By Melanie Ullman
The CNA skills test and exam is given to students in order to test their knowledge and understanding of the fundamental skills and concepts needed in order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.
The CNA exam is normally comprised of two parts – the written test and the practical skills test. The written portion basically concentrates on the overall medical procedures and concepts that have been learned while the student was in training.
Enrolling in a strong nursing assistant program such as the Red Cross CNA classes will help ensure that you will be well prepared for the exam. This type of course may last anywhere from several weeks to 3 or 4 months which includes the classroom training portion and several practical training classes as well, where you will learn the basics of clinical application uses to apply the skills you have been taught during your classroom time. Normally the clinical training is done by a registered nurse or nursing staff and involves directly working with patients.
Most of the individuals who passed the practical portion of the test say that the written part of the CNA exam is actually quite simple and fairly easy to pass if you have studied the books and manuals that are provided with the course.
However, the second portion of the exam, the CNA skills test, can be a bit more challenging; some places require that you bring someone with you that can act as your “visual aide” or “model” for you to perform your test on. You will be expected to demonstrate how well you know your skills set by using your aide as an example of the different things that may be required. During your Certified Nursing Assistant skills test the examiner may request that you demonstrate many different skills that you have learned during the course.
As a general rule they will ask that you complete anywhere from three to six different clinical skills which may include tasks such as repositioning your patient, taking their temperature, washing your hands, changing the bed linen or even holding the bedpan as part of your certification text.
Every step that you attempt and complete will be closely observed by the person that is giving you the exam; small things such as not knocking on a patient’s door before entering, washing your hands incorrectly or any other small detail may result in you not passing your Certified Nursing Assistant Exam. Remember to always remain composed and calm as your examiner will be checking to make sure that you are able to remain this way under true life stressful situations.
The CNA skills test and written exam is also observed by your state examiner, who carefully evaluates your performance. Many times they will also give you mock cases and then ask you to perform certain skill sets relating to that particular case. If you remember to pay attention to all details while studying then you should have no trouble passing the exam.