5 Tips to Excel in Your First CNA Job

3 minute read

You’ve landed your first CNA job, and you’re eager to do well. Being a CNA is a demanding yet rewarding profession with its fair share of challenges and benefits. Starting a new job always comes with a learning curve, but staying proactive and maintaining the right attitude right from the start will prepare you to excel early in your career. Here are five tips for success in your new CNA job. 

Show Up Prepared 

Having the proper gear will set you up for success from day one. This could include scrubs, comfortable shoes, a stethoscope, surgical scissors, gloves, and office supplies like pens and tape. Some nurses keep a fanny pack on while working with essentials in it. Make sure to ask which supplies will be provided before purchasing your own items. 

Also, stay organized physically, digitally (such as in patient charts), and with your tasks on the job. You will also need to prepare yourself with the right mindset to learn. Ask questions, take notes, and follow protocols. 

Get to Know Your Residents

Make it a priority to become fully acquainted with your residents. Conversation, especially during daily tasks such as bathing or clothing, will not only help you become a better CNA, but it will make the job more enjoyable and rewarding. The more you listen to your residents, the better relationship you will have with them and the more they will trust you. 

You will need to be detail-oriented so that you remember the information necessary to provide better care and maintain relationships. Fully understanding your residents will also help you know how to respond when they are in distress as well as monitor any significant changes in the resident, as these can serve as warnings or signs of improvement.

Communicate Effectively

Careful and clear communication from the start with both colleagues and residents will be key to your success as a CNA. You will need to know how to help residents and families understand difficult medical concepts with simple language while being careful not to scare them. You will also need to know how to keep from further upsetting distressed residents. Daily tasks require you to tell residents what you are doing while you do it and ask residents how they are feeling or if they are in pain. Be sure to figure out how long you should spend talking with residents as well as how to start and end conversations politely.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Practice patience, listen and keep positive. Unhappy residents will look to you to provide assurance and peace. If you stay positive, it will help them be positive as well. Remember that gossip, although it may keep things interesting on nursing shows, should be avoided to keep the workplace professional and positive. Going into a CNA job with the right attitude will motivate you to succeed. It will inspire you to help coworkers in need, learn from your peers, and provide and request feedback as necessary.

Practice Self-Care

Remember to take care of yourself. It is easy to forget self-care in a demanding job like nursing. CNAs often work eight- or 12-hour shifts and sometimes weekends. Be sure to be proactive about your self-care so that you don’t burn out. Maintain a good sleep schedule, hydrate throughout the day, take breaks, and eat lunch. Stay home if you’re sick (giving the proper notice to your manager), and make time for the things you love to do on your days off. These essential practices will recharge and keep you steady and ready to face the next day.

Are you wondering, “Where can I find CNA jobs near me?” CynaMed can help. Visit CynaMed for more information on CNA jobs as well as career advice, tips, and resources.

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