11 Tips for a CNA on the Night Shift

CNA Night Shift : A Week in the Life / 12 Hour Night Shift

What does a CNA do?

In hospitals and other healthcare facilities, nurses and doctors oversee certified nursing assistants (CNAs), who carry out routine medical procedures like taking patients’ vital signs, documenting their medical information, assisting patients with mobility, and assisting patients with activities of daily living like dressing and bathing. Other job duties a CNA may perform include:

In addition, many CNAs work in hectic, demanding settings where they are required to multitask throughout their shifts. Depending on the demands of the organization, you might work daytime, afternoon, evening, or overnight shifts as a CNA. CNAs frequently put in long hours to help healthcare teams treat patients because they perform many patient care procedures to assist nursing staff.

What is a CNA?

In nursing homes, rehab centers, outpatient care facilities, hospitals, and other medical settings, a CNA, or certified nursing assistant, provides patients with direct care. In order to perform basic medical procedures for the patients under their care, CNAs collaborate with doctors and registered nurses. CNAs must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills in addition to technical and medical knowledge because they work closely with nursing staff, doctors, and patients.

Tips for CNAs who work the night shift

Consider the following advice if you work overnight shifts as a CNA to improve performance, lower stress, and advance in your career:

Create and stick to a routine

Create a routine for yourself that includes a sleeping and eating schedule and that helps you stay on top of your work schedules. Maintain your routine as much as you can, and as you get used to working the night shift, gradually add personal tasks. Make a schedule that keeps your sleep schedule consistent and allows you to complete household tasks and errands, for example. The more you can maintain a schedule, the easier it will be for you to get used to working overnight shifts.

Build supportive relationships at work

Learn about your coworkers and consider how you can help one another. Keeping up your friendships at work can help you cope with more challenging times at work and boost your morale. Building relationships at work can also provide you with a group of people you can rely on for support, advice, and constructive criticism when you need it. Many CNAs discover that their coworker friendships keep them engaged and motivated throughout the lengthy overnight shifts, which leads to greater job satisfaction and a positive work environment.

Develop a healthy work-life balance

Establishing boundaries between your professional and personal interests and activities should be done. By improving your work-life balance, you’ll be able to unwind more at the end of each day and take a proactive approach to problems in both your professional and personal lives. Making and sticking to a routine can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance as well.

Schedule breaks during your shift

During your shifts, schedule regular breaks for yourself to consume wholesome snacks, engage in some exercise, and mingle with your coworkers. One useful strategy, for instance, is to plan a brief break after each period of several hours of work. Consistency is key when it comes to your break times, especially the ones you schedule for meals. Taking frequent breaks can assist you in maintaining your motivation to finish your shift.

Use meal planning strategies

Spend some time planning your daily or weekly meals during your free time. You can significantly cut down on the amount of time it takes to prepare and cook each day by preparing your meals in advance. Making healthier food selections when you plan your meals in advance allows you to take the time to select and prepare a variety of foods that suit your dietary requirements.

Maintain a consistent sleep pattern

Setting up a consistent routine essentially involves planning your sleeping schedule, but it can be difficult to get enough sleep during the day when other activities come up. For example, locking your door or turning off notifications and ringers on your devices during the day will help you get the sleep you need to function well at work. Additionally, make an effort to keep a regular sleeping schedule so your body can get used to a daytime sleep cycle.

Make your bedroom conducive to sleeping

Create a calm space where you can sleep comfortably so that you can get more rest. Consider putting up curtains to keep your room dark and encourage deeper slumber. Additionally, maintain a cooler room temperature to promote restful sleep and aid in body relaxation. Making your sleeping environment comfortable can help you wake up more alert and rested so you can perform well at work.

Limit overstimulation after work

At the end of your shift, when you get home from work, it might be difficult to stay awake. However, in order to preserve a traditional environment, it’s crucial to incorporate daily chores into your routine. Try, however, to limit the amount of stimulating activities you do when you get home from work so you can spend time relaxing before you go to bed. To make it easier for you to finish the tasks and errands you need to run around the house, consider splitting them up. Limiting excessively stimulating activities after work can also aid in better sleep preparation.

Establish healthy habits

Start developing healthier habits that will enable you to utilize your free time for productive and enjoyable activities. For instance, plan regular exercise, attend medical appointments, and increase your intake of natural foods. You can find the motivation you need to take on the difficulties and rewards of working the night shift by making goals that will help you break bad habits and develop good ones.

Ask for help when you need it

Always reach out to someone if you think you could use some additional assistance or support. Have a communication strategy in place so you know who to talk to about various work-related topics, issues, and concerns. It’s also crucial to have a network of people you can lean on outside of work, such as close friends or family, who can help you out when you need support or a mood boost.

Reflect on your passion

Keep considering the factors that led you to choose a career in healthcare. Review your strengths and abilities for the job you have, and think about how they affect the people you work with. To remind yourself of the reasons you decided to become a CNA, it can be useful to periodically review these aspects of your career. For instance, emphasize how your interpersonal skills and method of caregiving differ from those of your coworkers or the aspects of patient care that you find enjoyable. Deeper understanding from your self-evaluation can also give you more drive to succeed at work.


What does a CNA do on night shift?

care and dressing residents. – Assist residents out of bed. – Look at the resident’s bed card and other posted materials above the bed to determine their needs and priorities. – Work with resident in meeting Care Plan goals.

What is the best shift to work as a CNA?

Second Shift The second shift, also known as the evening shift, starts around 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock. During this shift, you will only have to serve one meal, and getting people out of bed is easier than getting them into it. You will receive more visitors in the evening than in the morning.

Where do CNAs make the most money?

PayScale reports that the annual salary for CNAs with OR skills ranges from $18,000 to $45,000, with an average of $30,521. Chicago, Las Vegas, and Nashville are the three cities where CNAs with OR abilities can earn the most money.

What CNA means?

Other names for certified nursing assistants include patient care assistant, nurse’s aid, and nursing assistant. CNAs collaborate directly with nurses and patients to assist with the numerous physically demanding and intricate patient care tasks.

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