For most CNAs, the first day of their career as an entry-level nursing assistant is a little intimidating. The heightened expectations, unfamiliar faces, and a new environment can negatively affect your confidence.
An excellent first impression on the 1st day of the job will help you form a new alliance, hit the ground running, and set the tone for your stay at the facility. Your witty mind and clinical and leadership skills are fundamental, but other critical skills are also essential on your 1st day as a certified nursing assistant.
Starting a new job always brings learning opportunities, so maintaining the right attitude and staying proactive will help you to forge new relationships with healthcare team members, patients, and their families.
This article includes tips for making your first day successful and making a good impression.
11 Tips to Excel On Your First Day
Here are the top 11 tips to make your first day at the CNA job a great success.
The night before your 1st day at the job can be very frustrating and nervous, making it difficult for you to sleep as you’ll be thinking about your 1st job day. Sleeping late can make the situation worse for you. Sleeping late at night before your job affects your body & brain, and you’ll feel sleepy all day. If you are habitual of sleeping late, change your routine a few days before the start of your new job. Early sleep ensures your health and allows you to accommodate the new schedule.
Ensure your paperwork is complete before your joining day and arrive prepared for the unexpected. Take your identification cards, certification documents, immunization records, criminal background check, health restrictions, etc., that administration might need. Having proper equipment will set you on a success track from day one. Don’t forget to fetch pens, tape, office supplies, gloves, surgical/medical scissors, and a notebook with you. You can keep all these things in a waist bag.
Your foresight and preparation will smooth your workflow from the 1st day.
Your workwear can inspire confidence in your colleagues and patients. Wearing a uniform on the 1st day will support your professional image and help others recognize you by how you dress up. You should send a message that personifies competency, intelligence, and professionalism.
Going informal create doubts in the mind of your healthcare team members and patients, and they may question your ability. Ensure your shoes and scrubs are clean. The clothes shouldn’t be too short or tight.
Bring Positive Attitude
Courtesy and consideration are crucial for your relationship with your nurse supervisor and other CNAs, so bring a positive attitude. Practice patience and develop a positive attitude as you have to provide peace and assurance to unhappy patients. Even during stressful conditions, try to be calm and friendly with others.
Greet all the healthcare team members with a hello and smile. Show gratitude when your fellow CNA assists you, and offer your help when required. Avoid gossip and leave the room if you need to. When leaving, say goodbye & thank your team members for making your 1st experience pleasant.
Take The Lead
You’ll be the center of your eyes on your first day. Take the lead and introduce yourself first to minimize the awkwardness of the introduction. Take the initiative to introduce yourself, as it might be the last thought on someone’s mind. Smile while introducing yourself, even if you’re uncertain or nervous. Remember, supervisors, patients, and colleagues will forge an opinion about you in those first few minutes.
Eye contact and a firm and confident handshake are also essential while introducing yourself.
Action speaks louder than words. Your body language can be your verbal communication. Calm your first-day anxiety and nerves and tune yourself into non-verbal signals. Make eye contact with patients while communicating, and don’t slouch.
Nod in acknowledgment when talking to other team members. Remove your hands from the pockets and convey warmth through a smile. Show confidence on your first day, even if you’ve to fake it.
Don’t Expect Too Much
You may be excited to get going on your first day. You’ve reached this place through hard work, and you may be excited to show your skills. Keep up this positive attitude but remember you do not know all things, and it’s fine. In the new job, there is a period where you’ll struggle to learn procedures, routines, and policies and may lose confidence. Don’t get disheartened.
Go to your job with the attitude to learn new things. You can make mistakes on your first day, so don’t worry about them as they don’t expect much from a new CNA. Just be confident, pay attention and give your 100 percent. Soon you’ll overcome your weak areas, and no one will remember your mistakes.
Get to Know Your Patients
Prioritize to be fully acquainted with your patients. conversation during tasks like clothing and bathing will make the job more rewarding and enjoyable but also helps you to become a better CNA. Listening and talking to your patients is the key to having a trusty relationship.
Look for minor details and remember the necessary information to maintain a healthy relationship and ensure better care. Fully comprehending your patients will assist you in noticing any change in them and adequately responding when they are disturbed.
Seeing minor changes is essential as these are signs or warnings of any trouble residents are going through. Also, practice self-care while taking care of patients.
Precise and careful communication from the beginning with both patients and colleagues is the key to success in your career. You’ll be required to assist residents & their families in simply understanding complex medical concepts without scaring them. It would help if you also calm the resident who is already distressed.
While performing your duties, explaining the task to your patients while you’re doing it and asking for their comfort is also an essential part of your job. Figure out how to effectively start & finish a talk and how long you’d talk with your patient.
Mind Your Talks
Be cautious with your conversation. You may lose your job if you offend a long-standing employee or a patient with the wrong words. Don’t give an opinion on a controversial or prohibited topic even if you are asked.
Don’t discuss your troubles or staff with a patient. Wondering what to say on your first day? You can ask about procedures, disclose your hopes & goals for the future and question the policies.
On your 1st day, you may involve in a few orientations in an office setting. A senior employee/experienced CNA will tour you around the facility, outline your assignments, review policies and procedures & fulfill special conditions of long-standing patients. Note all the vital information in the notebook for future reference. You are bound to ask plenty of questions on your first day, so don’t hesitate.
Noting down all the responses to your questions will assist you in your work. Also, take mental notes. If you’ve enough time, learn about each patient. Listen to their viewpoint and ask them questions; it’ll assist you in discovering how to treat them best.
Picture Your Success
First, dream it, then achieve it. Think positively that your first will be a great success & utilize the tips mentioned above to make it happen. Compassion, courtesy, and professional etiquette shouldn’t be confined to your 1st day.
A winning smile, consideration, good ole common sense, and professional etiquette are essential for long-term career success and making a good 1st impression. Practice these to become a professional and confident caregiver throughout your career and ensure professional growth.
Read Also: What’s CNA Burnout? Symptoms & Tips to Avoid