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Tips for a Successfull CNA Job Interview

Now that you have completed (or are getting ready to complete) the scholastic training to be a Certified Nursing Assistant, you are ready to face your next challenge: finding steady and rewarding employment as a CNA. For some of you, this may be the most intimidating interview experience (or the only professional job interview, period) you’ve had to face up to this point. But don’t worry: if you remember to have confidence in your abilities and in the qualities that made you want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in the first place, you will have no problem securing the next step in your career by giving a successful CNA job interview.

Conducting a great interview for any job involves a balancing act. You must present your relevant life experience along with important academic experience; you should be professional but also friendly and approachable. Below are several “do’s” and “don’ts” that will help you find the perfect balance in your CNA job interview.

Do: Talk about the personal, non-academic qualities that will make you a good CNA

While educational experience is necessary and high academic performance should certainly be mentioned in an interview, you are now entering the realm of professional life, and potential employers are just as interested in the qualities of your personality as they are in your book knowledge. When you decided to study to become a CNA, you knew that your work would involve helping people by dealing with their difficult medical situations. In your interview, you should talk about how you are uniquely suited to deal with the varied issues that arise when dealing with people. Has life experience as a single mother, an older sibling, or a parent’s caretaker given you experience in practicing patience and helping others? Then you should mention those life experiences as items that will translate into your on-the-job success.

CNA Job InterviewDo: Tell relevant stories that will illustrate your skills and relax the interview environment

Part of the balancing act of giving a good interview is making the interviewers feel comfortable with you as a person while maintaining your professional tone. To that end, feel free to show your humanity and experience by telling stories from your life experience. As mentioned above, you may have familial caregiver skills that truly illustrate your readiness to practice compassionate care as a CNA. Sharing relevant details of these personal experiences will help to illustrate your people skills while putting the interviewers more at ease with you.

Do: Show a willingness to go outside the lines of the job description

In the professional world of nursing—as in the professional world in general—jobs will eventually require you to perform tasks and learn numerous skills that aren’t mentioned in the initial job description. Job descriptions are more of a bare-minimum snapshot of a position at the time employment is posted. Actual work will involve being flexible and being willing to do what it takes to get through the ever-changing demands of the profession. As a CNA, problems may arise with particularly difficult or agitated patients, or a patient’s family member may be hard to deal with. Navigating the challenges of these difficult people involves more than vital-sign measurements and going over self-care instructions. You might need to use humor or empathetic listening to help in the overall care environment of these people. During your interview, you should make sure to mention that you realize a day’s work might involve more than items listed in the job description, and you should make sure to relate your willingness to adapt accordingly.

Don’t: Show an impatience to move on to the next stage of your career

Although your ultimate professional goals might involve more than just being a Certified Nursing Assistant, during your interview you should never seem that you are already looking to the next stage of your career. You don’t want to appear as though you are looking past the current CNA job or taking it lightly. You might seek to be a Registered Nurse in several years, but at the moment, you have to prove that you are thinking about the job at hand. Some interviewers might ask “where do you see yourself in three to five years”? In response to this, it’s okay to be honest that about your ultimate goals, but make sure to mention that you see yourself as being a “more experienced health care provider” in three to five years because of the experience gained at the CNA job being discussed. Always bring conversation back to the position you are interviewing for.

Don’t: Discuss previous employment in negative terms

Even if you’ve left a previous employer because of circumstances that were less than fantastic, you should speak of such experiences in neutral-at-worst terms and use a professional tone. Don’t ever allow yourself to seem petty by discussing interpersonal details of problems you might have had with a coworker or supervisor. Instead, frame all such experiences as learning material that taught you how to handle “complex” situations, and tell your interviewer that you are looking forward to building many new, positive work experiences at the position being discussed.

In summary:

You decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant because you care about helping people. In your CNA job interview, make sure to emphasize all skills and experience—both personal and academic—that qualify you to care for people. Relax and don’t be afraid to share relevant stories that illustrate your great qualities. Stay positive and make sure the interviewer knows your current focus in on how you can do a great job at the position being discussed. Be yourself and you should have no problems landing the job.…

CNA Communication

Things an RN Should Never Ask of a CNA

When it comes to patient care, it’s essential for all RNs to appreciate and value their CNAs. Unfortunately, all too often there is mistreatment and abuse of power that can erode that relationship. Not only does this foster acrimony in the workplace, it can have a negative impact on patient care. In order to show the appreciation and respect you feel as an RN for your CNA, the best advice is this: do not ever pass off tasks just to avoid getting your own hands dirty.

For example, an RN may answer a call to a patient’s bedside only to discover they are in need of ‘messy’ help. Perhaps incontinence pants need changed or there has been a leak from a catheter. Some RNs have no compunction about stepping away and calling for the CNA to assist the patient, simply to avoid the unpleasant work. This is also often the case with bed baths, packing of wounds, changing of colostomies, and other less-savory work. It’s as if the RN will not sully his or her hands with these tasks! They are often delegated to a CNA when the RN has no other pressing commitments. CNAs notice this, and begin to believe they are not valued and may have trouble taking pride in their work.

This behavior is shameful and should not be acceptable to any RNs currently in practice. Not only is it unfair to always pass off messy tasks to the CNAs, but it can also erode the professional relationship. A CNA that does not feel valued at work may not go out of his or her way to assist the RN when the going gets tough, which makes for a sticky situation in times of emergencies or other duress. Worse, an experienced and kind CNA may decide to leave the field altogether after being mistreated, which is a disservice to all RNs in practice. A good CNA is vital to the flow of an RN’s job, and should be treated with all the respect a valued team member deserves.

In some parts of the country, there is a shortage of CNAs, and the reasons are painfully obvious.

Assisting those who are sick is a hard job as it is without always being handed only the most distasteful jobs. Many burn out and quit after being mistreated by their supervising RN. Think about it, RNs, how would you cope if your favorite CNAs decided to seek opportunities in another field tomorrow? You would feel their loss greatly!

We also cannot forget that many CNAs will be the RNs of tomorrow. Regardless of age, many people who start work as a CNA eventually return to school to earn their RN. Current RNs need to set an example in proper professional behavior, so that those future RNs will know how to delegate tasks responsibly, without believing that it’s acceptable to mistreat their own CNAs. As with any profession with a hierarchy, it’s important that those nearer the top serve as an example for those just starting out. By treating your CNAs well, you ensure that they will know exactly how to act should they further their education and become RNs in the future.

To keep your CNA happy, there is no need to be saccharine or insincere. RNs can ensure their CNA feels valued by stepping up and doing their fair share of the workload, no matter how messy the tasks at hand. If your CNA asks for help, lend a hand. You know he or she would do the same for you, and likely has on numerous occasions.

RN and CNA communication is vital to ensure that the patient’s needs are met and the professionalism of the medical workplace is not compromised by pettiness and inflexibility.

When the team effort of medical practice is discussed, it is often the CNAs that are the ones who go unnoticed. Yet their contribution to that effort is vital. Most RNs would agree that their jobs would made difficult or impossible without their hard-working CNAs helping them at every turn. So many CNAs will tell others that they are ‘just’ a nurses’ assistant. They are so much more, and need to be recognized and respected for all that they do.…

CNA Communication


Our top 5 favorite Nursing Jokes

Nurses have one of the most serious jobs on the planet. Their work requires concentration, focus and attention. Lack of any of these could lead to loss of life. A few great nurse jokes could help us get along well with our favorite nurses. Slipping one in right before they retire from their shift could make for a memorable hearty laugh. The following are the top 5 Nursing Jokes of all time.

5. A nurse walks into the nurse’s lounge and sees a new poster pinned up. It reads “Smile. You just saved a life.” She sighs, takes out a pen and writes this below that statement “I just got vomited on thrice on my 20 hour shift. Forgive me if you get stabbed for putting this up.”

4. A nurse in Philly walks into her patient’s room and finds him having breakfast. She greets him cordially and asks how his breakfast is. “Good!” He says. “I found the heat a bit unbearable so I used the lubricant you left behind to cool myself”. The nurse looked at him surprised and asked what the lubricant was called. “Trojan”, the patient said.

3. Three nurses all in different circles and going about their different lives died and went to heaven. They found St. Peter at the gates as part of the welcoming committee.

He looked over at them and told them they had the opportunity to choose between heaven and hell. They had this right because each of them had one of the most noble jobs on earth. One of the nurses asked how they would know which option to choose.

St. Peter told them they could go to hell for a day and heaven for a day before deciding. The nurses were excited at the prospect and agreed to participate.

The first day they all went to hell. The elevator doors opened and welcomed them into a mystical world they had never seen. There was music, food, drink and lots of laughter to go around. Each of them met their friends and talked about all the time that had passed. They were sad the day had to end.

When they went to heaven they played the harp the whole day and ate grapes. They had such a boring time that they couldn’t wait for the day to end.

St. Peter asked them what they had decided on and they all agreed they wanted to go to hell. When they got to hell they found a wasteland and saw their friends slaving about. They asked them why it looked better the day before. “Yesterday was recruitment day. We were just fishing for more staff”.

2. While doing normal rounds a nurse found an elderly man dressed and ready to leave his room. She brought over a wheelchair to take the man out of the hospital. The man refused at which point forcing the nurse to tell him the protocol required of her.

After much hesitation the man gave in. As the nurse approached the parking lot area, the man stood up and took off. She shouted over at him “Sir! You left your suitcase!” Keep it! It’s my wife’s. I left the wench in the bathroom still changing.”

1. Nurses are noble and we love and appreciate them for all the sacrifices they make. However, these are some of the things that make it difficult to live with them:

Having them wake you up viciously at 3 am because she heard you sleep talking. God forbid you were having a stroke.

Do not ask them to help you with any meat cutting. He may start sobbing uncontrollably in between. This is the price of reminding him of work during his off-hours.

Try any one of these jokes to instill that much needed humor on a nurse’s shift.…

CNA Jokes


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