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What Can I Do To Stand Out During Clinicals?


Yesterday we had orientation at this huge nursing home and it is one of the better ones in the area. The pay starts at $15/hr with .75 cent shift and weekend differentials and the CNA/patient ratio is 8 for first and 9 for 2nd (she didn't mention 3rd). They are also very high tech with all the care tracking being done on computers.

The problem is I heard from several people that it is very hard to get into that place and that they tend to only hire internally before posting to the public. The educational director who was leading the orientation said that they do hire new grads and after we pass our boards to just call them and apply. My instructor said that she would be in touch with management to evaluate us on how we're doing.

So I already know that I'm going to work my hardest and ask questions as well as listen and observe. I was just wondering if those of you already in the field could offer anything up other than that? Like should I find out the chain of command and introduce myself when I have the time?

I also want to make a good impression on my mentor for that day. Hopefully she is one that really likes to train and is patient with me.


Has 5 years experience.

A big thing I can recommend is to just jump in! Don't stand and watch people work, show them that you aren't afraid to just right in and learn hands on, actively. If your trainer starts to do something, make sure you're right there, doing it with them. I can tell you from experience that it can be really frustrating to train someone who won't do anything unless ordered to and showing gumption can go a long way.

Do what you can to keep up with your preceptor. Run if you have to. Anticipate his/her next moves during procedures and be prepared to jump in and help. For instance, while your preceptor is unfastening someone's brief to change it, stand ready with a handful or wipes/washclothes and be ready to pass them as needed. If you show the staff that you can keep up and you do your very best to make life easier for them (rather than harder, as 90% students do), they will remember you, and some may even be willing to go talk to the DON and tell him/her about you and why they should hire you (how I got my first CNA job). That can go a LONG way towards getting a job there. Definitely don't question anything your preceptor does, unless it's obviously a life-threatening thing. You will quickly get on their bad side and gain a very bad reputation with the rest of the staff if you start the whole "Well, that's not the way we learned it in class..." stuff. Yes, CNAs and nurses (and sometimes DONs) talk with each other about the students. :) We know which ones will make it and which ones won't.

Thank you for the great advice!

I plan on being an eager beaver tomorrow and really jumping in. I already wanted to do that when we were walking through the building during orientation and some of the residents were getting excited due to the 'Sundowning' and with all the new trainees walking through the unit. One of the residents was crying and saying how she just wanted to go home and take care of her children and I so badly just wanted to comfort her for a little while. :(

I don't plan on pulling that "But that's not what we learned!" routine because to me CNA training is just to get me to pass the boards and not what really happens once you hit the floor. The only thing I will call my preceptor on is if she doesn't want me to get my instructor during a 2 person transfer as my instructor said it was an absolute MUST that she be there for it.

Well I'm keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that all goes well tomorrow!


Specializes in family medicine.

Not all facilities allow this but mine did... volunteer to help with a colostomy bag! or to watch treatment for pressure sores. If CNAs or Nurses ask for help, help! and just be a lot of help to them and you should stand out. good luck i hope they hire you 15.75 is good money .. better than what i'm getting here in Cali!!