If you have decided to take up CNA as an entry level job in the nursing field; it is a great career move. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the job opportunities for CNAs will increase by 35 percent by 2017 and the number of CNAs available to serve is less; which means that the salary of CNAs will also increase many times.
To become a CNA you have to clear a certification exam which has a theoretical (Multiple choice questions) and practical paper (clinical skills test); both these papers must be cleared to get your license of practice. The CNA clinical skills study guide will give you insights about clearing the CNA clinical skills test.
The most important point is that the program you enroll to get the required CNA training must be accredited by the health department of your state, otherwise you will be disqualifies for the exam as at the time of applying for the certification you need to submit the program verification document. An accredited program is of at least 75 hours and 24 hours out of that are for the clinical training; this will ensure that you have developed enough skills to clear the CNA clinical skills test.
Other important guidelines to clear the skills test are as follows:
- The test is conducted under the supervision of a qualified examiner; usually a Registered Nurse (RN). Listen carefully to the examiner and perform the skills as instructed by him. If you fail to listen properly ask for clarification; do not perform any skills without complete clarity and only then will you be able to perform the task with precision.
- Before performing each task wash your hands; go to the wash area and demonstrate the technique of hand-washing that you have learned during the training. While washing the hands you must wet your hands considerably; for 20 second at least, before applying soap. Don’t forget to clean the hand between the fingers and clean them up to your wrists. Turn off the tap using a paper towel, thrash that towel and dry your hands using another towel.
- Before performing any task, go up to the patient and politely introduce yourself, ask the name of the patient and address the patient with his/ her proper name
- Follow proper code of actions and decorum; the examiner will watch every step of yours, so keep a professional approach. Before entering any room knock on the door and seek permission. Clearly explain the procedure you are about to perform to the patient, ask for clarification and make sure the patient is at comfort. Draw curtains and keep them closed when you provide assistance to the patients, respect their privacy.
- The commonly asked tasks to perform are bathing, feeding and grooming of patients, providing bedpans, moving patients’ with left/ right side paralysis, moving patients to wheelchair, changing patients positions in the bed, taking vital signs and recording them, changing linen of occupied beds, disposing dirty linen, sanitizing bedpans and other equipments etc. Before taking the skills test you must practice these skills as many times as possible; consider practicing them under the eye of an instructor as he/ she will be able to evaluate and correct any procedural mistakes you may make. If you practice these skills thoroughly you will master them and will be able to perform them easily during the actual test.
- During practice chalk out the best method for each of the process. Consider all the information that was given to you during the training and carefully understand each step you have to take; this will put you at ease during the test. Put on the gloves for tasks relating to body contact with patients and if you are supposed to touch any fluids; except for feeding by spoon where use of gloves is not required.
- Safety measures should be taken care of properly; the call bell must be handy for the patient. You should carefully use the gait belts while patient transfer, lock the wheels of wheelchair whenever necessary, sanitize the equipments after each use and lower the bed after completion of all the tasks.
- After you sanitize the equipment make sure you store them in the prescribed way; the emesis basin and bedpans must be wrapped in paper towel while the blood pressure measuring and other vital signs measuring equipment must be stored in the box intended to store them. Make a record of all the vital signs on the sheet with the differences from the last record.
The CNA clinical skills are a vital part of a CNA job so the examiner will scrutinize each and every action of your very closely so you must be well prepared before taking the test and this CNA clinical skills study guide can help you in preparation; on the other hand you can also check for the CNA clinical skills checklist.