The induction training period after hiring an international doctor is much the same as it is if you were to hire a UK trained doctor, though perhaps it is fair to suggest that this training is even more important for your new employee than it would be in ordinary circumstances, as not only will your new colleague be settling into a new country, but into an entirely new healthcare system as well. In this article, we will be giving an overview of the induction training process, and how it can help you to get the best results from your new employee and assist them in settling in to their new environment.
We should mention that the induction process may vary from hospital to hospital, so this is merely a brief overview of what you may cover during this period and what would be beneficial.
The First Day
Some hospitals may have a checklist to assist with the induction process to ensure that all essential topics are covered. We will try to offer a general overview of what a hospital will need to offer a new staff member on their first day, but of course, this may vary slightly depending on the particulars of the hospital. The overall purpose of the induction period is to ensure that a new employee understands the processes of the hospital, both clinical and non-clinical, and that they settle into their new environment, both for their own wellbeing, and for the safety of patients.
Once a doctor’s first day arrives, it may have been a few months since the initial interview when you first spoke with them, so it is important to be considerate of the process your new colleague has been through during the time since you last spoke to them. By their first day, it is likely that your new employee will have been in the UK for a couple of weeks at most and will have spent those first few weeks arranging accommodation and preparing to start work. It can be beneficial to be aware of this as an employer as it gives you a greater insight into the importance of the induction period for your new employee. Whilst they will, of course, be excited and enthusiastic about beginning their new role, it can be an isolating time when a doctor first arrives in the UK. Sometimes, they will arrive without their family, so they will still be acclimatising to the different culture and the new area. As such, the induction period is crucial in helping your new colleague to feel welcome, and the quality of their induction period will likely have an impact on how quickly they settle, not only into their new role, but into their new environment as a whole. As an agency, we do everything we can to help our candidates to settle into life in the UK, even once they have secured a position, we are dedicated to offering them advice and assistance, but ultimately, your hospital will be the place where they will spend the majority of their time, so anything you can do to help them feel welcome will be advantageous to both yourselves and the doctor in question.
A doctor’s first day should be about providing with them with the basic knowledge of how to navigate the hospital, simple things such as where they can park their car, how to get from one area of the hospital to another and who they will be working with. Generally, prior to the doctor liaising with you on their first day, they will likely first report to the HR department to obtain their ID badge, and access pass, to fill out any outstanding information, and to receive access to the IT system that they will be using. Once these things have been completed, HR will likely contact the clinical supervisor or member of staff who will be providing induction training to the new employee.
Once you have collected them from HR, the initial thing to do is to show them around the department and briefly explain how the department functions, it is recommended that you don’t go into a vast amount of detail on this first day as there is a lot for your new colleague to take in. Next, it is important to introduce them to their colleagues. If possible, brief relevant members of the department beforehand to inform them of the arrival of the new staff member, and some hospitals even nominate one member of the department as a kind of ‘buddy’ to help the new employee settle in. It is important that you and your colleagues come across as friendly and welcoming so that your new employee feels as if they can approach you and ask questions.
After you have introduced them to the people they will be working with and shown them around the department, it will be helpful to provide them with the general layout of the hospital, and areas they will need to be particularly aware of. Some HR departments provide new employees with maps, but it can still be beneficial to physically show them the routes to different areas of the hospital.
The first day is also the best time to brief your new colleague on uniform arrangements, as well as the duties and responsibilities involved in their role and explain which departments they will be liaising with. It will also be worth reassuring them that they will not be left to treat patients alone until you are happy for them to do so, and also, until they feel confident enough to do this.
The First Week
As with any new doctor, the first few days and even the first few months, depending on the individual hospital’s contract, will be a supernumerary period in which your new employee will be under the supervision of a clinical supervisor.
During the first week, you might cover how to write up hospital notes, drug charts and discharge summaries, as well as taking patient histories, conducting examinations, updating patients on their progress and writing prescriptions. The first week should be about helping the doctor to understand the NHS system and the way in which things are done. As previously mentioned, the doctor should not be left unsupervised at this point as they are only beginning to learn about the NHS system.
The First Few Months
Within the first few days, they should be briefed on any health and safety information and be allocated time to complete any health and safety courses, if they have not already done so. This period is about helping the doctor to settle into their new role, whilst also ensuring the safety of patients is upheld during the training period. This means that the doctor should not be left to treat patients alone and should also not work on-call hours. Whilst the doctors we work with are all highly skilled, and we make the greatest efforts to ensure that they have the necessary skills and qualifications to thrive in a role we offer them up for, these first few months will always be a huge change for the doctor as they adapt to life in the UK, as well as life in their new workplace.
This period is vital for helping a new colleague to settle into the hospital and into their new role. It is important that clinical or educational supervisors take time to work with the doctor to help them understand what their skill set is and which areas they need support in. This regular analysis will help you to identify how the doctor is settling in, and if they are less confident in certain areas, you can offer them the support they need to improve. These sessions should also be used to ensure that a doctor’s confidence in the role and their overall happiness is increasing. Your new employee should also be made aware of their e-portfolio and start using it in this time.
Example of an Inductions Checklist
To give you an idea of what an induction training checklist might include, we are including this checklist from Southern Health NHS as an example. The items on a list may vary depending on each individual hospital and is not a comprehensive guide for every hospital in the UK.
Introduction to the Workplace/Department
Within the first two days
Introduction to key people, e.g. immediate colleagues, clients etc.
Provide a “buddy” or mentor within the workplace to welcome and provide help and assistance.
Tour of the department/workplace/site
Cover fire procedure, including exits, assembly points, location of alarms, extinguishers and evacuation procedure. Local fire arrangements must be covered in Day 1 of a new starter joining the Trust: this forms part of their local induction.
Show where the refreshment and dining facilities are located.
Show where the toilet and any possible cloakroom facilities are.
Ascertain if any special requirements are required for the new employee to carry out their tasks, e.g. writing material to be provided in large print, hearing loop systems, etc.
Work equipment discussed and shown how to be used, (training to be arranges if required).
Discuss health and safety procedures, e.g. infection control , moving & handling, etc.
Provide protection equipment where applicable.
Discuss security of personal property and personal security, including alarm systems, door codes, etc.
Explain any dress code requirements and make arrangements for providing any necessary uniform.
Clarify where applicable hours of work, e.g. shift rotas, breaks, etc.
Arrange orientation programme.
Provide any necessary equipment, including computers, stationery, diary and explain procedure for ordering.
Please identify any other relevant local induction requirements for your service/department.
Usually within the first week
Explanation of the role and work of the department
Clarify the duties and role of the new member of staff
Clarify annual leave entitlement, confidentiality and data protection laws
Explain sickness and absence procedure, including paper work required to be completed in the event of sickness and absence
Hierarchy and structures, i.e. who are they responsible to and who they are responsible for
Explain any departmental systems and processes, e.g. time record keeping, department/dictorate meetings.
Clarify methods of using office equipment, e.g. photocopier, fax machine, etc.
Within the first month
Ensure your new member of staff has access and understands Trust policies.
Passport any statutory and mandatory training completed in another Trust that has 3 months validity remaining.
Familiarisation with Medicines Control, Administration and Prescribing Policy
Complete Trust information Governance e-learning package
Familiarisation with Patient Assessment & Monitoring Policy and procedures (Track and Trigger tool) Physical Assessment and Monitoring e-video
The wider context, e.g. structures and services
Within the first two months
Attend the Health Education England Wessex Specialty Induction which will provide you with specialty information, an opportunity to meet the HEW team and a knowledge and understanding of specialty processes.
Have knowledge and understanding of the Trust’s Mission Statement, business objectives and values
Provide organisation and management structures, including the Board, clinical directorates, and corporate departments
Geography of the Trust, e.g. where services are located and what they provide, including how they may interact with you and your service. This would include Occupational Health and staff counselling
Business Planning process, including the Annual Delivery Plan (ADP), Local Delivery Plan (LDP), 10-year strategy and NHS Improvement Plan, where applicable
Staff consultation procedures e.g. departmental meetings, Board meetings, Public and Patient Involvement (PPI), Trade Unions, Clinical governance processes, Staff Newsletter, etc.
Provide information on any external services and relationships as appropriate, e.g. other health care services, Social Services, General Practitioners, etc. This also includes external auditors, for example, NHSLA, Healthcare Commission, Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Training and Development Requirements
Usually within the first three months
Ensure that you apply for and complete e-assessments/attend all statutory and mandatory training.
Complete dementia awareness Tier 1 e-learning assessment
Ensure that you have knowledge and an understanding of the Study Leave Policy, which can be obtained from the Postgraduate Centre
Ensure that you have knowledge of how to apply for different types of study leave, e.g. internal organised courses and external organised courses.
Identify and address any role specific skills required to competently undertake your job
Completing the Induction
The induction period can end once you feel confident that the doctor is capable and that they are feeling assured enough to start undertaking their duties independently. There is no set time scale for this, as every individual is different, and the safety of patients and the wellbeing of the doctor are of the utmost importance. If your hospital provides a checklist of subjects that must be covered during the induction period, it is obviously important to confirm that all the items on the list have been covered before ending the induction period. It is also beneficial to have a session with the doctor to allow them to ask any questions, and to make sure that they are also happy to begin working independently, but also be assured that just because the induction period is ending, that there is still support available for them.
Hiring International Doctors
If you are an NHS Trust who needs support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected]
Shb.scot.nhs.uk. (2020). [online] Available at: https://www.shb.scot.nhs.uk/board/policies/hr-InductionforNewEmployees.pdf [Accessed 17 Jan. 2020].
Staff.southernhealth.nhs.uk. (2020). [online] Available at: http://staff.southernhealth.nhs.uk/_resources/assets/inline/full/0/35852.pdf [Accessed 20 Jan. 2020].