Insights From Wapiti

Advice, news and thought leadership from our experts.

How Locums Can Get the Most Out of Orientation

Sometimes hospital orientations are seen by locums as a tedious, time-consuming process. You don’t want to waste a whole day listening to presentations and filling out paperwork; what you want to do is start seeing patients. However, orientation is a unique opportunity to learn more about the hospital’s culture, policies, and mission and to introduce yourself to the people you will work with. Here are a few ways to get the most out of the orientation process.


When preparing for hospital orientation, a quick visit to the facility’s website is time well spent. It will help bring you up to speed with the organization’s policies and mission statement. Plus, it will help you identify areas you have questions about. And yes, you should ask questions.

Take good notes

Whether you write in a notebook or do it electronically, you should take notes during hospital orientation. These notes will give you something to refer back to and help you remember follow-up questions you may have for HR or the appropriate department. It is especially crucial to take notes when policies and procedures are covered. Policies can vary from facility to facility so what was protocol at your last stop may not be the same at your new assignment. Proper notetaking can also improve the retention of information by almost 100 percent.

Make connections

Hospital orientation presents an opportunity for locums to meet other hospital staff. Connecting with colleagues, nurses, and support staff will help make your assignment more pleasant. Although the nature of locum work is temporary, you still want to build relationships.

Going into hospital orientation with the proper mindset is the key to a successful experience. Ask questions, take notes, and make sure to introduce yourself to the people you will be working side by side with. If you look at hospital orientation as a wasted day, you’ll waste a valuable opportunity to learn more about the facility and your role. As a locum, you want to do everything you can to become an engaged member of your new team.

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