Healthcare Topics Career Advice Topics

What to Expect on Your First Day in Healthcare

Have you secured your first healthcare position? Are you curious about what to expect on your first day? As one of the most prevalent industries in the nation, the healthcare field is always looking for qualified candidates and is full of exciting and prosperous opportunities.

Although you’ve completed your education requirements, it can still be a bit unnerving preparing for your first day on the job. Wanting to make a good first impression and perform at your best can be stressful for many newcomers.

The fear of the unknown is enough to spark insecurity in a worker entering into a healthcare facility for the first time. Here, we’ll highlight the best ways to make your first healthcare job a success.

Research the Company and Understand the Establishment Thoroughly

Never walk into any situation blindly when there are facts available. Being aware of how a company operates before you step foot into the building will give you a much-needed head start.

Research the background of the organization and who the key leadership figures are; this will give you an understanding of the leadership structure. Determine the size and scope of the company.

After you arrive at the facility, quickly familiarize yourself with the layout of the building. You should know how to maneuver around your department and the other parts of the building within your first couple of days.

Arrival and Departure

An excellent rule of thumb when starting any position is to arrive early and be willing to stay later than others. This shows you are dependable and serious about your position. Those in leadership are more likely to promote those they can depend on. In other words, they are willing to give more responsibility to the responsible.

Be habitually punctual, but don’t expect any praise or reward. Being early to work is not a transactional activity and shouldn’t be taken as one. Your career has only just begun, and there is a wonderful road ahead of you.

Crucial Contact Info

Obtain all necessary contacts and their information when you’re starting your job. Having your immediate supervisor’s number will come in handy when you’re getting started. If questions arise regarding patient care, you will be ready to place the call right away and get the information you need instantly.

Patient and Staff Safety Protocols

The safety of the patient and staff are of the utmost importance at any healthcare facility. Protecting the health of the patient is the basis of healthcare. Even though you’re new, the attention of the person you shadow will be aimed rightfully at the patient.

Maintain your attentiveness and internalize the safety protocols of the establishment. Since being responsible and accountable is a core principle in healthcare, you should report unsafe work conditions. You wouldn’t want to be held responsible for a mistake or violation that wasn’t your fault. Always be proactive.

Obeying Hospital Directives

When you begin your job, you will be given the policies and procedures of the company. The protocols and expectancies will be outlined very clearly. Be diligent about learning those rules and regulations.

There will also be an initial competency assessment and a job-specific orientation checklist to be completed when you begin working in a new position. This checklist will feature all of the facets of your job and request that you verify whether or not certain tasks have been performed.

Follow all of the procedures to the letter. If you’re asked to do something that blatantly violates a policy, ask about the discrepancy. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when understanding the protocols in place at your facility.


Always be mindful of how you communicate with and around patients and their family members. Maintain a professional demeanor and speak at a regulated volume at all times.

Avoid coming across as unsure around patients and don’t get frustrated if you are asked to leave a patient’s room when doctors or nurses are consulting with patients. Many patients are not comfortable with what they perceive as too many people in the room, especially when dealing with sensitive information.

Dress Code

Your uniform is the way you identify yourself as a healthcare professional. Wear your scrubs or whatever attire is required for your department. Adhere to the particular requirements for your workplace.

A stethoscope will likely be a requirement for your position. Many healthcare professionals wear stethoscopes as accessories with their uniforms. Some professionals even invest in holsters for their stethoscopes.


Any experienced healthcare worker will tell you that the things you learned in school are critical to your position, but that knowledge is just the beginning. As you get acclimated to the policies and procedures of the particular facility you’re working in; you’ll get a more profound understanding of what your job description entails. When you are first starting is the perfect time to ask questions for greater clarity about what is expected. Everyone remembers what it was like on their first day; so, don’t be afraid to be curious and inquisitive.

Do you want to discuss your career path?

Request a FREE consultation with one of our Education Consultants.

  • Fully online training
  • One-on-one orientation and support
  • Career services
  • Exam fees included
  • Short-term programs

Financial assistance

If you are a military spouse or your training is provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), you may be eligible for financial assistance to cover all or some of your tuition.

“This decision is a no brainer!” —Kara B.

Read Our Reviews

Newest Articles