First impressions are vital in creating a positive image. Think about all the times you’ve formed a first impression about someone you’ve met, whether in your personal life or at work, and how that first impression has influenced your interactions with that person.
When you are placed with a health & social care provider, whether permanently or temporarily, you are often one of the first points of contact for patients and their relatives which gives you a unique opportunity to set the tone for their experience. Your main goal as a health & social care worker is to provide an excellent standard of care, but to your patients, it’s sometimes the personable, caring and warm approach that means the most to them. In making this experience positive, you are not only making a significant different to the patient, it can also lead to positive feedback to the care provider and repeat bookings for you, potentially even a permanent job offer.
Let’s take a look at how you can get this right.
Emotional opinions are formed within seconds of an interaction. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by pushy salespeople, or underwhelmed by a lack of warmth and enthusiasm from a receptionist? If so then you will understand that this initial contact can affect the ability to build rapport and ruin any chance of a meaningful interaction.
A first impression starts before a conversation has even begun and here are a few things to consider when working on a placement with Gofal;
1. Presentation: Being well presented lets people know that you care about your work. You’re representing not only yourself, but the care provider and also the agency so consider whether you are showing the correct image on the outside. We will help you with this by providing you with branded uniform, but it’s your responsibility to ensure that uniform is always freshly laundered and ironed, and that you are neatly groomed for each shift.
2. Body Language: Next think about body language. Someone that needs assistance can and will often watch from afar before they approach you. Depending on what they need from you, perhaps they are feeling apprehensive and are looking for signs that you are competent, friendly and approachable. To avoid missed opportunities to help, always keep your wits about you and a smile on your face and if you see a patient or relative looking in your direction, be proactive and ask if they are ok.
During quieter periods, stay engaged by keeping things tidy and speaking with patients. This will give people the impression that you’re ready to spring into action and assist when needed.
3. Communication: Lastly, make your first communication with each care provider and each patient positive, then ensure you keep this up. Even if you have no experience in the role, your communication and the way you come across can mean make or break for your relationship with the care provider and its residents.
When dealing with the sick and elderly, you will come across many people that are confused and apprehensive. A simple greeting and a warm approach can make all the difference and can help them to feel at ease. Think of times when you have been unwell yourself, do you feel better when your care provider takes the time to get to know you, and shows an interest in how you are feeling? Opening the conversation on the right footing will make future conversations more natural.
Whilst it’s paramount that our clients and their patients/residents get a good first impression of you, you first need to impress the agency! You can do this by submitting a strong application and by impressing us on the video interview but even when you are accepted onto our books, it’s vital that you maintain your A-game.
Remember that each vacancy attracts a number of applications so continued strong communication and engagement with the process makes a real difference in helping you to stand out. Each client and each vacancy is different so with every application be sure to;
Avoid the temptation to copy and paste the same text into each application and instead let us know why you are passionate about each and every role you apply for.
To talk to us about your next role or for advice on how to make a good first impression in the workplace, reach out to us at email@example.com