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Tips to Help You Transition into a New Specialty Job

Tips to Help you Transition to a New Specialty Job

Starting a new job can be an exciting and anxiety provoking time for even the most seasoned clinician. This can be especially true when your new job involves changing specialties where you must adapt to new procedures, policies, and practice styles. To increase your chances for a smooth transition into your new job, consider using some of these strategies.   

Clarify Expectations

To set yourself up for success, it is essential to clearly understand what will be required of you at your new job. Before you start your first day ensure that you are on the same page as your new employer by clarifying their expectations regarding: 

  • Job Performance- It is vital to understand the details of the position and how your efforts will be evaluated by your new employer. To clarify this consider inquiring about topics like:

How many patients a day are they expecting you to see. 

What are the policies regarding double bookings and work-in patients?  

Will you be working in a highly autonomous setting? If so, will there be a Physician readily available for consultation. 

What procedures will you be performing and is there any training available.

What deliverables are you being judged on? i.e. Patient volume, RVU’s etc.

  • Administration Issues- Be sure to also explore admin issues such as scheduling, paid time off, CME reimbursements, clinic coverage, and call taking policies.   

Do Some Shadowing 

A day of job shadowing can provide valuable insights into how an organization operates and what skillsets will be required. Shadowing also allows you an opportunity to focus on observing the clinic without the added distractions of juggling a new EMR, meeting staff and making clinical decisions. You can observe clinic workflows, procedures, and staff, while identifying possible problem areas you may encounter. This knowledge will help make your transition smoother and set you up for better relationships with your new colleagues that you can call on for consultation down the road. 

Talk to Clinicians Working in the Specialty

The more information you have, the easier the transition will be. Talk to colleagues you know that work in the specialty about what their experiences have been and if they have any pertinent tips you can use. Even better, try contacting to the Practitioner that worked in the position prior to you about their experiences and what insight they have about the job that can help you smoothly adapt to the practice.

Draw on Your Experience

A new specialty might not be as foreign as you think, when you take into consideration past clinical experiences, both paid and unpaid. Ask yourself if there were any clinical rotations during school or specialized training you may have received prior to becoming an Advanced Practitioner that might be applicable? Many Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants worked as allied health professionals prior to assuming their current role and forget that some of those skill sets could be relevant to their new specialty.  

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