Handling a Boring Night Shift After CNA Training

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The night shift can be the most challenging shift in any profession, but it can be especially challenging after CNA training. If you work the night shift in a nursing home, you may have nights when call lights seem to go off every five minutes, and there’s no sense of peace and quiet at any time. Other nights, you may find yourself struggling to avoid nodding off while you’re charting because things are so boring. On these nights after CNA training, keeping busy is essential, and there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you’re on your toes and the night doesn’t drag on forever.

Tips for a Boring Night Shift After CNA Training

So, you’ve done your two hour checks, and you’ve got some time to spare. For some reason, everyone seems to be sleeping peacefully in their bed tonight, leaving you with little distractions from the fact that your body is programmed to sleep during the night. What do you do? Here are a few tips that helped me get through many night shifts after CNA training and may help you.

  • Fill Ice- At our nursing home, we had a dedicated ice cart that consisted of a cooler and a shelf for new cups for each of the residents. While most residents are asleep on third shift, that doesn’t mean they won’t wake up wanting a cool drink of water. To pass the time, my fellow CNAs and I would fill up the cooler and quietly go room to room, replacing old water cups and pitchers and giving each resident fresh ice and water.
  • Straighten up the Laundry- The housekeepers that take care of the laundry and laundry closet generally don’t work on third shift, and the closet can become a bit messy. While a couple of the CNAs on your shift watch for call lights, grab a co-worker and head to the closet. Refold towels and blankets that are in disarray and arrange all of the items neatly where they belong.
  • Stock Your Cart- At our nursing home after CNA training, we had a dedicated cart for each hall. This is where you store all of your blankets, gowns, gloves, and creams so they are easy to get to when you go room to room caring for patients after CNA training. To pass the time on night shift when there was nothing else to do, we would straighten up the carts and stock them for the first shift workers. This not only helped us stay busy and awake, but the CNAs coming on first shift were always appreciative of our efforts.
  • Wipe Down Rails- Along the hallways of most nursing homes are rails that residents can grab hold of to help them walk and prevent them from falling. These are great germ collectors and need to be washed often. A boring night shift after CNA training is the perfect time to do this, as no one is up and using them. Speak to the nurse manager on your shift before using any product on them for disinfecting purposes. We had to use special products, as one of our residents was allergic to Lysol.

Keep Busy After CNA Training

While some nights after CNA training may be boring, there are plenty of activities you can busy yourself with to stay awake and remain productive after CNA training.


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