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Helpful Tips 

The first shift you pick up can be scary. You are unsure of the environment, where to go, your assignment and more. It’s very comparable to the first day on a new job without a trainer. However there are some things you can do to conquer those fears. 

Asking a million questions is your key to success 

  • Where is the solid utility?
  • Where do I find clean linens?
  • Do I need to take vitals on this shift? 
  • Who are the people that are max transfers? 
  • Is there a patient/resident that is going to require more attention than others?

Offer your help to your peers 

  • If you’re a CNA it can be hard to offer help to a nurse but still extending an offer shows a team player and is always greatly appreciated. 
  • Answering another call lights
  • Helping other nurses with their med pass or offering that help 
  • Be transparent! “Hey I can’t help you right this moment but let me answer this call light, then I can help you” 

Get a detailed report 

A lot of times facilities need you because they are having staffing emergencies. This can mean that you get more patients/residents in a typical nursing environment. Report between facility staff and PRN staff can get messy. Get the most detailed report possible. 

  • Check your charting system for notes, precautions, and other information 
  • Find out what patients can tell you what they need vs. the ones that can’t. 
  • Prioritize your Q2’s and heavy wetters. 

Work Hard

The work can be overwhelming and many times you can feel isolated. Make sure to remember “your reasons why” and give it your all! 


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