When you are new to your professional life as a CNA, you must be wondering what would be the best shift for you to work as a CNA.
As you are here, you must be having a hard time choosing the shift you want all because of different options and time of work.
Choosing the right shift for you to work all day depends on your preference and the time you are available every day!
A certified nursing assistant usually gets to choose the shift of their preference.
I am here to help you decide what shift would be the best for you.
Let’s get directly into it. 😊
Shifts to work as a CNA
When you first get into a hospital or nursing home, you are given a choice to choose whatever shift you are comfortable with.
You must know certain things about different shifts so you can choose accurately.
There are usually 3 shifts in a hospital or nursing home
The first shift
The first shift is also known as the day shift or morning shift. The shift usually starts at 7 am in the morning and ends at 3 pm in the afternoon.
If you are someone who is a morning person and feels energetic during the day then day shifts are definitely for you! In this shift, there is the most interaction of a CNA with other healthcare professionals including physicians, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses, and other staff members as well.
1. Activities for the day
The first shift is usually fast, with people rushing towards their everyday tasks. Most healthcare professionals are active during the day.
CNAs are meant to help with patient activities more actively during the daytime and assist them with bathing, eating, grooming, etc.
For the people who like working during the day and resting at night, morning shifts are the best! Your routine stays the way you have always had.
You can work during the day and still manage to have your family time throughout the rest of your day.
3. Effective learning opportunities
As most healthcare professionals actively participate in a hospital during day time, you have a greater chance at learning and dealing with the patients.
The skills and technical side of nursing are mostly in use during the day shift, so a new CNA gets better opportunities for effective learning by working in a day shift.
4. Nursing practices and procedures
As patients usually come in the morning, nursing care and nursing procedures are at peak during day time. You can easily put to practice what you have been learning in your nursing school.
The hospitals are in rush during day time so you can learn to manage your time and prioritize your patients accordingly, but at the same time you can get overwhelmed by the workload and it can make you frustrated as well.
If you have anger issues, then you have to work on it and manage your anger as it may affect your patient and your performance as a CNA as well.
The second shift
The second shift is also known as the evening shift. In most hospitals, the evening shift usually starts at 3 pm in the afternoon and ends at 11 pm at night.
If you are currently studying or have to go to university in the morning or if you are someone who doesn’t like waking up early in the morning, yet you don’t like to work through the night then the evening shift is the one for you!
1. Patient care
In the second shift, patient care is somehow limited to feeding them and giving them the required medicines.
Because the physician has already rotated among the wards in the morning and given the urgent medical orders and attention so now you have a little less work to deal with.
Still, you have to be attentive, any conditions may arise and you might need to dress the patient’s wounds or give emergency care to patients.
2. Mostly dealing with the visitors
As people are usually busy during the day, most of the visitors come during the second shift.
A CNA has to deal with a lot of people and make sure a loud group of visitors does not disturb the other patients.
A CNA has to make sure that the visitors do not stay with the patient past the visiting hours and trouble them.
3. Daily routine
When you have to deal with studies and university in the morning but at the same time you want to work, then you should definitely opt for the second shift.
Your daily routine and the biological clock are not disturbed. In this way, you can manage both studying and working at the same time.
4. Attend seminars, meetings, and conferences
Most of the seminars, conferences, and meetings take place during the evening at the hospital, you can easily manage your time and attend them all with ease.
The third shift
The third shift is also known as the night shift. In most of the hospitals, the night shift usually starts at 11 pm in the night and ends at around 7 am in the morning.
If you are a night person and you can only function properly during the night, then the night shift is the one you must choose for your career as CNA.
1. Better pay than other shift nurses
The best thing about CNAs opting for the night shift is that they get paid way more than any CNA working on a morning or afternoon shift.
Most CNAs do not prefer working nights and jeopardize their rest during the nighttime, so the CNAs who work on nights have the advantage of getting better pay.
2. Activities for the night
At night shift, the hurried atmosphere of a hospital usually slows down and a CNA does not have much to do quickly.
Patients are usually preparing to sleep at this time or they are already asleep.
When I am saying that the hospitals are calmer at night this doesn’t mean that nothing will go wrong or patients won’t come into emergency.
Unexpected incidents might happen, a patient may show bad symptoms of the disease, so it is necessary that you keep your mind and eyes wide open.
3. A better time to learn
Due to the fact that the hospital atmosphere is calmer and slower at night, you have a better opportunity at observing the patient’s vitals including their oxygen saturation, blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate.
A CNA can master the skills of monitoring patients and reading patient reports along with the patient profile.
One can master communication skills and communicate with the patients without any interruptions.
4. Minimal staff
During the night shift, there is minimal staff so your chances of running into a resident or registered nurse are so low, that you have to take care of the patients on your own.
You will have minimal contact with administrators and the management of the hospital.
5. Daily routine
Your sleep schedule will get destroyed because a CNA who works nights has to sleep all day and stay awake the whole night.
They don’t get to attend many seminars and conferences as they are held mostly during the daytime.
One must take time out of their working schedule to be able to attend meetings and seminars to flourish their career.
Most CNAs who work nights usually have no social life because nearly all of their friends have a routine opposite to theirs.
I would suggest you to work in all of the 3 shifts at least for a week or two before making any decisions about your nursing shift.
No matter what shift you choose, make sure you are comfortable with the work and schedule you will be dealing with while working on your shifts.