5 On-the-Job CNA Tips & Tricks from NextStep Mentors

Melissa Mills
May 19, 2022
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Learning the ropes takes time. But, knowing a few tips and tricks from veteran CNAs can help you succeed on the job. Check out how our mentors stay organized and control stress on the job.  

Be Patient with Yourself and Others

Check out this wisdom from Amanda, a NextStep mentor. “Starting out as a CNA can be unnerving and high pressure. It can make you feel like you have to perfect, and the people you care for have to behave perfectly to be doing it right.” So, give yourself a break, and remember you’re still learning! 

Choose Your Words Carefully

Some residents might refuse specific care tasks like walking. However, getting them to complete the task can be all in your words. So, instead of asking, “Are you ready to take a walk?” try saying, “When would you like to walk” instead. This simple yet effective technique gives the resident the power over their care while getting your work done a little quicker. 

Stock Up Often

CNA work is busy. Running back and forth to the supply closet can slow you down. After you receive shift report, take a quick inventory of supplies in your residents’ rooms. Then, stock up on things like linens, peri-wipes, and other items you know you’ll need. 

Say No When Needed

Extra shifts abound in most long-term care facilities. But, you aren’t the only CNA there who can help out when needed. It’s critical to remember that saying no is an okay answer when asked to pick up more shifts. Kiana, a NextStep mentor, says, “Don’t overwork yourself. It’s easy to say yes to open shifts, but it’s also very easy to experience CNA burnout.” 

Pack Lotion

The CDC estimates healthcare workers should wash their hands 100 times in a 12-hour shift. That’s a lot, right? Unfortunately, all that washing can leave your hands dry and cracked. Pack a moisturizing lotion to use after you wash your hands. 

Putting Tips and Tricks to Use

Now that you know a few tips from veteran CNAs, how might you use them? We suggest choosing three that you want to try. Schedule one at a time on your calendar. Then, give yourself a week or two to start it, so it becomes a habit. 

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