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How can I integrate into a new team as an agency nurse in the UK?

A group of permanent nurses and agency nurses reviewing a patient's report

Tips for integrating into a new team as an agency nurse

With the current nursing staffing shortage in the UK, along with budget cuts and a lack of investment in development, nurses are increasingly turning towards nursing agency roles as a viable alternative to traditional permanent jobs. While transitions may seem like a simple process, it takes a lot to become a great agency nurse in the UK. 

In this blog, we will look into what makes a great agency nurse in the UK and how an agency nurse can integrate into a new team. 

What makes a great agency nurse? 

There are various qualities that make a great agency nurse; some of them are as follows: 

1. Show them your skills: 

Most of the skills that agency nurses have are transferable. However, the key is to draw attention to these during an interview to grab nursing jobs. Furthermore, when working as an agency nurse, your colleagues and patients have a short span of time to form an impression of your skills, manners, and professionalism. As an agency nurse, going above and beyond during shifts will benefit your career in the long term. Building a positive reputation will help you get much greater opportunities in the healthcare industry

2. Communication: 

As an agency nurse in the UK, you are constantly working with new people in healthcare facility, so communication plays a key role. You will be exposed to various kinds of situations and people, which gives you the benefit of understanding even the subtle nonverbal communication or signs that the patients show. 

3. Dealing with pressure: 

As an agency nurse, maintaining a cool head, especially in a tough situation, can help you earn recognitions. Your colleagues and patients expect some level of support, and if you are able to provide the same in stressful situations, this will help you earn appreciation for your job. 

4. Flexibility: 

As an agency nurse working through a nursing staffing agency like Nurses Group in the UK, where shifts are provisional, you should be flexible to pick up shifts on bank holidays, nights, and weekends. You should also be willing to travel, which will help you gain access to a wider pool of roles. 

5. Stamina: 

It is common for nurses to work long hours, which can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. However, in the case of an agency nurse, there is the added stress of travelling to unfamiliar locations and working irregular hours with people they may not know well. Thus, to be a great agency nurse, you should have a higher level of stamina. 

6. Attention to detail: 

Moving from ward to ward requires agency nurses in the UK to be on their toes. In the healthcare industry, observation and record-keeping are vital to ensuring quality patient care. A great agency nurse can't afford to risk the care of patients, even at the end of their 12-hour shift. 

7. Empathy and compassion: 

As an agency nurse in the UK, you will be constantly moving from one healthcare facility to another. Being able to build rapport with patients, understand their needs, and connect with them is crucial for agency nurses. 

How can an agency nurse integrate with a new team? 

Starting a career as an agency nurse can be exciting and daunting at the same time. As an agency nurse, you must be able to swiftly and seamlessly integrate into a new team, as you are frequently brought in to fill gaps in staffing or cover for sick or absent staff members. Working as a team, you will understand how important it is to build trust among your colleagues. 

Here are some tips on how to integrate with a new team as an agency nurse in the UK. 

1. Be proactive in introducing yourself: 

As an agency nurse, you should be proactive in introducing yourself to others. You can take the initiative to say hello and ask about their role on the team. You can also ask someone for assistance with a brief tour of the healthcare facility to familiarise yourself with the layout and locate where everything is. 

2. Get organised: 

Arriving on time for the shift and preparing is a sure way to make a good impression on your new team. Make sure you are organised and ready to start the day by checking that you have all the equipment on hand, such as a staff ID, watch, and pens. It is always better to arrive 10–15 minutes early so that you can prepare and be ready to start caring. Moreover, arriving at your placement early will give you the opportunity to read your handover. 

3. Listen and learn: 

Take time to listen and learn from your colleagues, as you might be put on a new team that follows different practices and protocols. Thus, as an agency nurse in the UK, it is important to be receptive to new ideas and ways of working to integrate into a healthcare team

4. Don't forget nursing basics: 

Working in a new healthcare environment in the UK with a team can be stressful. However, even in frustration, you shouldn't forget the nursing basics. If you are unfamiliar with a task and don't feel comfortable, make sure to ask questions to ensure you are following the correct procedures so as to ensure the safety of the patient. Even during busy shifts, you shouldn't lose your composure. 

5. Be adaptable: 

Be prepared to adapt and be flexible, as each workplace has its own work culture, policies, and procedures. So as an agency nurse in the UK, be prepared to adapt your work style to integrate into the team. 

6. Communicate effectively: 

Clear communication is the key to integrating into a new healthcare team as an agency nurse in the UK. Make sure you communicate all your issues and concerns in a professional and respectful manner. In case you have any doubts, make sure to get clarification, and for successful continuity of care, make it a point to pass on any relevant information to your colleagues. 

These are some of the ways in which an agency nurse in the UK can integrate into a healthcare team. 

If you are looking for an agency nurse in the UK who can integrate with your healthcare professionals, then Nurses Group can provide you with the best match of nursing staff. We are the leading nursing staffing agency in the UK, offering the best healthcare staffing solutions to care facilities of all sizes. 

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