5 Challenges You’ll Face as the Least-Experienced Healthcare Team Member

5 Challenges You’ll Face as the Least-Experienced Healthcare Team Member

You’ve started your new job, and you couldn’t be more excited. There’s just one catch; you’re now the new kid on the block. Whether you’re new to the field entirely, or only to this role, being the new kid on the block has its downfalls. We’ve outlined the 5 challenges you’ll face as the least-experienced healthcare team member to help you prepare. 

New Kid Syndrome 

It may come as a shock to those of you who grew up going to the same school with the same kids, but for those of us that experienced moving to a new neighborhood or attending a new school – we know this feeling all too well. When you’re the new kid on the block, it can be hard to start conversations with your colleagues. You may feel like everyone already has their clicks. 

Solution 

The best way to break the ice is to make conversation. Step outside of your comfort zone and compliment them, share a snack, or relate to them on something you’ve observed. You can also easily break the ice by bringing in your favorite dish or candy on your first day. When you break the ice early, the other things will come naturally to you because you’ll have other co-workers to rely on and confide in.  

Know it All 

Depending on if you’re an Alpha or a Beta, you’ll feel like you know it all, or you’ll forget everything you learned the moment you walk through the doors. Both can have their own set of repercussions. It’s great to come in with “guns blazing,” but it’s unlikely to gain you, new friends who have more experience

Solution

Take some time and pay your dues before jumping in and trying to take over. If you were the Beta in this example, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your confidence but aren’t too scared to ask for help when you need it or have a question. Working in healthcare isn’t a field where you “guess” because you’re too shy to ask for help. 

Grunt Work 

Grunt work is equivalent to getting picked last; it’s just part of being new. However, it may be a total bummer to get assigned to the tasks you have, but it’s done for a reason. Grunt work can be a great way to ease into the role. You will want to make sure you’re not getting taken advantage of. People are known to “dump” things on the new person. Although you’ll want to appease everyone and seen as a team player, make sure it’s not taking away from your daily duties. 

Solution

If and when you start to feel overwhelmed, sit down with your boss and communicate. You’ll want to make sure you’re not using this opportunity to complain but instead ask for direction. Ask which items take priority, and in the instance, all can’t be done – what would he/she like you to do?

Clashing Personalities 

Getting along with every co-worker is a dream we all desire. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Personality conflicts can be difficult, and stepping in on new turf can sometimes mean immediate enemies even when you’ve done nothing wrong. Sometimes the conflict is something you feel. You may also be frustrated with someone’s poor attitude, work-ethic, or how they treat their patients. However, if you want to be in this role, in the long run, you’ll need to find common ground as soon as possible. 

Solution

The best way to resolve any team-member conflict is to find common ground and relate to that team member. If the issue is with their poor attitude, take a step back, and put yourself in their shoes. Although it’s not an excuse, some people carry their home life to work. The old saying rings true, “hurt people, hurt people.” When you remind yourself of this, try to help that person and be positive and supportive. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, attempt to seek advice from other team members. If the person seems to have a conflict with you, ask them to meet you on your break to talk over coffee. Most people avoid confrontation to avoid conflict. However, more often than not, avoiding confrontation creates conflict. 

Learning Curve 

This one isn’t something that is solved for overnight. No matter what role you’re starting, there will always be a learning curve. Whether it’s new software you have to learn, new processes of doing things, or finding your way around work, it will take time. The best way that you can catch up to your team members is to come into work bright-eyed and busy tailed ready to learn with lots of energy. The more you can absorb daily, the faster you’ll catch up to those around you. 

Should we add anything to the 5 challenges you’ll face as the least-experienced healthcare team member? Let us know in the comments below.   

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About the author

Ashley Carty

Ashley Carty is a seasoned medical professional with over 8 years of experience working at the top hospitals in Southern California, including Hoag, Saddleback Memorial, and UCSD.

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