook and pen are good for writing notes about certain processes or procedures. You might also want to take an extra pair of scrubs in case the pair you’re wearing get dirty throughout the day.
Depending on the role, you might need additional equipment to perform your job functions. If you’re unsure what to take, ask your employer. They can tell you what to bring with you and what tools they supply on the job.
#4: Consider How You Can Contribute to the Team
Research published in the Journal of Healthcare Management compares working in the healthcare field with playing a team sport.3 So, as you get ready to start your entry level healthcare position, think about how you can contribute to the team as a whole.
Of course, handling your job functions as required can help the office or practice function more efficiently. It can also be helpful to look for ways you can do your job so that it benefits the entire team.
Ask if there’s a particular way you can do things to make it easier for other staff, for instance. This shows your colleagues that you’re not only interested in doing a good job for yourself, but also that it is important to you that your actions contribute to others in the workplace.
#5: Strive to Continue to Learn
Completing a healthcare education program can help prepare you for an entry level position. It provides the knowledge and skill set needed to perform your desired role. That said, your education doesn’t have to stop once you have your diploma or degree.
The more you learn while performing your job, the more you are prepared to handle the challenges within your particular role. Strive to learn something new every day, continuously adding to your knowledge base. Talk to others in that healthcare role at the facility, and seek to learn from them.
How Can We Help?
Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) is committed to preparing our students to pursue their desired entry level healthcare roles. To do this, we offer a variety of programs, available online and in a blended format at our Clearwater Campus located in Clearwater, Florida.
UMA’s Career Services team is also there to assist as you pursue your first job and your first day on the job. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!
1 Nurse Advisor Magazine. Why a Positive Attitude is Essential in Healthcare. http://nurseadvisormagazine.com/tn-exclusive/why-a-positive-attitude-is-essential-in-healthcare/
2 Brainy Quote. Denis Waitley Quotes. https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/denis-waitley-quotes
3 Meese K, Colon-Lopez A, Sing J, et al. Healthcare is a Team Sport: Stress, Resilience, and Correlates of Well-Being Among Health System Employees in a Crisis. Journal of Healthcare Management. https://journals.lww.com/jhmonline/Fulltext/2021/08000/Healthcare_is_a_Team_Sport__Stress,_Resilience,.9.aspx