The CNA certification test is the final exam that absolutely has to pass, to allow you to work as a qualified assistant nurse. This opens up the nursing field for you, at the very basic, entry level. That is why passing this exam is so important.
Knowing What to Expect
Knowing how your final exam is structured, will help you prepare better for it. The exam has two main parts to it: a written section and a practical section. If English is not your home language, then you can request that the written part be done in Spanish. You also have the option of doing this part of the exam orally, should there be an issue with writing it.
The second part involves you performing five procedures out of a list of 25 possible procedures. These tasks need to be done in the correct manner and within the right time frame. these basic procedures form the core of your work, when you are a fully qualified nursing assistant. They are things that a qualified nurse has to know as well, so should you take your learning further, the knowledge is not “wasted”.
These are most the procedures that you have to learn and practice doing before your CNA exam:
- washing of hands
- assisting patient with oral hygiene
- assisting patient with bedpan
- giving a bed bath
- cleaning of dentures
- caring for patient’s fingernails
- providing perineal care for female patients
- providing food for normal patients
- feeding of a patient who can’t eat unassisted
- assist a patient in dressing, if right arm is weak or injured
- applying a knee-high elastic stocking
- helping a patient to walk, using a transfer belt
- moving a patient to a wheelchair from a bed, using a transfer belt.
- positioning a patient on their side.
- providing a female patient with catheter care.
- performing passive exercises for a patient’s shoulders, using a range of motions
- performing passive exercises for a patient’s knees and ankles, using a range of motions.
- do a patient’s pulse count and recording the data
- counting and recording of a patient’s respiration.
- do a patient’s blood pressure reading and record the data.
- take a patient’s urine sample and measure and record the necessary data.
- weighing and recording the data of a patient who is able to walk.
- making a bed that is occupied.
- putting on of gloves and gown, as well as removing those items.
Preparing for the CNA Exam
The CNA course is very “hands-on” and you will be more familiar with procedures and facts if you make the effort to attend all your classes and practical sessions. What you learn from lectures, books and multi-media presentations, is remembered far better if you put it into practice on the same day. That means paying attention when you start helping out real nurses, with actual patients. If you get into bad habits during this period, it will be difficult to “unlearn” them for the exam.
It is also a good idea to study the course notes the night before the lessons are taught. This will make you familiar with the material, before you even have to learn it in class. Going through the material before the time, lets you ask relevant questions and ensures that you have a full understanding of the day’s course module.
Practicing the various procedures you need to perform for the physical part of the exam, is crucial to you being able to perform them without hesitation or mistakes. Using family members and friends as “patients” will work, but try to practice with a fellow student. This way, you will both learn, due to repetition, and there is less chance of doing the procedures incorrectly, since you are both training to be assistant nurses.
Get Your CNA!
Find CNA schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.