One of the most crucial aspects of being an effective Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, is knowing how to manage time properly. These professionals face hectic, often unpredictable workdays. They handle a wide array of responsibilities and are often tasked with caring for several patients during a single shift. Without making the most of every minute of their workday, a CNA can easily fall behind on their duties. Be the best CNA you can be by familiarizing yourself with effective time-management strategies.
7 Effective Techniques for Managing Time as a CNA
Put these seven time-management tips to work to ensure the utmost success as a CNA:
- Plan Your Day - Before going in for your daily shift, map out how your day will unfold. Jot down duties that must be taken care of and prioritize them from most important to least important. Work through your list to ensure everything is done before the end of your shift.
- Delegate - Successful CNAs need help from time to time and know where to get it. Don't be afraid to ask colleagues to lend a hand when it's truly warranted. Insisting on taking care of everything yourself is a surefire way to get in over your head.
- Avoid Distractions - Even small interruptions can sidetrack CNAs. Interruptions are inevitable, but some can be avoided. For instance, turn off your smartphone during your shift. Don't browse social media or check personal emails while using the computer. Avoid chitchat with coworkers except for when you're on break.
- Be Organized - Nothing can slow you down like being unable to find what you need when you need it. Keep your paperwork and workspace neat and tidy at all times. File important papers immediately. Avoid a cluttered desk by clearing it up every day before leaving. When it comes to effective time management as a CNA, being organized is more than half the battle.
- Be Prepared - Keep essentials on hand so that you can react promptly when needed. Accomplish this by preparing and using a basic work kit. Stock a waist pouch with spare gloves, pens, a watch, and other supplies so that you know right where to reach when you need crucial tools.
- Help When You Can - Never drop an important task to help someone else. However, when you're caught up, do what you can to assist others. They will remember your help later and will return it in kind when you need it. There's no excuse or reason to ever be sitting around twiddling your thumbs when you are a CNA.
- Take Care of Yourself - CNAs who eat right, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep have a much easier time staying on top of things during their shifts. Avoid burning the candle at both ends, and try sticking with a consistent sleep schedule. When you feel well-rested and ready to go, even fairly large challenges don't seem so difficult. Also, you will be able to care for your patients that much more effectively.
CNAs are hardworking professionals. They often tie up loose ends that their colleagues are too busy to handle. Without adopting effective time-management skills, even the well-trained CNA will struggle. Do yourself a favor and focus on developing strong time-management skills right from the start. They will serve you well throughout your career and will make your work more enjoyable too.