By Melanie Ullman
Taking the CNA exam is one of the final steps before beginning your new career as a certified nursing assistant. The CNA test is given in two parts, a written part in a clinical part, or CNA skills test. To take the exam, you will need to have a volunteer or “model” with you. This is someone that you will use to demonstrate the clinical skills on to the instructor. As far as the written test is concerned, much of it is a combination of the information you learned in your seat and a training mixed with common sense.
Most people preparing for their test become nervous, since this is where all the training comes to its fruition. Even though you’ll be anxious, the reality is that most people find that written exam to be a breeze. Of course it helps to prepare prior to taking the exam by going over your notes and what ever other material you hopefully saved from your CNA classes.
Some general test taking tips might help you. On multiple choice questions, if you aren’t sure of the right answer, try subtracting the answers you know are not correct. That may leave you with an easier clearer choice. Also, trust your instincts. More often then not, your first answer will be the right answer.
The clinical portion will include many of the skills you learned and practiced in your training. You will probably be asked to demonstrate basic nurse assistant skills such as taking vital signs. Remember to take your time. Spending a few moments calming your self can help a great deal. When you’re trying to get an accurate measure of blood pressure and pulse wall being monitored by the test proctor.
You may also have to demonstrate other clinical skills such as the proper ways to move a patient, demonstrating proper hygiene such as hand washing, and possibly even changing and making a bed.
If you went through the ARC or Red Cross CNA training, you will be well prepared for testing. Another way, you can prepare and boost your chances for success on that test, is to spend some time looking through some of the free CNA classes online. Taking the exam online is also smart because you can work around the hours that you want to work around.
Being involved in an online study group can help you tremendously when you sit down to take the actual exam. Look for forums with others who are either practicing Certified Nursing Assistants, have recently taken the exam, or are studying for it like you are.
The CNA exam shouldn’t be intimidating or frightening. After all, the worst that can happen is you don’t pass. You can still sign up to take it again. And remember what it’s all for. All the classes and studying have given you the skills, knowledge, and confidence to become a professional Nurse Assistant, and open the doors to life-long job security, good wages, an exciting work environment, and the satisfaction of helping others and knowing that your chosen career makes a real, and significant difference to the patients you are charged with caring for!