There are many stages to beginning in a new medical career, whether you are just out of education/training or are moving from one job to another. The first is trawling health job boards to find a suitable position, followed by having your application accepted. After that comes acing the interview and, finally, the contract negotiation and signing. In fact, there is another vitally important stage in there as well – the site visit to your new potential place of work. Ideally, you should always fully learn about a job before you take it up. You should therefore actually visit the medical institution where you are applying before making a final decision.
Health Jobs, a jobs board service for the healthcare sector, advises that any posting worth its salt will include, as part of the whole onboarding process, a site visit.
What is a Site Visit?
The clue is in the name – a site visit is a visit to the medical facility which you could potentially be joining. However, there is a little more to it than that. A site visit can sometimes be part of the interview itself, and a medical institution may be aiming to test you out in certain practical circumstances before accepting your application.
However, by the same token, a site visit could also mean a visit to a medical facility as a means of convincing you to join by showing what working life in that place is really like. In such circumstances, you need to be judicious about whether it is right for you.
Things to Expect on a Site Visit
The way to get the most out of a site visit – either to successfully convince your potential employers that you are right for the job or as a means of gathering your own information and making a decision – is to know what to expect and how the site visit will proceed. If you go into it blind, you could simply find the whole experience a bit confusing.
A Preliminary Phone Call
Before your site visit, you might well have had a preliminary phone call with the staff of the institution. These might not be the same people who are interviewing you so this should serve as your chance to find out the most basic information about the place. This allows you to get that out of the way first and then make the most of the actual visit itself.
The Importance of First Impressions
When you arrive at the place, you will need to make a good first impression. Arrive early and be well-dressed and be sure you are armed with a good deal of information about the institution. You will have to impress at this point, so treat it like an interview.
A Chance to Explore the City
If you are moving for your job, then you also need to consider how you are going to live close by to the institution. This means finding a house and learning about the city where the institution is located. This could be part of the site visit too.
A Presentation by the Staff
Another reason for the site visit is to allow the people who actually work there or who administer it to show you around and tell you about the institution. Accordingly, you should not be overly chatty and allow the staff or administrators to present to you the facility, its vision, and its culture.
Ultimately, you go on a site visit to appraise, to learn, and to be appraised yourself. At the most general level, those are the three things you need to get right.