A certified nursing assistant’s role is vital to the teams looking after the well-being of patients, especially those teams providing home-based care. During acute medical treatments, certified nursing assistants also aid nurses. They are the frontline care service providers and note the mental & physical changes in patients.
The work of CNAs is demanding, rewarding, varied, and fast-paced. There is never a dull moment in CNA’s duty. A CNA has many duties to balance, so CNAs must do everything they can to perform their tasks more efficiently. Honing your skills & continuing education will help a CNA to grow professionally.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most promising tips for CNAs on their first job: how to make a good impression, tackle challenges & advance in their career simultaneously.
Tips to Succeed in Your First CNA Job
Here are tips to succeed in your 1st certified nursing assistant job. We have divided these into 5 segments, and these include recommendations for:
- Good first impression
- Patient care
- Progress in your field
- Maintain your health
1. Make Good First Impression
On the 1st day of your first job, it is crucial to be fully prepared for all the things to leave a good impression. Here are some tips to help you out.
Device A Strategy for Each Day
The top important thing for your 1st day is to be organized and well-prepared. Every day has new challenges, so ensure you can deal with them quickly. Make a strategy for your whole day on how you’ll deal with patients, CNAs, and other medical team members. Ensure to have the necessary supplies & equipment so that you can promptly perform your work at a patient’s home (if you’re providing home-based care).
Carry A Notebook
It is vital to be organized while performing any task as a CNA. So carry a notepad or small notebook to record:
- Patient updates
- Reminders for later reference
Writing these thoughts will give you extra time to concentrate on your existing task rather than focusing on remembering the things.
Buy A Waist Pack
A waist pack/similar accessories may aid in storing vital tools. Consider financing in a waist bag/pack or similar items to keep your pens, keys, sanitizers, notebook, gloves, & additional supplies you often utilize throughout your work for convenient access.
Purchase A Pair of Bandage Scissors
Bandage scissors or medical scissors are small cutting instruments with blunt ends/tips designed to cut the material near the client’s skin without accidentally harming them. If your employer doesn’t give you one, purchase a pair for yourself. It will be highly beneficial in different situations. You can keep your medical scissors or bandage scissors in your waist bag. You can also label scissors with your name to find them easily if borrowed or lost.
Hold Extra Gloves
You may require to change your gloves throughout your duty to comply with safety measures & sanitation. Consider holding an additional pair of neat gloves in your waist bag so you can immediately change them if required.
Carry Extra Clothing
Likewise, to keep an additional pair of gloves, pack extra clothing for your CNA duty. You may touch biohazardous material during your shift, & switching into a dry, sterile uniform can assist keep you compliant and comfortable with safety and health regulations.
Wear Comfy Shoes
Being a CNA, you’ll presumably spend much time walking & standing during your shifts. Think about investing in a pair of comfy shoes to stop fatigue and soreness. Many brands make shoes, especially for healthcare professionals, so research online to discover an option that fits you.
Formulate Time-Management Skills
Your duties as a CNA can vary in urgency, and comprehending how to utilize your time effectively can assist you in completing them in the proper order. Develop time-management habits, like:
- Note the time you take to complete each of your tasks to comprehend better how to prioritize your duties.
- Schedule your day in advance.
Be an Active Listener
Active listening is crucial for productive interactions with your fellow healthcare professionals and clients. Listen carefully and actively to your client’s needs & question them periodically if there’s anything you should be aware of about their care choices or how they feel.
It may aid them to feel more relaxed & give you an understanding of how to deliver them with the care that pleasingly suits their requirements.
Carefully listen to your supervisor’s instructions. Your fellow CNAs can assist you in completing unfamiliar or complex tasks more successfully.
Your fellow staff members & supervisors must know where you are throughout your shift. Ensure to inform required staff members of any moments or breaks when you’ll be not on your duties. It guarantees that someone will solve the problem on your behalf if an emergency arises while you’re gone. Informing your colleagues of your location will help them locate you if they require your service.
2. Patient Care Tips
CNAs have to make the most contact with patients while caring for them. Following are the to take care of them more effectively.
Establish Relationships with Your Patients
Establishing a positive, healthy relationship with your patients will make them feel comfortable throughout the treatment or stay in the facility. Ask them about their hobbies, interests, and families while building a professional relationship. It will establish trust & motivate them to share everything with you openly. They will tell you everything you are required to know to provide them optimal care.
Employ A Report Template
As a CNA, you can use a report template to enable complete client reports, particularly while beginning your profession as a CNA. Different patient report templates are available online. Find the most appropriate to your facility & print it out. It’ll help you apprehend which data you need to add to your documents.
Documenting details instantly after acquiring is very crucial. Fill out client charts after taking vital signs & complete evaluations immediately. It will ensure that all the information is complete & correct.
Retain Inventory of Supplies
As a CNA, you often must ensure common areas & patient rooms are reserved with clinical supplies. Dedicate time once a week or daily to maintain track of inventory and restock. If required, order additional equipment. It will guarantee that your coworkers & you hold all the resources to efficiently and safely complete your healthcare responsibilities.
3. Teamwork Tips
To be a part of the team, a CNA must be a helping hand. You can also get aid from your working fellows. The following tips are efficient time and energy savers.
Work in Collaboration When Busy
Working in a busy environment can be very hard. Working in collaboration with other CNAs when busy increases efficiency and helps you complete the task within time. For instance, while you are dressing the patient, your fellow CNA can take vital signs. It delivers quality care and enables you to complete different duties at once.
Support Your Companion CNAs
You should also support your companion CNAs to grow a healthy relationship with them. Helping others will motivate them to return your favor in the future, and they’ll also appreciate your efforts. Teamwork is crucial in delivering excellent care to all the clients with your healthcare facility. It will save you from exhaustion and keep you full of energy.
Develop Empathy & Patience
You will have to work with people with diverse personalities and experiences during your CNA profession. So developing patience helps you to stay cool and calm. It would help if you also try to relate to your patients & their families, and coworkers by speaking with a communication specialist or counselor or reading textbooks on the topic.
4. Progress in Your Field
Making progress in your field will help you to be more professional in the future, and you can secure a better post. While on your first job, it is necessary not to forget the essential goal to achieve. Here are some top tips to help you prosper in your field.
Establish Practical Goals
Establishing practical goals is an excellent way to precisely measure and plan your professional growth. Firstly, think of measurable, specific, relevant, time-based, and attainable objectives before formulating plans to achieve them. It will not only organize your thoughts but also assist you in deciding more effectively on how to progress in your field as a nursing assistant.
Resume Your Education
Continuing your education is the best way to stay informed on replaced, modified or new healthcare procedures. To refresh your healthcare skills & knowledge, enroll yourself in a local university and attend seminars and conferences. Continued education will help you to advance in your career.
Study Medical Terminologies
Study medical terminologies out of your scope to fully understand your supervisor’s directions. To comprehend basic medical terminologies, you can participate in vocabulary training courses. Studying medical books will also help you to remain modernized on basic medical terminology.
Pursue A Mentor
When in the facility, pursue a mentor who can provide industry knowledge and new techniques and aid you in developing your CNA skills. Seek the advice of a skilled and experienced CNA at your facility. They can give you valuable insight and practical training, helping you to perform your duties more effectively.
Entering your CNA field offers different opportunities to learn & better your skills continuously. Ask questions if you don’t comprehend anything. You’d also seek advice from your colleague practitioners.
You can use questions to hone your skills and advance your career by checking in with a practitioner of the earlier shift to yours. You can ask them if there is anything crucial you’d know before beginning your duty or what they have done and what not. This essential information will help you prioritize your assignments & assist you in completing them efficiently.
Be Prepared to Handle Change
The medical field is evolving continuously due to the progress in healthcare technologies. Preparing to handle changes to succeed in your career is crucial. Stay calm when procedures and practices evolve and give your 100 percent to stay updated on new methods.
Learn to Operate Independently
At times in your career, you may need to perform duties with no or little supervision. But if you need help, ask for it. But it would be best if you remember that you must have the ability to fulfill your responsibilities without supervision. So stay focused and practice self-direction in your duties.
Like other industries, CNAs must be professional throughout their job. For this, respect boundaries between your coworkers & patients, avoid engaging in workplace conflicts, and ignore gossip.
Read Also: Top 14 Qualities of A CNA: Secrets of A Successful Career
5. Focus On Your Health
Daily enormous work also affects your health as the CNA job is very demanding so try to focus on your health while working continuously.
CNAs must look after others and can only perform their duties effectively if they are healthy. So taking care of yourself is crucial. So dedicate your time during your shift to self-care like:
- Engage in a short meditation
- Do some stretches
- Stay hydrated
Taking self-care will not only boost your energy level but also has a positive effect on your mental health. All these will enable you to deliver optimal care to the patients.
Taking breaks during your shift will restore your energy. So give yourself one longer break and a few short breaks during the duty to socialize with your team members, eat a healthy meal, and rest. It will help you remain energized, feel positive and stay focused, leading to better patient care and job performance.
For CNAs going for their first job, these tips will help them make a good impression, stay on track, engage in teamwork, and complete their responsibilities efficiently. All aspiring CNAs can use these tips to grow in their field.
Further Reading: Tips to Survive Your First Day as A CNA