The time is winding down on your nurse aide training program and you start to realize how much information you’ve accumulated over a semester of instruction. You started in the classroom and now you’re in a nursing home, treating patients and practice dummies like homework. The test is a month away and preparing for the exam seems impossible because you’re still trying to keep up with the new lessons. Do not fear; every Certified Nursing Assistant has to face these challenges.
Preparing for the certification test requires that you fully experience every aspect of training, and state-approved nurse aide training programs must provide this experience. Every candidate will be required to demonstrate the quality of their training by completing a written test and performing a series of clinical skills under the scrutiny of a test-proctor. Assuming you’ve trained at a state-approved training program, you’ll have encountered all the knowledge and skills you need, but your preparation will determine your performance at the critical moment of test day.
Preparing for the written portion of the CNA certification test is much like the process for any student taking a test. The questions are presented in a multiple-choice format and there is a time limit. The best ways to study for this section of the test will vary depending on your preferences. Studying individually is a great way to monitor your progress and to move at your own pace, but it can be easier to get distracted or frustrated. Studying with a group can be useful to cover more aspects of the course material and to answer questions or clear up any confusion you may have. The training program you attend will be able to provide study guides and practice tests, which can be extremely useful for test prep.
The clinical skills portion of the CNA certification test is a bit more complicated. The skills that you will be tested on are randomly selected by your test-proctor. The test-proctor grades you based not only on your ability to complete the task, but also on the quality of your performance. It is not enough to know how to do something.You must be comfortable with the procedure, efficient in your use of tools and time, and maintain a positive attitude throughout the trial. Because nurse aides work closely with real people, bedside manner is an important criterion for the test-proctor. To prepare for this section, continually practicing the skills will help solidify the procedure in your mind, giving your actions more self-assurance. Proctors are looking to see if you are ready to be fully-employed, meaning that you could walk into a nursing home today and handle any tasks thrown at you. This section does not carry any more weight than the written section, but preparing for it can illuminate and reinforce some important ideas. Preparing for both parts equally will be necessary to do well as a Certified Nursing Assistant.