We’ve already mentioned that where you are working plays a big role in the types of tasks you will perform as a CNA, but it can also impact your CNA work schedule. With a multitude of scheduling options available across different workplaces, it can be difficult to pinpoint a typical CNA work schedule. Still, there are a few guidelines that will help you understand what your work schedule will be like as a CNA.
How Many Hours at a Time? The Difference Between 8s and 12s
One of the biggest variables in CNA work schedules is whether you work 8 or 12 hours at a time. Some people prefer to work four or five 8-hour shifts, but others prefer to work longer each day for an extra day off. In this case, many hospitals and nursing homes allow CNAs to work three 12-hour shifts. Because each facility has different requirements for being full time (usually 32 or 40 hours per week) and not all facilities offer both 8-hour and 12-hour shifts, your actual weekly schedule options will vary dramatically between workplaces.
When Do You Work?
12-hour shifts are typically broken down into day shift and night shift with changes occuring between 6-8 in the morning and evening. 8-hour shifts are typically broken down into day, evening, and night shifts with shifts generally running from 7-3, 3-11, and 11-7. Some schedules overlap shifts to allow for easier transitions. Most CNAs work a set time period so even if the days they work change week to week, they won’t be hopping from night shift to day shift and back again. Some CNAs, however, switch between shifts regularly. The work in hospitals and nursing homes is very different during different shifts so you may not really know which one you prefer until you start working. Some CNAs are hired for a specific shift from the outset. Others are required to change shifts on a regular basis which requires using your time very effectively.
Do CNAs Work Weekends?
When it comes to healthcare, patients need just as much care on the weekends as they do on weekdays. CNAs are typically required to work every other weekend though some hospitals and nursing homes have specific weekend staff to cover Saturdays and Sundays. (Learn what makes a good CNA.)
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Want to learn more about becoming a CNA? Learn the top 3 duties of a CNA and check out 4 facts you need to know about CNAs.