How To Successfully Navigate The First Few Days On The Job In Behavioral Healthcare

Are you starting a new position in Behavioral Healthcare or looking to make it a career? Congratulations! Behavioral Healthcare can be a rewarding field to work in, and you’ll always feel like you’re making a difference — because you are! At Pathways of Pennsylvania, we believe that our team of healthcare professionals is the backbone to providing quality services to our clients. Without our team, our clients couldn’t get the services they require, making our employees invaluable to the healthcare community we serve.

With one in five American adults experiencing mental illness each year (not to mention the countless children with developmental disabilities in need of services), Behavioral Healthcare is more important than ever. However, navigating your first few days in Behavioral Healthcare can be challenging, just like any new job. Here are some tips to help you have a successful first week in your new (or future) position.

#1: Be Curious

People want to be listened to, and when you listen, ask questions. Not only will your clients feel like they are building a stronger connection with you, but you’ll also learn more about them as well. By building this relationship, you can become someone they trust in difficult times, and they will feel confident that you’ll support them when they struggle.

Additionally, by asking questions, you’ll be able to learn about their history and previous experiences with Behavioral Healthcare professionals. As a new employee, it gives you the perfect opportunity to ask questions about topics that others have made assumptions about previously.

Even if you aren’t working directly with patients, you can practice these skills with co-workers. Building a strong network within your team can be as beneficial as building relationships with clients. This way, you can have someone to listen to you as well, whenever you face a challenge or experience rough days.

#2: Have Compassion

Not only should you listen and ask questions, but you should also use compassion and understanding. There are some difficult topics that people might need to discuss, and you’ll need to reserve judgment to best help them. You are working with people who might be struggling with a number of mental or behavioral health concerns, and you are there to help them. Imagine yourself in their position, and think about how you would want to be received. Would you want someone to be critical, or would you want a professional who will listen with empathy and not make judgments?

#3: Find Balance

Just as you care for your patients, you need to care for yourself. While it can be easy to jump into everything and push yourself the first few days or weeks on a new job, you need to find balance and set boundaries. These boundaries provide a framework to protect vulnerable clients, and keep you from becoming overly involved, which allows for a healthy working relationship for all parties involved.

If you want to become a valuable member of our team, click here for career opportunities within the Pathways of Pennsylvania family.

Pathways of Pennsylvania has been serving communities in Pennsylvania since 1981. Every individual has a right to lead a meaningful and positive life, and we are changing lives, one day at a time. Pathways of Pennsylvania is comprised of four companies: Children’s Behavioral Health, Inc., Pathways Community Services, LLC, Raystown Developmental Services, Inc., and The ReDCo Group, Inc.