The Importance of Orientation
08 Nov 2017
For my blog post this month I wanted to write about something that I knew had worried me last year when I was reading up on the Scheme, the Orientation. I distinctly remember reading about this on the NHS Graduate Scheme website, and wondering what the point of it was. It seemed then that it would be a wasted month when I could be doing something important. On this I was very wrong.
My Orientation took me across my Trust, from shadowing Ambulance staff on a 12 hour shift to watching a live Theatre operation. Over the course of the 20 days I gained far more than I could ever write about, so I’ll just focus on three things that I gained from the Orientation.
The first thing I gained was a sense of pride at belonging to the NHS. It is one thing to read about NHS staff and the professionalism that they display, it is another to see it from behind the curtain. To give an example I saw how a Nurse at the Emergency Department went from speaking to me, to seeing to a newly arrived patient, to comforting a child worried about their parent, all in the space of a few minutes. Despite having so many things calling on her attention the Nurse gave their all too each task, every-one who spoke to her was given her full attention. I remember thinking to myself at the time that this was the level of professionalism and dedication that I should aspire to. I have stories like that from every individual that I shadowed. Seeing so many people working so hard to provide the best patient experience that they could was truly inspirational, and made me certain that I was part of an organisation that conformed with my values.
Another thing that Orientation granted me was something that I feel is vital, an understanding of the roles of other staff in the Trust. As a HR Graduate I deal with people from across a wide range of backgrounds and specialisms, all with their own pressures. By shadowing different people you develop an idea of those pressures. This makes it easier to work with people. To use an example I recently sent an E-mail to a surgeon that needed a response. Having spent time in an Operating Theatre, and having seen the workload of Surgeons, I was aware that they may not get the opportunity to reply for a while, so sent the E-mail well in advance of needing the reply. This is just one example, again, of how Orientation is so useful.
The final thing I want to talk about here is something which I had never really thought about before I started on the Scheme. As a HR trainee you’ll tend to have limited patient contact, and sometimes your work can seem a little removed from actually helping patients. On Orientation though you see how your work affects staff and patients on a ground level, and this demonstrates just how important that work is. It helped me to understand that I am one part, of one Trust, of one NHS. Within the NHS structure every-one has a role to play, and every-ones role affects their colleagues, and the patients. Orientation demonstrated to me that my work was important, had a purpose, and contributed towards high quality patient care.