Yearly Competency Exams

  1. SUCK!!!!!

    I had my agency mail me the required yearly exams and have been working on them for the past 3 days. My NCLEX wasn't this involved. Shheeesh!!!

    Here is an example of a question:

    Although acetazolamide has anticonvulsant properties, it's used primarily as:

    ............................

    I mean, COME ON!!!

    I can't even find this drug in any manual or internet site and I am not going to call my pharmisist every 5 minutes over something like this. I am going nuts.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Sep 26, '05 : Reason: Violation of TOS and US copyright laws
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Quote from Haunted
    SUCK!!!!!

    I had my agency mail me the required yearly exams and have been working on them for the past 3 days. My NCLEX wasn't this involved. Shheeesh!!!

    Here is an example of a question:

    Although acetazolamide has anticonvulsant properties, it's used primarily as:

    .................

    I mean, COME ON!!!

    I can't even find this drug in any manual or internet site and I am not going to call my pharmisist every 5 minutes over something like this. I am going nuts.
    The drug is actually very well know under its trade name, Diamox. It can easily be found all over.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Sep 26, '05
  4. by   Haunted
    Quote from suzanne4
    The drug is actually very well know under its trade name, Diamox. It can easily be found all over.
    WOW! Thank you Suzanne. Gee I feel really stupid and am thinking of pitching this whole nurse gig now that I see the error of my ways. I wonder if it's not too late to consider a career as a super model.... but then again nursing is much more glamorous.

    My point here is that the competency protocol seems to contain a lot of information which is required and I wonder how many other agency nurses feel the frustration and complete them feeling like an idiot.

    It overwhelmed my entire week end and was something I have never encountered before. I was wondering if other agency nurses have had to undergo such rigorous paperwork on a yearly basis.

    Yes, I understand from your supportive private message that it is something you have had to undergo, is it just agency or do all nurses have to brainstorm these competencies?
  5. by   nightingale
    Many of the competencies I have taken were quite easy. I do like open book tests the best.

    Regarding your comment of other Agency Tests, the last test I took for an Agency was at a facility; the test was so easy the interviewer and I laughed about it.

    Agency work is the most challenging and rewarding Nursing you will find (my experience). I hope you stay with it!

    Let us know how else we can support your endeavor and following your dreams.
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    I did not recognize this drug by it's generic name, but know of Diamox from years ago. However, hardly seeing it prescribed much with our home care patients. Since it's an open book test, having a drug book at your side would seem helpful.

    My first homecare agency also did hospital staffing and required yearly competency test each year. Some of the drugs on the test were off the market! After 10 years, told the boss needed to review test and bring up to date.

    Can sympathize with you. Only rarely seeing patients in the home now, hard to keep up with the new drugs.
  7. by   misschelei
    I use 3 agencies and none of them have a very vigorous yearly competency. And by the way I didn't recognize that drug by its generic either. If I can't locate my drug book at home I look at Walgreens.com they usually have a brief description of most drugs.
  8. by   Haunted
    Ther was a myriad of ambigous questions which could go either way, such as capillary refill time. Well, are we talking about an elder with COPD? It was the specifics of reading into the questions and a lot of hormones whirling about that probably set me off. I know, I know, no excuse.

    I have only, and always worked registry and could probably write a book on the subject but am sort of shot down, no resources to beyotch and complain to but here on this lonely desolete planet called "Allnurses" at 3 ayem.
  9. by   misschelei
    Geez it almost sounds like you have to take a mini NCLEX every year. I wouldn't like it either.
    And you're right Haunted,( fftopic:sorry) we are not popular and no one wants to hear us complaining but we have feelings just like everyone else. Not all of us are money mongers cheating the system while undermining the plight of staff nurses. Many of us do this because we have to.
  10. by   eddy
    Watch for competency tests to become a much more serious thing as agencies begin to pursue JCAHO certification.

    Of course, it's probably a good idea. It's just a pain.
  11. by   citycat
    If an agency is JCAHO accredited comps are required. As a director I do like to know we're sending competent people into patient's homes.
  12. by   caliotter3
    One of my agencies, upon hire, gave me the competency test to take home. I still had problems finding the answers! Another agency's test answers were discussed with me by the HR person, not a nurse. He gave me erroneous info re insulin ?s. I did not argue, but put the little bit of info in the back of my head. He said that the answers were different b/c they were based on "recent studies". Insulin? If that were the case, then it would be common knowledge, in practice, and in textbooks by now. Another nurse told me that her comp test was placed into her personnel file during her hiring. The recruiter did not even bother to check the answers on the test for her. Later on, I had a discussion with the healthcare recruiters about the competency exams and the attitudes of nurses about them, to include the practice of "borrowing" copies of them to pass on to potential employees. Quite a discussion we had. I told him point blank that one time I was trying to get a nurse to come in for a job, and she said that she doesn't go to other agencies b/c she does not like taking competency exams. She passed her licensing exam once and that was enough for her. Oh, well.
  13. by   Sassy5d
    Gorsh.. My agency doesn't require anything but a yearly Tb! LOL
    I'm sure the new agency I just signed up for will do yearly, as they are certified.. The competency test they gave me to start was rather lame.

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