The CNA exam tests students on their ability to perform the work through a hands-on skills test and a written examination. The syllabus and tests which are given throughout the course will prepare students well for the actual test. Many facilities allow students to perform their duties under the teacher or a supervisor during training which helps reinforce what they have learned and allows the work to become second nature. Each state has different requirements for licensing and some will require additional study or licensing to work in certain types of institutions. This is a job that is in high demand leading to cash sign on incentives as well as more flexible hours.
The written part of the CNA exam consists of multiple choice questions where the student must receive a passing grade or they will be required to retake the test. It is required to pass each of the two parts in order to become licensed. Going back and skimming through the books and studying the previous tests are an excellent manner to prepare for the final exam. Another option is to take the NNAACP Practice Test which has been prepared specifically to help students ready themselves for the actual examination. This is broken down into the specific areas which will be tested in the examination. These include physical care skills, psychosocial care skills, and the role of the nurse’s aid. The categories are further broken down into specific areas such as hygiene and client’s rights.
The hands-on assessment is as essential as the written part of the CNA exam. Each half is graded independently and students who fail one half may retake only that half up to a maximum of three times without being required to take more courses, so it is essential to be well prepared. The skills which will be tested vary not only from student to student but at each testing as they are randomly chosen. These include items such as making a bed properly, changing the sheets on an occupied bed, transferring patients using various lifts, and how to move patients with the aid of a transfer belt. Each student will have five different skills from a list of twenty five tested.
Classes which prepare the students for the CNA exam often divide into smaller groups to ensure everyone has an opportunity to use a stethoscope, take blood pressure readings and measure pulse rate. After these skills are mastered the “fun” begins, where students will transfer one another using lifts and practice making occupied and empty beds. Less enjoyable but equally important is learning skills such as cleaning dentures, feeding patients, taking temperatures and measuring catheter output, all of which fully prepare students for the skills assessment test.
Studying for the written half of the CNA exam is similar to any other test. Reading through the book again, taking notes, studying the pre-tests and asking questions prior to the actual examination will help. Practicing the skills until you are completely comfortable performing them may seem redundant, but when it is time to test it will really pay off. This is a career that may lead students to go further in the medical field and often provides an inside track for programs offered locally to help students advance their payscale.