Surviving Your First Day of Employment After CNA Training

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It can be hard being that new CNA after CNA training. Your first day on the job you may feel as if you know absolutely nothing, that you are in the dark, despite the knowledge you gained in CNA training. This is completely normal; you aren’t going to be prepared or everything that comes your way.


When I finished CNA training, I remember feeling anxious and excited my first day. However, I wasn’t expecting to have to provide post mortem care for a patient at the end of my first shift. Nothing could have prepared me for it, and the same will be true for you in many aspect of your career. However, you can still adopt a few essential habits that can make getting through that first day much easier.

Habit for Your First Day After CNA Training


  • Look it Up- Keep those notes from CNA training, because you never know when you might need them. Did your mind go blank when you saw the patient’s care plan said to run them q2h? Does one of your patients have a sign hanging on his door that says “npo?” Don’t pretend like you know what it going on if you can’t remember. Turn to your notes and figure out what these definitions mean so you can give your patients the care they need and deserve.


  • Trust Your Instincts- That bossy little voice in your head may be annoying at times, but it is often the best thing to help you avoid trouble. If that voice is telling you something is wrong after CNA training, listen to it! Report to the nurse in charge and explain your concerns. Remember, when it comes to patient care, you are better safe than sorry, so don’t be afraid to speak up!


  • Ask for Help- There is absolutely no shame in asking for help or admitting you don’t know how to perform a procedure. It’s your first day, and it is expected. Don’t try to accomplish tasks alone though when you do need help. Ask a fellow coworker for assistance and pay attention to what they do if they are showing you how to perform a task you can do by yourself. That way, you will know how to do it later on.


  • Carry What You Need- When you leave CNA training, those items you needed to carry every day don’t go away. You will need them again when you begin working. Make sure you have markers, pens, a watch, a small notepad, a stethoscope, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. This will help you complete your tasks much more quickly. What else do they make all those pockets on your scrubs for?

Be Prepared After You Finish CNA Training


While your classroom and clinical CNA training can help you obtain some knowledge and experience, there is nothing like personal experience to really teach you how to be a CNA. On your first day, though, you can still be prepared by using these tips after CNA training.

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