New Associate Workbook

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Welcome to Saint Thomas Health!


This is your personal Associate Orientation Workbook - a guide to successfully completing Saint Thomas Health’s self-learning orientation. Working with your manager, this comprehensive orientation process should provide big paybacks by helping you:

  • Understand our Mission and your part in making it successful.
  • Get to know your co-workers and develop strong relationships.
  • Learn about Saint Thomas Health’s philosophy, core values, initiatives and culture.

In addition, your answers to the workbook questions should serve as an excellent resource.

As you read through the workbook, some topics may not apply to your department. Over time new associates should develop an understanding of as many of these topics as possible. Your manager will help, but much depends of you.

Most of the information you obtain for the workbook will be through interviews with your co-workers. They are an invaluable source of information, not only during your initiation into the company, but after you become a fully functioning member of the team. If you need help locating information or answering questions in the workbook, your manager, co-workers or the Human Resources Partner will guide you.

This workbook is a guideline that will assist you and your manager in planning and executing your orientation to Saint Thomas Health. It is not intended to and does not create a contract of employment or for the payment of benefits. You and Saint Thomas Health remain free to end the employment relationship at any time and for any reason.

We are interested in your reaction to this workbook and the orientation process. Please share your comments or suggestions with your manager, preceptor, or your Human Resource Partner.

The Four Areas of Focus

The orientation process at Saint Thomas Health focuses on four areas critical to a smooth and successful transition to your new organization and community.

  1. Learning the Mission

    As you learn about Saint Thomas Health, you will discover what our Mission is and your part in fulfilling this Mission. Saint Thomas Health’s Mission is:

    Rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus as healer, we commit ourselves to serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.  Our Catholic health ministry is dedicated to spiritually centered, holistic care which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities.  We are advocates for a compassionate and just society through our actions and our words.

    You will learn how you and your department interface with other functions, who your internal and external customers are, and what they require.

  2. Discovering the Culture

    All companies and organizations have their own unique culture that determines the way work gets done. Culture can be a formal written policy or unwritten accepted protocol. Culture is what ties people together.

    As you discover the culture in your new organization, you will become aware of the values that are important to Saint Thomas Health. A good way to start the discovery process is by asking questions and observing how things get done. For example, what is the work ethic, and what are the decision making and communication styles? We’re not asking you to “fit the mold”; rather, we ask that you observe and interpret the culture and determine how to use your talents to the fullest now, as well as how you can influence the culture over time.

  3. Building Relationships

    Good relationships will help you feel comfortable in your work and community environment.

  4. Performing Your Job

    The key to Saint Thomas Health’s success is the ability of each associate to perform as effectively as possible. During your orientation, you will receive guidance from your manager, co-workers, and other resources. You may also want to utilize special skills and training developed prior to joining Saint Thomas Health.

Checklist For Your First Day

  • Receive your computer user name and temporary password from your manager. Log into your Saint Thomas Health email account and change your password.  
  • Visit and review the post-hire on boarding tab for information to help them in the on-boarding process.
  • Meet your manager and co-workers.
  • Receive your 2nd TB Skin Test, if applicable, according to Employee Health guidelines.
  • Log into LifeNet, the Saint Thomas Health internal intranet, and spend time learning the “basics” of computer resources.  
  • Begin your computer based training in myLearning.
    • If you are in a clinical area, you are required to complete the online module for Blood Borne Pathogens on Day 1.
  • Discuss and verify your work schedule with your manager.
  • Review where to park with your manager.
  • Review the Attendance and Paid Time Off policies located under the Policy & Procedure link on LifeNet.  The PTO accrual chart is listed on the PTO policy as an attachment.
  • Take a department tour.
  • If applicable, you will be assigned a locker by your manager.
  • If applicable, register via in myLearning for role-specific orientation requirements.  As a reminder, Nursing Orientation must be completed within your first 2 weeks of employment.

Objectives For Your First Week

General Introduction

  • Identify your job responsibilities
  • Meet with your department manager
  • Meet your preceptor/mentor

Work Station / Facility Familiarization

  • Locate restrooms and cafeteria
  • Review safety / emergency procedures
  • Learn how to report an emergency
  • Familiarize yourself with the telephone system
  • Make sure you know what phone extension you can be reached at within the hospital

Basic Employment Details

  • Make sure you can access the resources necessary to perform your job
  • Use the Ascension portal to obtain associate benefit information and enroll in your benefits. Ascension has launched Alex, also known as an interactive and informative benefits guide to help you understand your choices.
  • Learn how to make necessary changes in the portal to your personal, pay, or benefits information
  • Make sure you are familiar with the Kronos clock-in/out procedures
  • Ask how to review your pay stub information
  • Know your associate ID, which can be found on the back of your I.D. Badge

Checklist For Your First Week

  • Obtain your Saint Thomas Health I.D. Badge. You will receive this from your manager within your first few days of employment. For any issues with your badge please contact the badge office at 615.284.5368.
  • TransAmerica - Don’t miss out on this great benefit offered to Saint Thomas Health associates upon hire, which includes an employer match plan. Contact one of the onsite Retirement Planning Consultants:

    Brad Watts

    Marc Goodner

    615-222-3128 (Saint Thomas West Hospital)
    615-284-2863 (St Thomas Midtown Hospital)

  • Continue learning to use the computer resources that are available to you, which will include:
    • Kronos time-keeping system
    • Ascension Portal
      • Associate Self-Service
      • myLearning
  • If you need additional computer assistance, then register via HealthStream for a Proctored Computer Lab.
  • Register in HealthStream to attend a Commissioning Ceremony. It is mandatory that all new associates attend within the first 90 days of employment.
  • Familiarize yourself with:
    • Saint Thomas Health policies, which are located in PolicyStat on LifeNet.
    • The Associate Handbook, which can be electronically found at and click on the associate link in the top left hand corner.
  • Take a tour of the hospital and learn more about the rich history of Saint Thomas Health and the Daughters of Charity.
  • Get to know your manager and review your job description.
  • Become familiar with basic hospital safety and emergency procedures.
  • Become familiar with your work area and the basics of the facility.

Additional Resources

Check to be sure you can access the Saint Thomas Health current benefit plan information. If you cannot access the website to enroll in your benefits, please contact the Ministry Service Center by calling 855-992-4672. You will need to enter your associate ID number when calling, which is located on the back of your ID badge.

Here is some important information you should know:

  • When does your group insurance coverage begin?
  • What are the types of flexible spending accounts? How do they work? What are the advantages/disadvantages of participating?
  • How does the retirement savings plan work? TransAmerica - Don’t miss out on this great benefit offered to Saint Thomas Health associates upon hire, which includes an employer match plan. Contact one of the onsite Retirement Planning Consultants.

    Brad Watts

    Marc Goodner

    615-222-3128 (Saint Thomas West Hospital)
    615-284-2863 (St Thomas Midtown Hospital)

  • Describe the different leave types available to you.
  • Describe the Saint Thomas Health’s Tuition Assistance policy.
  • What are some of the topics and/or policies covered in the Associate Handbook that you feel will be beneficial for you to know?

General Introduction Questions

  • What is your job title?
  • What is your manager’s name and telephone number?
  • What are your basic job responsibilities?
  • Who is your preceptor? What are his or her responsibilities and telephone number?

Facility Familiarization

  • Locate restrooms and cafeteria:
  • Locate emergency exits:
  • What are the in-house emergency codes and where are they located?
  • How do you report an emergency?
  • When will you receive your first paycheck?
  • Who do you contact with questions regarding benefits? When do you need to enroll in your benefits, if applicable?
  • Do you need to know any special codes when you clock in to Kronos? What are they?
  • How often do you need to check your time in Kronos?
  • When do you need to approve your time in Kronos?
  • How, when, and to whom do you report an absence?

Guide to Your First Two Weeks


  • Understand your job responsibilities and the requirements of your internal customers.
  • Establish a working relationship with co-workers inside and outside of the department
  • Learn the structure of your department and function.
  • Understand the performance review process.
  • Learn about the facility.
  • Learn about your associate benefits in order to make decisions on coverage options.

Getting to Know Your New Organization and the People:

  • Ask about the history and story of Saint Thomas Health.
  • Learn department work rules.

Getting to Know Your Manager:

  • Have an in-depth discussion with your manager on performance evaluation process, rules and regulations.
  • Have a good understanding of what your manager expects of you in your new role.

Questions to Ask During Your First Two Weeks:

  • Discuss with your manager your mutual expectations of your position. What criteria will your manager use to measure your performance and award your annual merit increase?
  • With your manager, list your priority objectives for the next six months.
  • What are your unit’s key goals, initiatives and expectations?
  • Walk through your department with your manager or preceptor. Ask him or her detailed questions about the facility and the process. What are the areas you feel you need to know more about?
  • How do members of your department receive and share information? How do you prefer to receive and share information?
  • What are some of the unwritten customs in your organization and department?

Saint Thomas Health's Structure and Key Policies & Procedures

  • Who are the members of the Leadership Team and what are their positions?
  • What is your chain of command?
  • What are some of the key components of the Patient Experience Program?
  • Who is Saint Thomas Health’s Corporate Compliance Officer? How can you contact the Corporate Compliance Officer? What is the Ascension Values Line Number?
  • Who are your internal customers?
  • What are the primary services your department provides?
  • Where can you find the Red Emergency Management Procedure Guide in your department?
  • What are the specific policies that apply to you in your present position, e.g. attendance, dress code, PTO, etc.?
  • Where can you get further information regarding Saint Thomas Health’s policies?

Training and Development

  • Where can you find out about future development opportunities?
  • What is your responsibility in the performance planning process?
  • When will your performance be evaluated?
  • What training and development needs to you have?  How might these be addressed?

Checklist for First 30 Days

If you are eligible for benefits, complete your benefits enrollment as soon as possible. You have 30 days from your date of hire to enroll in benefits. You will be enrolling for benefits online through the Ascension Associate Portal. If you do not enroll in benefits during your first 30 days, you will have to wait until open enrollment to make changes. Open enrollment occurs in the fall for benefits that begin January 1 of the following year.

Your manager will have a 30-day meeting with you to review your onboarding and ongoing development opportunities. You should anticipate your manager to ask you the following questions:

  • Has your employment experience been what you expected it to be?
  • Have you found us to be consistent in doing what we said we would do throughout your interviewing and on boarding process?
  • What is working well?
  • Based on your past experience, what ideas do you have for improving our processes or operations?
  • What additional training or support do you need in order to feel confident in your ability to do your job?
  • What could have made your experience to date even better than it has been?
  • Is there any reason that you feel this is not the right place for you?