How to prepare for your first shift in an agency home care nurse job

| posted: 22-06-2022
How to prepare for your first shift in an agency home care nurse job

Getting ready for your first shift as a home care nurse can be an anxious time. It’s natural to feel a little nervous before starting any new job. We’ve guided plenty of home care nurses through their first shift, so here’s a collection of our top tips on how to prepare for your first day in your new agency homecare nurse job.


Pack the essentials:

In your bag, you should pack some necessary items to make your life easier. Along with standard home care nursing supplies, check you’ve got; a pen, a notebook, your agency ID, useful handbooks or medication guides. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to personal items, but in our experience we’ve had nurses swear by things such as a torch (to see in a patient's darkened room) or toothbrush and toothpaste (especially on a night shift).


Do your research:

The first step is to make sure you know where you’re going, who you’re working with and what the role will entail. This information will be provided to you by your recruitment consultant. Where possible, you will be introduced to your patient or their family ahead of the assignment starting. We strongly recommend familiarising yourself with the information pack and patient profile.


Plan your route:

There’s nothing more daunting on your first day than getting lost, or being late. Before your shift, plan the route you’ll be taking, allowing plenty of time for traffic or minor delays. Things to consider include: Where will you be parking? What is the nearest station? Are there any planned road works or engineering works? This will help to ease your mind and make you feel prepared.



First impressions count. So, we suggest making sure your home care nurse uniform is cleaned and ironed, and ready in plenty of time before you head off to start your shift. Comfortable shoes are also a must-have.


Introductions & Inductions:

On your first day at your new home care nurse job, it’s vital that you have the relevant information required to keep both you and your patient safe. This includes: Fire exits, Security issues related to the home care environment, Moving & Handling policies, Health and Safety policies related to the home care environment 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure.



Food & Drink:

Working in a home care nursing job, it’s important to stay nourished and well hydrated. Packing slow-release energy snacks such as nuts, seeds and fruits are a great way to stay well-fed whilst on the go. Easy to prepare, lunch box friendly meals are ideal. Also ensure you drink plenty of water, and resist the temptation to rely on caffeine too much!


And Remember…

It’s normal to feel nervous on your first shift as a home care nurse. If you want further guidance or support, get in touch with the Direct Homecare recruitment team today.