CNA Practice Test for Priorities and Priority Setting

In order to provide the best possible care for their patients, CNAs must have a clear understanding of their priorities and be able to set realistic and achievable goals. In order to help CNA prioritize their time and resources, CNA Priority Setting Practice Test was created. The test consists of 25 multiple choice questions designed to help nurses better understand their patients’ needs and concerns.

This is a timed quiz. You will be given 90 seconds per question. Are you ready?


Mr. Gomez is a diabetic resident who has heavy stubble and cannot shave himself. He wants you to use a disposable safety razor to shave him instead of his electric razor. Can you use a disposable safety razor on this patient?

Correct! Wrong!

A CNA can shave a resident with a disposable safety razor. A proper skin prep may make the shave more acceptable for the resident, like use of a hot towel. Lather must be used. That Mr. Gomez is a diabetic does not require use of an electric razor, so Answer A is incorrect. Answer D is incorrect because you do not need the nurse's approval to shave a resident with a disposable safety razor.

Mr. Dennis is receiving hospice care for end-stage metastatic colon cancer. What is the most important issue in his care plan?

Correct! Wrong!

For residents on hospice care, comfort is the priority. Fluid intake, bathing and repositioning are not as important as keeping pain level down. Care plans for hospice residents with terminal diagnoses may differ from traditional resident care plans and may be updated frequently to reflect declines in resident conditions and changes in goals.

Which of the following has the LOWEST priority?

Correct! Wrong!

Physical needs take priority over emotional needs (depression). Depression is the lowest priority because all the other needs above are physical needs.

You do not know how a resident toilets. What is the best way to find the correct information?

Correct! Wrong!

Residents and families or other nursing assistants may not know the correct answer. The nursing assistant does not independently decide the method of toileting. Refer to the care plan for interventions that have been formulated by the interdisciplinary team.

You are working a 7 AM to 3 PM shift. Mr. Mack returns from dialysis at 2 PM. What should you do for him before your shift is finished?

Correct! Wrong!

You must get his vital signs when he returns from dialysis. You should also be sure he has eaten because he may have missed his lunch and nutrition is important especially post dialysis. Also be sure you make accommodations for his rest as dialysis is very stressful on the body and he may need rest before he can go on with other activities.

Your new resident requires some additional documentation, including meal monitoring and bladder training logs. Documentation should be done:

Correct! Wrong!

CNAs as well as nurses are responsible for documentation. Documentation should be done as soon as possible after completing a procedure to ensure greatest accuracy.

You have just come on duty for your 3 pm to 11 pm shift. Which task is the most important?

Correct! Wrong!

Resident care is always the priority. If any of the other tasks delays you, you may miss the opportunity to ask questions or confirm facts before the other shift leaves.

You are feeding a dependent resident when you are asked by the nurse to change a resident who is incontinent and wet. You should:

Correct! Wrong!

CNAs must juggle multiple resident needs. Residents should not be made to wait to eat or get incontinent care. Staff should be prepared to work together and to assume responsibilities when needed so residents are not neglected.

The fire alarms in your nursing home begin ringing. What is the first thing you must do?

Correct! Wrong!

The first thing you must do is close the patient doors to prevent smoke from entering the rooms. You do not evacuate patients until you are instructed to do so.

Your resident is actively dying. You want to stay with her but you have other residents and 2 call lights on. How should you handle this?

Correct! Wrong!

If you communicate with your coworkers you can solicit their assistance so you can stay with her as much as possible. Answer D is wrong because you cannot tell your coworkers to do your work no matter how you feel and you cannot just refuse to do your other work. Their help should be respectfully solicited, as this fosters teamwork.

Physical bullying, among school aged children, threatens which of Maslow's needs?

Correct! Wrong!

Physical bullying can injury a person (physical needs). It can also threaten the child's psychological and physical safety and security, in addition to the fact that all bullying, including physical bullying, leads to a person feeling rejected, rather than loved and belonging to the group.

As his CNA, you observe Mr. Oliver's hands have cigarette burns on his fingers. You know he smokes heavily and has become less responsible when he smokes. Which of the following is the best course of action?

Correct! Wrong!

You need to report this to the nurse. It is dangerous both to the patient and others to have someone who is not competent to smoke doing it anyway. The removal of liberal smoking privileges must be part of the care plan and decided upon by the care team as the patient will see others who still have the privilege and need to be counseled on his change of care plan. Answer A is incorrect because while having someone escort him when he smokes is desirable, it is not always possible especially if he retains his cigarettes and lighter. Answer B is incorrect because while it is true that he probably should not have his cigarettes and lighter, it is a clinical team decision regarding his care plan. Answer D is incorrect because the patient may not be able to be more careful or may not perceive the problem. He may interpret this as a threat.

Which of the following has the HIGHEST priority?

Correct! Wrong!

The physical needs take priority over emotional needs (depression). An obstructed, or closed, airway is the highest priority of all of the physical needs.

The levels of Maslow's hierarchy are _______________.

Correct! Wrong!

The levels of Maslow' hierarchy are the physical needs, safety and security needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs and self actualization. Assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation are phases of the nursing process. Subjective data, objective data, data analysis, open ended questions and close ended questions are parts and aspects of the interview process. Lastly, the integumentary, respiratory, nervous and cardiac systems are a few of our bodily systems.

You are doing hospice care for Mr. Jones. Which of the following symptoms will let you know his death is near?

Correct! Wrong!

Cheyne Stokes respirations are a sign of impending death. A pulse rate as low as 42-60 and irregular is a sign of cardiac issues. Skin being cool and moist may indicate shock. Lastly, a pulse oximetry that low indicates poor air exchange. The other answers have irregular vital signs but are not definitive signs of impending death.

All residents will not receive the same care interventions. What factors determine the care a resident will receive from the CNA?

Correct! Wrong!

Care is planned and determined by resident needs. If a resident's needs increase or decrease, levels of care will change as well. Families may participate in care but they do not dictate care. CNA care is not based upon a resident's ability to pay. Flow sheets document residents' responses to care.

In the event of a fire, the first action you should take is:

Correct! Wrong!

Following the RACE rule, R is remove any residents in immediate danger; Activate the alarm, Confine the fire or Close doors and Extinguish or Evacuate. Resident safety is always the first priority.

Your patient is concerned about their life insurance and the costs of their burial. Which of Maslow's needs is your patient expressing?

Correct! Wrong!

Health and life insurance are examples of security needs

Who developed the Hierarchy of Needs?

Correct! Wrong!

Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs. Erikson developed a framework of development tasks; Piaget describes the thinking development of people, and Nightingale is referred to as the Mother of Nursing.

You are pulled to an unfamiliar floor to provide resident care. You demonstrate professionalism in this difficult situation by:

Correct! Wrong!

Asking for guidance shows you are interested in the best outcome for the residents. It is not the residents' fault or problem you were pulled. Health care demands flexibility, and not asking necessary questions or confirming information can lead to miscommunication resulting in resident harm.

Who is the most important member of the interdisciplinary health care team?

Correct! Wrong!

it is worth remembering that it is the needs and goals of the resident that are the focus of the team. Each professional contributes his or her own unique information and perspective.

Mrs. Smith states she has lost her pocketbook, which contained $50. Upon hearing this, you should:

Correct! Wrong!

Possible thefts or misappropriation of items is a potential legal issue and the nurse in charge needs to be made aware.

You see a resident lying on the floor of the bathroom. You are NOT assigned to this patient. What is the first thing that you should do?

Correct! Wrong!

You should observe the resident for any injuries and call out for help. This is an emergency and you must act immediately even if the resident is not part of your assignment. You did not see this resident before they fell so you do not know that the person has had a seizure.

Your patient has had a very full and rewarding life. She has had a lot of success in her personal and professional life. She has achieved all of her goals and she has maximized her potential. This patient can be best described as a person who has achieved Maslow's___________.

Correct! Wrong!

This person has moved along Maslow's hierarchy and is now self actualized. Exploration, closeness and protection are not part of Maslow's hierarchy.

You work as a CNA in a hospital. A woman says she is the sister of a patient and asks you why she is there and how she is doing. What is your best response?

Correct! Wrong!

The statement in answer C is the best response. Answer A is incorrect because you have not properly identified the visitor and have given out key information like room number and invited her to visit. Answer B is incorrect because you have not identified the visitor but have given out key information. Answer D, referring her to the nurse without identifying her may be convenient but is not correct.

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