CNAs (certified nursing assistant) are an integral part of the healthcare system. These individuals are responsible for the bulk of the non-medical patient care in hospitals and nursing homes across the country. In order to qualify for this position, individuals are required to take a course that teaches them the necessary skills and pass a proficiency exam to gain certification. Here, we shall discuss some of the things to focus on when preparing for the CNA certification test.
The CNA certification test is divided into two parts. The first part is a written exam that covers the skills and responsibilities of the CNA. There are likely to be questions about the best way to accomplish certain tasks and questions about ethics as well as outlining the limits of what an aide can and cannot perform legally.
Following the written exam, applicants will have to pass a performance exam. There are 25 specific skills that CNAs must be proficient in. The performance exam will cover not less than 5 of these skills. Common choices for the exam include washing hands before and after patient contact, taking and recording a measurement such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, urinary output, etc, dressing a patient while maintaining his/her dignity, patient communication during the encounter, and proper use of personal protective equipment (gloves, gowns, masks).
Other skills that may be tested include catheter care, transferring a patient from bed to chair, assisting a patient in ambulation, feeding, and more. None of the skills tested will be outside the range of skills that aides will be allowed to perform legally in the state in which one is seeking certification.
Applicants who fail either portion of the test will have the option of retaking the failed portion, normally up to three times, without having to go back through another training class. Once both test portions have been passed, the state medical board will issue a certification as a nurse’s aide valid in that state.
The exact training requirements may vary from one state to another. Each state has its own board of medical review and its own requirements for attaining various certifications. If a person holds a certification in another state, he/she may be allowed to challenge the test for the state of residence without having to undertake another training class. However, failure of either part of the test in this case will likely result in the person having to take a refresher course.
Knowing what to expect when preparing for the CNA certification test is essential to passing the test. Most states require a training course that consists of both classroom instruction and practical, hands-on experience in a hospital, nursing home, or both. The hands on portion should cover all 25 of the skills that CNAs are expected to master in detail.
Preparing for the CNA certification test is an admirable endeavor. CNAs are an integral part of the healthcare system. These individuals often have more direct contact with patients than either doctors or nurses. This makes it imperative that they master the necessary skills to perfection.