Top tips for working in new surroundings as a locum doctor

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As a locum doctor you will find yourself working in an abundance of different environments – whether you are roaming around big city hospitals, or you may find yourself situated in a smaller, community hospital. Although some of the hospitals you will visit may be places you have worked at before, or perhaps even have trained at, you will also attend plenty of places that you have never been before, and it is important that you find your feet quickly so that you can start delivering quality patient care as soon as you can without stressing about new procedures and policies.

Take a look at our top tips about working in unfamiliar surroundings, so that you can get up to speed as soon as you can and enjoy the cases in your new locum placement.

Get an induction – Even if an induction isn’t offered, you should be sure to ask for one. You’ll be able to find out all the basic know-how about the hospital to help you navigate your way around, and it’ll also provide a useful update about systems, checks and procedures so you know all the ins and outs of hospital life.

Be prompt – Arriving early on your first day to take a look around and introduce yourself to other doctors and staff is always a good idea, as not only does it make you feel more at home and know some faces around the building, but it makes a good impression, which is a great start to your shift.

Double check computer systems – Some hospitals will offer you training on computer systems, but at other places you may just have to go with the flow. If you don’t get offered training then make sure you schedule in some time before you are due to start to run through any programmes you feel you may need so that you feel comfortable using it in a working context during the day.

Feedback – You can always ask other locum doctors what they felt about the hospital you are due to work at. Your Recruitment Consultant may have placed other doctors there who you know and can get advice from, or your Recruitment Consultant themselves might know a bit about the location. It’s a good idea to get some different perspectives on your new hospital as it may make your working day a bit easier.


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