26 Tips To Succeed as a CNA

26 CNA tips to help you in your career
  • Carry a notebook. As a CNA, it’s important to remain as organized as possible when completing your tasks. …
  • Develop time-management skills. …
  • Make time for self-care. …
  • Ask questions. …
  • Practice active listening. …
  • Invest in a waist pack. …
  • Study medical terminology. …
  • Use a report template.

One of the most crucial aspects of healthcare is CNA charting. Its main purpose is to make it possible for long-term care facilities to monitor all aspects of resident care, including admission, medication administration, and tracking ADLs. Long-term care requires proper documentation, and CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) are responsible for accurately entering and monitoring resident data. This is why CNA charting is frequently covered in the first stages of CNA training, giving aspiring CNAs the knowledge and abilities needed to work on the facility floor.

Similar to this student training handbook from the College of DuPage, CNAs receive a curriculum handbook when they begin their CNA training. The role, duties, healthcare policies, and procedures of a CNA are described in these student manuals. Of course, the formats may differ depending on the faculty. Still, most handbooks will place great emphasis on proper documentation.

A charting system is demonstrated to CNA students during training to make sure everyone is on the same page and maintains organization. CNAs need to be aware of the significance of CNA charting because even a moment of negligence can cause medical errors that could result in liability claims. Consequently, as aspiring CNAs shape their identities as caregivers, they must also learn the standards for accurate documentation.

Trainees are sent to a long-term care facility as part of their CNA training. There, it is anticipated that they will experience firsthand what it’s like to look after residents. Depending on the facility, some might still use paper charts while others might have switched to a cutting-edge long-term care EHR.

Each facility will use a different charting technique, especially if a long-term care software system has been put in place. A point of care charting module will be present in effective long-term care EHR systems, enabling CNAs to easily track and update resident data. This helps reduce medical errors while maximizing compliance with regulations. Exercises using the nursing home software and associated software tools will be included in CNA training in establishments that have implemented a long-term care EHR.

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What does a CNA do?

The number of patients, the work environment, and the CNA’s level of experience can all affect the daily duties. Some common duties include:

What is a CNA?

A registered nurse typically oversees a certified nursing assistant’s (CNA’s) assistance to patients who require direct care. They frequently assist patients with daily chores or personal hygiene, as well as simple routine exams. They also update patient records and keep track of the clinical supplies inventory. CNAs can work in healthcare settings like hospices, long-term care facilities, and rehabilitation clinics in addition to hospitals.

26 CNA tips to help you in your career

The following advice will assist you in your career as a CNA by assisting you to successfully complete tasks, lessen stress, and work more efficiently:

1. Carry a notebook

It’s crucial to maintain organization as much as you can while carrying out your duties as a CNA. Consider keeping a small notebook or notepad with you to jot down inquiries, patient updates, or self-reminders. Instead of wasting mental energy trying to recall these ideas until you can address them, writing these thoughts down as they come to you may give you more time to concentrate on your current tasks.

2. Develop time-management skills

Since the urgency of your tasks as a CNA is likely to vary, learning how to manage your time well may help you complete them in the most efficient order. Try to establish time-management practices, such as planning your day in advance and noting how much time it takes to complete each task, to better comprehend how to prioritize your obligations.

3. Make time for self-care

While taking care of others is part of your job as a certified nursing assistant, it’s also crucial to prioritize your own health. Try to set aside some time each day for self-care activities like drinking plenty of water, taking a few seconds to stretch, or doing a quick meditation. Taking care of yourself can help you keep your energy levels up and maintain your mental health, which could help you give your patients the best care possible.

4. Ask questions

A career as a CNA may present opportunities for you to learn new things and develop your skills constantly. When questions come up, think about asking them, and try to get advice from other practitioners.

Checking in with a CNA who worked the shift before yours is a great way to use questions to advance your knowledge in this field. Ask them what they accomplished, what remains to be done, and if there is anything crucial you should know before beginning your day. This knowledge might affect how you order your tasks and might make them easier for you to finish.

5. Practice active listening

Effective communication with patients and other healthcare professionals requires active listening. Try your best to pay close attention to what your patients need, and periodically ask them how they feel or if there is anything you should know about their preferred methods of care. This could make them more at ease and provide you with knowledge about how to best meet their needs with care.

If you pay close attention to what your supervisors and fellow CNAs are telling you, you’ll be able to complete challenging or unfamiliar tasks with greater success and possibly even improve the health of your patients.

6. Invest in a waist pack

For storing necessary tools, a waist pack or similar accessory may come in handy. For easy access to your notebook, pens, gloves, keys, sanitizers, and other supplies you might need frequently throughout your shift, think about purchasing a waist pack or similar item.

7. Study medical terminology

You might need to comprehend medical terminology that is beyond the scope of your duties in order to successfully follow your supervisor’s instructions. To stay informed on basic medical terminology you might come across while working as a CNA, think about studying medical textbooks or enrolling in vocabulary training classes.

8. Use a report template

Especially when beginning your career as a CNA, you may find it helpful to use a report template to assist you in completing patient reports. There are a variety of patient report templates available online. Print out the one that is most applicable to your workplace so you can better understand what information to include in your documents.

9. Update charts

Its important to document information immediately after receiving it. Instead of waiting until after you have completed your evaluations and taken the patient’s vital signs, try to fill out their charts at that time. This could make sure that all the information is accurate and complete.

10. Get a pair of bandage scissors

Bandage scissors, also known as “medical scissors,” are small, blunt-tipped cutting implements used to cut material close to a patient’s skin without inadvertently injuring them. If your employer does not provide one for you, think about buying a pair because you might find it very helpful in a variety of situations. To make it easier to find your bandage scissors if they get lost or borrowed, you can keep them in a waist pack or other similar container and label them with your name.

11. Maintain inventory of supplies

As a CNA, it is frequently your duty to make sure that the patient rooms and common areas are stocked with medical supplies. Consider setting aside some time each day or each week to monitor inventory, restock, and, if necessary, request additional equipment. This can ensure that you and your coworkers have everything you need to perform your healthcare duties safely and effectively.

12. Keep extra gloves

You might have to swap out your gloves periodically during your shift to adhere to hygienic and safety requirements. To quickly change your gloves if necessary, keep an extra pair of clean gloves in your pocket or waist pack.

13. Bring extra clothing

Like having an extra pair of gloves, think about bringing extra clothing for your CNA shifts. Putting on a clean, dry uniform can keep you comfortable and in compliance with health and safety regulations if you come into contact with biohazardous material.

14. Work in pairs when busy

During a busy shift, you might collaborate with another CNA to quickly finish tasks in order to increase efficiency. For instance, your partner could start dressing the patient while you take vital signs. This enables you to finish several tasks at once and might help guarantee the patient gets high-quality care.

15. Be accountable

Throughout your shift, it’s critical that your managers and coworkers always know where you are. Make sure to notify the appropriate staff members of any breaks or time off from your duties. This can make sure that if anything happens while you’re away, someone will be aware that they need to handle it on your behalf. Making sure to let your coworkers know where you are can also make it easier for them to find you in case they require your help.

16. Seek a mentor

Having a mentor can help you learn new skills and business knowledge as you advance in your CNA career. Think about asking a knowledgeable CNA at your place of employment for advice. They might give you useful advice and training that will enable you to carry out your responsibilities more effectively.

17. Continue your education

A valuable way to stay current on new, modified, or replaced medical practices is through ongoing education. To update your knowledge of healthcare and obtain additional training, think about going to conferences and seminars or enrolling in classes at a nearby university.

18. Help your fellow CNAs

It’s crucial to keep in mind to assist your coworkers whenever you can. Helping coworkers with their tasks can inspire them to return the favor in the future because they frequently appreciate your efforts. To provide all of your facility’s patients with excellent care, teamwork is crucial.

19. Learn to work independently

There may be instances when you as a CNA must work with little to no supervision. Remember that you can complete your tasks without supervision, even though it’s important to ask for assistance when you need it, and try to practice self-direction to stay on task.

20. Prepare yourself to handle change

Being ready for change is crucial to succeeding as a CNA because the medical field may continue to undergo rapid change due to improvements in health care technologies. When practices and procedures change, try to maintain your composure and do your best to keep up with new techniques as they emerge.

21. Build relationships with your patients

Creating a good rapport with your patients can make them feel more at ease during treatment. Inquire about their families, interests, and pastimes while still maintaining a professional rapport. By building trust and encouraging open communication, you might be able to get the details you need to provide them with the best care.

22. Develop patience and empathy

You might come into contact with people from a variety of backgrounds and personalities throughout your CNA career. Try reading books on the topic or consulting a therapist or communications specialist to improve your capacity to maintain patience and relate to your coworkers, patients, and their families.

23. Wear comfortable shoes

During your shifts as a CNA, you’ll probably spend a lot of time standing and moving around. To avoid soreness and fatigue, think about purchasing a pair of comfortable shoes. Go online and do some research to find a brand that makes shoes specifically for healthcare professionals that you like.

24. Be professional

Like many other professions, it’s critical that CNAs maintain their professionalism throughout their careers. To achieve this, make an effort to avoid office disputes, disregard rumors, and respect the boundaries between your patients and coworkers.

25. Take breaks

It’s crucial to keep in mind to take breaks throughout your shift to replenish your energy. Try to give yourself a few quick breaks and one extended break each day to rest, eat a balanced meal, and interact with your coworkers before getting back to your tasks. This may keep you feeling upbeat, motivated, and focused, which may improve your work output and patient care.

26. Set realistic goals

A great way to precisely plan and gauge your professional development is by setting goals. Before creating plans to achieve them, think of objectives that are clear, measurable, doable, pertinent, and time-based. This can facilitate thought organization and help you make more informed decisions about how to advance your CNA career.


How can a CNA stand out?

How to Stand out as a CNA
  1. Avoid tardiness. Given how frequently so many assistants call out, being on time will set you apart.
  2. Listen and learn from others. By paying attention to other CNAs, you can pick up some incredible tips, tricks, and possibly even life lessons.
  3. Take some initiative. …
  4. Do not complain. …
  5. Stay humble.

What are good skills for a CNA to have?

7 Qualities of the Most Successful Nursing Assistants
  1. Strong Attention to Detail. Certified nursing assistants must have good attention to detail.
  2. Excellent Communication Skills. Clear and direct communication is key for a CNA career.
  3. Knowledge of Medical Terminology. …
  4. Patience. …
  5. Empathy and Compassion. …
  6. Flexibility. …
  7. Optimism.

What are 4 characteristics that make an awesome CNA?

16 Top Qualities of a Great Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Knowledge. Throughout your CNA training program, you will get off to a strong start.
  • Communication skills. Everyone in a team depends on the others providing accurate information.
  • Observation. …
  • Flexibility. …
  • Patience. …
  • Emotional stability. …
  • Physical strength. …
  • Attention to detail.

How should a CNA prepare for first day?

For a New CNA
  1. Carry a small notebook with you so you can record inquiries, information about assignments, or patient reminders.
  2. just ask. …
  3. Create a kit that you can carry with you and use all shift long.
  4. Get a pair of bandage scissors, also called medical scissors.

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