What should I expect on my first day/week/month?
Starting a new job is stressful, but starting a new job in a new country can be nerve-wracking. In addition, it is likely that your training culture will be different to that in the UK, so there will be a lot to learn whilst adapting to a new environment. However, this article focuses on providing you with an insight on what to expect on your first day, week and month of joining the NHS and some helpful tips when starting your new job as a Doctor in the NHS.
Before you start
Contact the Hospital
Starting your new position
First day in the hospital
Your first day at the hospital will be an induction. Make sure you always have your ID badge on you and that you have made a note of all the relevant access codes around the hospital. Next, if you are expected to carry a bleep know where to collect it from, understand how the bleep system works and try and note/learn the most important numbers. Lastly, find out who your clinical and educational supervisor is because these will be the clinicians that will provide you with support throughout your post.
First week in the hospital
The first week at the hospital will continue to be an induction and will be all about getting your bearings. You will be learning service processes and procedures, how to write up hospital notes, drug charts and discharge summaries. Other activities include taking patient history and conducting examinations, updating patients on their progress, and other common administrative tasks such as writing prescriptions. During your first week, it will be important to introduce yourself to all members of your team including nurses, pharmacists, and social workers, who you will have regular contact with concerning the care of your patients. One tip is to create a WhatsApp group of other Doctor’s, so if you need to swap a shift or are running late you can contact your colleagues.
First month in the hospital
By the time you have worked in the hospital for a month, you should have found your feet and started to take control of your learning. Please note that during your first month you will be on a reduced rota until you, your clinical supervisor and educational supervisor are satisfied that you can begin the role independently. This reduced rota could continue for up to three months and you will be placed on a full-time rota when you feel you are confident enough with all NHS procedures and protocols. During this month it would be useful for you to have a list of useful numbers such as the x-ray department or registrar on call for a quick reference, attend relevant courses, and make use of your mentor. In addition, you should have begun to use your national training e-portfolio as this allows you to create your educational personal development plan, note any assessments you have obtained and state your self-evaluation. Please note that if you want to book off any annual leave then be sure to contact the HR department six weeks before the date.
Helpful tips to remember when starting your new position
-Doctor’s work long and stressful hours, therefore, it is important that you try to avoid becoming stressed and overwhelmed. To prevent this ensure you get enough sleep, take regular breaks throughout the day and remember to book off annual leave to give your body time to recuperate.
-Try to work efficiently when on a ward round as this will save you time and prevent stress. Before the round starts ensure you are organised by having easy access to relevant numbers, notes, and forms and be sure to establish a routine so nothing gets missed.
-If you don’t know what to do or are unsure about a patient’s condition, ask for help. It is better to get a second opinion than risk someone’s health.
-Keep learning! Try to find time for research, lunch-time teaching and shadowing as this can improve your skills and patient care.
If you are an IMG who is considering moving to the UK and working for the NHS then get in contact with us by sending your CV to [email protected] – and one of our specialist advisors will be able to provide you with tailored advice.