The real fun in the process of becoming a CNA begins after the completion of your training program; yes it is fun if you think so and that is how you should go about it to de-stress yourself from the nerves of giving an exam.
A CNA skills booklet will be very useful to ease your pressure and make preparation for the exam an enjoyable experience.
The CNA training booklet is often referred to as Candidate Handbook and has all the information you need to know about the certification examination. But there are certain important points that this booklet must have to make it an effective tool in preparing you for the exam.
1. State Based Handbook
There are some differences about the requirements for becoming a CNA in different states and you must get a handbook which has all the relevant information of your provience’s CNA certification.
The handbook must have clear guidelines about the regulations of your territory so that you properly understand the necessary steps for preparing for certification. The handbook should mention the assessment criteria, eligibility requirements and license issuing rules in your state.
It should contain all information about the application form, documentation and scheduling of the exams along with the approved centers for exams. It should be a conclusive document about all the mandatory requirements as specified by the health department.
2. Exam Information
The CNA skills booklet should have all the information related to the certification exams. All states have two papers which you must pass in order to get certified; a theory and a practical paper.
It should have information on the practical and theory paper stating the number skills needed to be performed and the number of questions in the theoretical paper. In the skills paper most territories have hand washing skills and taking the vital signs as compulsory tasks to perform;
Apart from these, some states need to perform three other tasks while some provinces require five other tasks to be performed.
The time allotted to you is 20 to 30 minutes. In some states it is fine if you go wrong with one of the tasks you are asked to perform; in most others, you should get all of them right. Similarly, some territories have 70 multiple choice questions to be answered while others have 100 questions to be answered during the written test.
The handbook shall have all the relevant information and time allotted for each paper. In almost all states 75% marks is the minimum score required to clear the test but it can be different in some provinces.
The retest information should also be mentioned in the handbook; the validity of your training before you pass the exam must be mentioned.
In some states the validity of for one year and in others the validity is two years; it is the same as the validity of the CNA licenses. In most of the states if you fail the pass in three back to back attempts your training is held void and you have to re-enrol in a training program.
3. Skills Procedures
Across the US there is a practical examination code of behaviour that the candidates must follow stringently and if you fail to follow this protocol you will be disqualified for the exam.
The booklet should have all the necessary information on this etiquette you need to follow. The arrival time for the exam, what things to carry in the exam room, proper ID proofs, security and checking etc. are test protocols that must be included.
In most practical exams a fellow candidate acts as a patient but in some states, you must get a dummy patient along with you to perform the tasks.
You need to follow the procedural actions at the beginning and ending and these will have a direct effect on your grades. The beginning procedure usually starts with washing your hands and asking patients for permission to enter the room.
Then you must draw the curtains, greet the patient and introduce yourself. The end procedure includes resting patient in comfortable position, lower the bed to the lowest position, opening curtains and thanking the patient.
You must make sure that the call bell and water is at handy positions while leaving. The candidate handbook should have all the information about these procedures.
4. Skills To Be Practiced
As we know that you will have to perform three to five tasks in front of the RN examiner; the booklet should have all the tasks required to be listed in it; you should practice all those skills.
Generally the number skills you will have to practice will be from 25 to 30 depending on the syllabus set by your the health department; the handbook must contain all the tasks with the expected procedures to be followed for each of them.
5. Written Exam
The handbook must list all the requirements of the written exams including the number of questions and the time allotted for them. It must also have sample questions for your reference so that you will get a brief idea about the subjects you need to prepare for.
Apart from all this information, the handbook should have an appendix containing the frequently used medical terminology and the abbreviations that are sanctioned by the state while communicating with the medical staff.
You can ask for the best CNA skills booklet at the facility which provided you with training or you can research online as these days these handbooks are available online.