1. Prep is key
For agency nursing assignments, proper preparation will start you off on the front foot. Ensure you are compliant and have all your necessary documentation handy. It’s always sensible to do your research on your recruitment agency and your assignment. Plan your route, lay your clothes out the night before, brush up on your skills – whatever it is, be ready to get stuck in from the get go.

2. Be flexible and open-minded
Agency nurse jobs offer a huge variety of healthcare assignments, within a wealth of organisations. Collaborating with your nursing recruitment agency is key, particularly communicating your work preferences. Be transparent about what assignments you’re willing and able to do – this will expedite the process.

3. Have visibility of your schedule
Knowing your availability will give you a definite advantage when looking for agency nursing jobs. Many positions are at short notice, and if your recruiter already knows your schedule, they’ll be able to let you know about the role straight away.

4. Always be learning
Every single time you come across something you’re not 100% sure about -whether it’s a condition, medication or treatment - go and do your research. Never stop supplementing your knowledge, and don’t ever be disheartened if you feel stuck on something you don’t know. Mayday Healthcare offer a variety of training courses, which you can explore here.

5. Warm extremities if you can’t find a vein
Use warm water or a heated towel on the area to dilate the blood vessels if you’re having trouble finding a vein. The heat can also soothe and relax an anxious patient. This is an age-old nursing tip that remains a useful piece of knowledge to have in your toolkit.

6. Go with your instincts
Trust your gut. The most successful nurses are able to speak up if they want to give something more consideration, or think there is another way to deal with a certain situation. Chances are, more often than not your instinct is right.

7. The Hat Trick
Always carry your 3 key items - a pen, a watch and a stethoscope. Look after these and you’ll always be prepared. This will save you scrabbling around trying to find them when you need them most. We all know how frustrating it can be when you need to jot something down but don’t have a pen, or check when you last checked in on a patient without your watch.

8. Count to 10
A piece of advice that will help any agency nurse is to learn to breathe in and count to 10. It’s no secret that nurses will come up against all kinds of conflict in their jobs, and sometimes all is takes is those 10 seconds to keep your cool and take control of a situation.

9. Coffee grinds or baking soda will neutralise bad odours
This one doesn’t need a whole lot of elaboration…

10. Remember why you do it
Carving a career as an agency nurse is a challenge, but that’s not to say it isn’t perhaps one of the most rewarding paths to take. Don’t forget to remind yourself of why you’re doing this – making a difference to the lives of patients, their families and their loved ones on a daily basis.

To find out about Mayday Healthcare’s latest agency nursing jobs, click here.