Three Tips for Your First Day of Following an Employee at a Hospital

Two people in the medical field looking at a computer

In many hospitals and clinics, it's a common practice to shadow an experienced employee when starting a new job. Shadowing is a valuable opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the position and grow familiar with established procedures. If you have the good fortune of following an employee on your first day of work, whether it's a nurse, an EKG technician, a sterile processing technician, or any other staff member, review these tips to get more out of your shadowing experience.

Study the Techniques Used 

Spending on-the-job time with a healthcare professional is an incredible opportunity to study the techniques of daily medical procedures. Observe and make mental notes of how each situation or procedure is handled. For example, if you are shadowing a nurse, study the specific technique he uses to perform clinical procedures such as medical injections, catheter insertions, or respiratory assessment. If possible, take written notes as well. While you'll have the opportunity to try these techniques yourself, the more attention you pay while you're shadowing, the quicker you'll learn how to complete a wide range of tasks correctly.

Ask Relevant Questions

This is your chance to ask questions relevant to your job. If you didn't catch a particular step you just saw, or you're not sure why the employee did something, ask questions for clarification. Also, ask questions pertaining to expectations related to your job, the facility's policies, dealing with patients or clients, the equipment you'll be using, and the reports and feedback you're expected to present. If any other questions pop up, ask away, but do so when it's appropriate. If the employee is in the middle of a task that requires her undivided attention, save your questions for later.

Maintain a Professional Demeanor

Keep a professional stance throughout the shadowing experience. Always be respectful to the person you're following and any patients, medical staff members, or administrators you come across. Never overstep your role, but feel free to offer assistance if the situation calls for it; if the answer is no, be sure to keep a respectful distance. Don't get in the way when the employee you're following is trying to do his or her work.

If you'd like to learn more about careers in healthcare, contact Altamont Healthcare in Stockton, CA. We offer training for certification programs in CPR and basic life support, electrocardiogram technology, and sterile processing and distribution. Call us at (661) 230-6316 to ask about our programs. Tuition help is available.