Pursuing a cna career is a very exciting adventure. When you’ve finished with the curriculum which generally lasts from four to twelve weeks, the next step would be to take the CNA exam to become certified. This is important because without certification, you won’t be able to take on a job in the medical field.
While the CNA exam requirements vary from one country to another, the structure and content are very similar. The CNA exam should consist of two parts—written and clinical or practical. The written test includes questions on basic concepts, anatomy and procedures. The clinical exam would require you to demonstrate anywhere from 3 to 5 nursing assistant skills such as moving the patient, taking body temperature and other vitals and even giving the bed pan. These skills are always performed with a state examiner present. In the US, most states require you to register for the exam within ninety days.
Begin studying in advance. Don’t expect to start studying the week before your exam and think that you can master everything about the course especially the ones you’re not familiar. The scope of the CNA course is huge, which you’ll need to study and learn over a long period of time, so don’t expect to just cram the night before.
Take practice exams. The CNA exam is not something that should be taken lightly. To enjoy the many opportunities this career presents, you have to prepare and pass the exam. There are a number of test study courses and practice exams that could help you master the skills you’ve learned. These practice exams can give you a very good idea of what to expect with the real CNA exam.
Review your course manuals and lectures. Your lectures, notes, course manuals and textbooks are excellent source to refresh your mind. Going over your notes and lectures will give you a comprehensive overview of everything you’ve studied in class. There are also a number of good books not included in your curriculum that you can use to help you prepare for and pass the CNA exam. You may use them, too.
Practice the most common and basic skills such as taking a patient’s vital signs, providing a bed pan even changing bed linen while it is occupied, moving and relocating the patient, proper grooming, hand washing, disinfection and infections control and even disposing of soiled linens. Many people simply learn and retain information better when they actually do it instead of just reading about it. So practice. Devote an hour or two everyday for practice.
Form study groups. Your group could practice care-giving skills with one another. Patient care skills are best practiced with a real person so take advantage of this when you are in a group. Understand every aspect of patient care, mobility techniques, elimination procedure and other practical skills. Observe what the others are doing and learn from one another. You may also get advice from people who have taken and passed the CNA exam.