CNA Skills Test

The CNA skills test or exam is intended to test the fundamental concepts and skill sets of a Nurse Assistant. This exam comprises of two different parts – written and practical.

The first written part of the CNA exam is relatively simple, and focuses on the overall basic medical concepts and procedures that would have been learned during the CNA training course. Enrollment into a good nursing assistant course, such as the Red Cross CNA class helps insure that you will pass the CNA exam. A nursing assistant course can last anywhere from a few weeks to 3 months including classroom training sessions, followed by a few practical training sessions, where the trainee learns clinical application and how to apply the skills thhe have been taught during the classroom session. The clinical training is carried out under the supervision of registered nursing staff and it usually involves working directly with real patients.

Most people who have passed the skills test will tell you that the written part of the exam is quite simple and easy to pass provided you have carefully studied the nursing manuals and books provided during the nursing assistant course.

Clinical Part Of The CNA Skills Test

The second clinical part of the exam is somewhat more challenging, and tests the clinical skill sets of the individual. Usually, the examinee is supposed to bring an escort with them, who will need to act as the model, for the practical examination. The examinee will need to demonstrate his clinical skill sets using the escort as the model. The examiner may ask the examinee to demonstrate any number of clinical skills that he may have learnt during the clinical training sessions of his nursing assistant course.

The examinee may be asked to demonstrate from three to five clinical skills such as – washing hands, respecting the patient’s privacy, repositioning the patient, grooming the patient, taking the patient’s temperature measurement, holding the bedpan, or changing the linen of the patient’s bedding.

Each and every step of the CNA skills test is carefully observed and evaluated by the examiner. Even a small lapse such as not washing hands or not knocking on the door before entering a patient’s room may land you in trouble. Therefore, the examinee has to take extra care performing the various exercises. Most importantly, the examinee should be calm and composed because this is what the examiners would like to know – whether or not you are able to perform perfectly well even under stressful real life conditions. So, if you remain calm and composed, and carry out the clinical part of the exam perfectly well, you can be assured of your success.

The CNA exam is supervised by a state examiner. He observes and carefully evaluates every examinee’s performance. He may also give mock cases to the examinee and ask him to assume that the model is a victim of cardiac arrest, who also has his left side of the body paralysis. He might then ask you to get the model out of his bed, on to a wheel chair. So, at that time, the examiner would be watching carefully to note from which side the examinee lifts the model and how he transfers him on to the wheelchair. You need to follow the correct procedures learned during your training and pay small attention to details like locking the wheels of the wheel chair before transferring the model on it.

You may have a great career ahead as a certified nursing assistant, but for that, you would need to pass the CNA skills test and obtain state certification. Remember to stay calm, and pay attention to minute details and you are sure to pass the exam with flying colors!

Written by Melanie Ullman