Q&A: What to Expect in Your First Week on the Job

Melissa Mills
May 17, 2022
min read time
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Have you ever had that dream where you’re in front of a crowd, but you’re in your pajamas? Yeah, you know the one! Of course, nerves can get the best of you in any situation, but your first week on the job should not feel like you’re stuck in that dream! 

We want you to feel confident when you walk into your first day. So, here are answers to the most common questions CNAs have about their first week on the job. 

Q: What is orientation like, and how long does it last?

A: You’ll spend the first few orientation days in an office setting. This will provide time to complete paperwork and learn the most important policies and procedures. Afterward, you’ll spend several days up to a few weeks working with another CNA to learn the ropes before caring for residents on your own.

Q: What should I wear on the first day?

A: Check with your employer to see if you can wear street clothes or if you need to be in scrubs. Once you start working on your assigned unit, wear the proper uniform each day. 

Q: Can I leave for lunch?

A: Most facilities give you a 30-minute lunch break, which isn’t much time to leave the building. It’s best to pack a lunch, snacks, and plenty of water to get through your busy shift. 

Q: What should I bring?

A: Your employer will tell you what documents to bring on your first day. Once you start working on the unit, create a work bag that keeps your supplies organized and ready. A few things to put in your bag include your name badge, a notepad, pens, and your stethoscope.  

Q: What if I can’t work the schedule they provide?

A: It’s common to have a few conflicts in your schedule when starting a new job.
Review your schedule as soon as you receive it and speak with your direct supervisor if you have any conflicts. 

Q: What if I feel overwhelmed?

A: Feeling overwhelmed is normal! Talk to your CNA trainer and supervisor. Be honest about your feelings and ask them for feedback and support. 

Now, Get Ready to Succeed

Now that you know some of the basic information needed for your first week, you can relax and get ready to have a great experience!

Read our CNA Blog