From the day your clinical training classes start you must start preparing for the test, follow a step by step procedure and you will succeed in the exam. Organize your study habits from the beginning and follow it till the exams and you will pass the clinical test as well as the theory paper. If you are organized you will have all the required material and abilities necessary to get certification, so you will not be stressed. On the other hand if you do not study enough and cram in a few days for studying and practicing the craft you will be under pressure at the time of exam. So decide for yourself and prepare from the start.
- Plan your study Every individual is different and has a different way of functioning both, mentally and physically. You must plan your studies as per your needs. Attend all the clinical classes, listen to your instructor carefully and follow all his instructions. Observe closely as he performs the various skills and make notes. Sit with your instructor and draw the best methodology for all the tasks.Make a plan about practicing your tasks and follow that plan, practice the tasks as you learn them. When the lessons are fresh in your mind practicing the skills will be all the more effective. Don’t wait till you are taught all the abilities for practicing them; this is a mistake most students make. When you plan for something you take the responsibility of the task in your hand and when you follow the plan the task is executed perfectly. By this way you will not leave your skills exam to chance, you will act responsibly and achieve your goal.
- Go from easy to difficult Some of the skills of a nurse aide are simple while others are complicated, start practicing the easy tasks first and gradually move on to the difficult ones. This will make you used to the tasks and you will have a progressive method for practicing. Before starting to practice learn the medical terminology; it will be easier to understand the tasks and procedures better.For example hand washing is a simpler task than taking vital signs or in the more complicated ones, feeding patients is easier than bathing and dressing the patients. So practice hand washing before starting with the vital signs and practice patient feeding before bathing and dressing.
- Use dummy patients Not just during your practice test but even when you practice regularly make family members or friends as your dummy patients and practice your skills on them. Follow the proper process of greeting, introduction, explanation of procedure and hand washing; don’t skip the part because it is a routine practice at home. If you put in wrong practices you may end up developing habits which can cost you dearly during the practical test.While taking the practice tests make sure you get assistance from a fellow student as these tests are taken when you begin your final CNA skills review and evaluation. A co-student would be a better person to judge your abilities. During the practice test you will realize that you are performing all the skills easily because you have put in regular practice.
- Use all the resources Use all the available resources while preparing for the practical test. Use the study material of the clinical classes as you would have made a CNA clinical skills checklist during the training. There are many study guides available which have books on CNA skills which explain all the procedures of every task in a simple language.Internet is a great source of information; many CNA clinical skills videos available online refer them as they are performed by experts and you can cross check your best procedures and make modification if you think that it suits you. To check for the state requirements for the exam get the CNA booklet or candidate handbook as it is popularly known.
- CNA practical test tips Two days before the exam get good sleep at night; a good sleep is the best stress buster you can get. On the day of the exam arrive on time as specified in by your state; some states require candidates to arrive 15 minutes before while others require them to arrive 30 minutes before the exam.
During the exam relax yourself, even if you have to perform in front of the examiner; the important thing is that the examiner will give you a hint or two if you go wrong and if you don’t get any hints make sure you inform the evaluator where you slipped up. The examiner expects that you are aware of all the procedures and will allow minor mistakes if you admit it. Be cautious, not all examiners will be lenient.
After you follow all these plans and procedures you will have a clear answer to your question, how to pass the CNA skills exam.