This exam will test your knowledge of the important subject matters. Once you have passed it, your certified nursing assistant certification is yours to cherish. and you can begin to apply what you have learned to the job you want to do.
Most states require you to take the exam within ninety days of completing all coursework. The test is made up of two parts, written and clinical. The written part of the test will consist of questions about basic concepts and procedures. Utilize your textbooks and study notes.
The clinical part of the exam will require you to demonstrate from three to five nursing assistant skills you have learned such as hand washing, providing a bedpan, taking a patient’s temperature, repositioning a patient in their bed, privacy, dignity, and changing a patient’s bed with them occupying it all the while. A state examiner will be watching your every movement as you perform these activities. Handwashing is absolutely necessary to prevent spreading communicable diseases. Providing dignity and privacy for a patient while performing vital procedures such as toileting and linen changing is part of patients’ rights which you will also learn. The state examiner will be watching how you perform under stress since a large part of a certified nursing assistant’s work deals with such situations. Passing your certified nursing assistant exam is extremely important since doing so will help you to become hired. Some employers will hire you once you have finished the program, but you will have to provide proof that you passed the final exam within the ninety days of finishing the CNA coursework. Each state has guidelines dealing with how many times you can take the exam, the length of time between each test, and the cost to retest. Some healthcare facilities will let you take the certified nursing assistant course for free upon you agreeing to work with them after you pass the course and final exam. That is only a plus, isn’t it?
Some of the subjects the final exam will deal with are:
The roles and responsibilities of a nursing assistant, code of ethics, activities of daily living (ADLs), resident’s bill of rights, human needs, sexuality, sexual harassment, infection control, active and passive range of motion, ambulation, complying with all agency policies, following safety rules, continuing staff education, performing post-mortem procedures, promoting client safety and well being, and many other necessary topics. Don’t be fearful of all these subjects, just take good notes and study as you should during class time and on your own time and you will find that the right answers will come to mind as you take the test.
Tips to use before taking the test:
Get a good night’s sleep. Do not work the night before the examination. Don’t drink alcohol or too much caffeine before the test. Eat a light but well balanced meal while studying and before the exam. Bring light snacks like roasted nuts or crackers with you to the exam and eat those during breaks. Take your time with the exam questions while pacing yourself to finish the exam on time. Read each question thoroughly before answering, choosing the best answer. Do not panic if you aren’t familiar with a question topic. Believe in yourself.
Passing score for the CST or Critical Skills Test is at least seventy percent while following each critical step with one hundred percent accuracy. You should be given a chance to correct any missed checkpoints during the performance while keeping in mind that once you have finished a certain skill and progress to the next one, there is no going back. You will be given instructions by the examiner regarding subsequent testing opportunities according to your state’s testing guidelines.
The aforementioned subjects are a lot for anyone to take in and yes, you will be nervous during your written test and your clinicals, but do keep in mind that once you have passed both, you are on your way to a new and very exciting career in helping those who need you most. Keep in mind what you are studying and why you are studying it and do not let all those books, papers, instructors and examiners frighten you. Your fellow students will be just as scared as you might be but focus on the larger picture, won’t you? Think of the bright smiles and happy eyes of those future patients you will be helping to live a better life. Those people are your future, a very bright one!