UGH....About that CNA test.....

  1. About the CNA exam....I was wondering if anyone could answer a few of my questions to help me shake my pre-exam jitters.

    1.) Is it true the people who issue the exam are pretty mean ? I've heard this from enough people to make me a little nervous!

    2.) When asked to do, oh I don't know, let's say a bed bath, do you really give a bed bath?? With water and all? And who do I give the bath to?? (oh by the way, you know how you are to test the bath water temp before giving bath, well do they have a thermomater or do I test it by dipping my gloved finger in or what??!)

    3.) I will need to perform 5 (yep count 'em!) 5 skills correctly. I was just wondering if anyone wanted to share what skills they had to perform, or any other personal experiences with the exam.

    Well thats all for now ( I know its alot!!) but I might be back with more Q's!! Thank everyone so much for taking the time to help! I really appreciate you helping me acheive my goal!!
    P.S. ALLNURSES.COM ROCKS!!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   lovingtheunloved
    1. It depends. My tester was super nice. I've only taken the test once, so that's really my only frame of reference.
    2. That depends too. Whoever is testing you will explain it at that time.
    3. I had to do three skills. I did vitals, transferring from bed to wc, and catheter care. Nerve wracking. But I passed.

    It really isn't as bad as it seems. CNA stuff is 95% common sense. It's just harder when you have the pressure of being evaluated. You'll do fine.
  4. by   bethin
    Quote from jlynnw
    About the CNA exam....I was wondering if anyone could answer a few of my questions to help me shake my pre-exam jitters.

    1.) Is it true the people who issue the exam are pretty mean ? I've heard this from enough people to make me a little nervous!

    2.) When asked to do, oh I don't know, let's say a bed bath, do you really give a bed bath?? With water and all? And who do I give the bath to?? (oh by the way, you know how you are to test the bath water temp before giving bath, well do they have a thermomater or do I test it by dipping my gloved finger in or what??!)

    3.) I will need to perform 5 (yep count 'em!) 5 skills correctly. I was just wondering if anyone wanted to share what skills they had to perform, or any other personal experiences with the exam.

    Well thats all for now ( I know its alot!!) but I might be back with more Q's!! Thank everyone so much for taking the time to help! I really appreciate you helping me acheive my goal!!
    P.S. ALLNURSES.COM ROCKS!!
    1) They weren't mean. They were professional and businesslike. I've never heard anyone say they were mean. And they do not try to trick you.

    2) I didn't have to give 'real' bedbaths. Kept our clothes on and went over (without touching) the person. Did arms and legs only. I think they just want you to know the steps.

    3) It's been awhile, but I do remember getting lucky: I drew backrub, ROM, and brushing dentures.

    We were told we could make a mistake, the state woman would try to guide us back, and as long as we remembered we were ok. It wasn't like your HS principal grilling you because you couldn't remember who the president is of France.

    Good luck!
  5. by   sissyboo
    1) I had a great test lady...
    2) We didn't HAVE to perform any skills, just pass the written test. Our instructor said we should be prepared to do any skill the person giving the test may ask for or question us about (she didn't do either though)
    3)I'm not sure how many you may have to do!

    You'll do fine...
  6. by   kmarie724
    1. The lady I had was really nice. At one point, I forgot to wash my hands at the end of a skill, and she said "Are you sure there isn't anything else you want to do before you leave the room???"

    2. For bed bath, you would only have to wash the "patient's" face, arm and underarm. We used real water, but I don't think we used actual soap, just pretended to apply the soap. Most likey, you'll be partnered with another person taking the test, and they will be your "patient" and you will be their "patient."

    3. The skills I had to do were handwashing (which everyone had), measuring urine output, bedpan, fingernail care, and something else, which I can't remember. My best advice is to just relax, take your time, and talk through each skill as you do it to help you remember. If you have a choice as to it you take the skills part or written part first, I would take the skills part first, since that's the most nerve wreaking part so you won't be worrying about it during the written part.
  7. by   shadchan
    1. The lady that tested me was not mean. She wasn't super friendly, but she was kind! Like the others said, she dropped hints here and there when I was at risk of forgetting something. So did my "patient," a LVN student volunteering.
    2. If in question, ask the tester, believe it or not. Ask her whether she wants you to use water or just "mock" bed bath.
    3. I got pretty lucky. I got to do occupied bedmaking, putting on ted hose, taking temperature with the glass thermometer (REMEMBER TO SHAKE IT DOWN BEFOREHAND! I forgot that!), washing hands, and something else, I forget. It didn't take very long and it was seriously not that stressful. I fretted so much over this and it was no big deal!
  8. by   casi
    1. The person I got was great. She understood I was nervous and let me backpedal A LOT. As long as I knew the steps and could say "oh yeah, I would lower the bed run out of the room and go get a set of gloves or XYZ that I conviently forgot" i was good. They don't want to have to fail you.
    2. In my course we were taught the exact steps they expected on the test. For a bedbath we washed face and arms/underarms. We used real water and real soap. Had to dip our elbows in to test the warmth of the water and the tester checked it too. I got the "That water doesn't seem warm enough..." and made the save "Well the water to this classroom never gets very hot" teehee I got to bring a victim of my choice to the test. Which was really nice because I could bring someone I was comfortable with. Which really helped with the nerves.
    3. Handwashing, pulse/resp., bed bath, oral care, and ambulation.
  9. by   maureenlynn
    The lady I had was very nice. About the 5 skills. For my test, it said that I had to do 5 skills as well, but two of them were handwashing and indirect care (patient privacy, knocking on the door, that sort of thing). My 3 other skills were measuring pulse and respirations, mouth care, and ROM upper left extremity. If I had gotten a "more personal" skill, we would have used a maniquin. I know exactly how nerve-wracking taking that test is. I was shaky the whole day before and I was practicing all sorts of stuff on my poor husband :chuckle . Like someone else said, just take your time. There is no time limit, so just really think each step through and you'll be FINE. When I got my print-out of skills, I (in my head) freaked out. I could not remember how to do mouthcare. But, I just thought about how we did it in class, and very slowly went through the steps. ALSO, remember that you do not have to perform each skill 100% perfectly. Each checkpoint is weighted, so some points (like patient privacy and safety) matter more. As a matter of fact, I forgot to take the clothing protector off of the actor after doing mouthcare, and I still passed. You'll do fine! When do you take the test?
  10. by   jlynnw
    Thank you everyone for sharing your wisdom and experiences with me! You all gave excellent and encouraging advice!

    P.S. maureenlynn I haven't set my date yet but I am shooting for the first week of march.
  11. by   rlsmdb
    I just took my CNA board on Feb. 3, so I can answer your questions from recent firsthand experience.

    1) For me, this wasn't true at all. The RN evaluator was incredibly nice and incredibly patient. She allowed us to ask as many questions as needed before the skills evaluation and was so understanding of us all being nervous. She was great and very helpful.

    2) I actually had to do a bed bath for one of my skills, and yes, I had to use water and soap and actually give my partner a bed bath. It was modified, meaning I only had to wash/rinse/dry his face, arm, underarm, and hand, but I did have to do it exactly like I would with a real patient. Test the water temperature with your forearm, similar to how you would test the temperature of a baby's milk, or your elbow. The RN evaluator took us into the testing room two at a time, and we were each other's "patient."

    3) I had to perform 5 skills, as well. Are you from VA? The skills I had to do were handwashing (everyone does this one), count/record respirations, feeding, give a modified bed bath, and ambulating. I completed my skills in 16 minutes out of an allotted 25.

    All in all, the exam was not that difficult, but I was extremely nervous. The written part was more or less common sense. I had one measurement conversion question, which I would have missed if I hadn't had a med tech class a couple of months ago as a refresher, lol! I was shaking very badly during the skills part...in fact, I almost dropped the cracker off the spoon I was using to feed my "patient"! I know I made a few little mistakes, but I did the best I could. I did pass (just got my results in the mail today), so that's a huge relief!

    My tips are just to take a deep breath and do your best. It's not the end of the world if you don't pass the first time; you can always try again. Don't cram the night before/the morning of, because there's no sense in that - if you don't know it before then, you're not going to learn it in a few hours/minutes. DO practice, practice, practice, though. I suggest taking time sometime the week before to go through all the skills you may possibly have to perform and first list all the equipment you need to perform the skill, and then go through each and every step. As you are actually doing the skills exam, think everything through as you are doing it. Just pretend that you are really working and are just doing your regular ol' job duties!

    The big things to remember while testing are SAFETY, first and foremost (leave the bed in low position if you are ambulating a patient or transferring, etc., don't leave the bed in high position if you are going to be leaving the patient), providing privacy by drawing the curtain, and always make sure to leave the call light within the patient's reach.
  12. by   aerorunner80
    Quote from jlynnw
    About the CNA exam....I was wondering if anyone could answer a few of my questions to help me shake my pre-exam jitters.

    1.) Is it true the people who issue the exam are pretty mean ? I've heard this from enough people to make me a little nervous!

    2.) When asked to do, oh I don't know, let's say a bed bath, do you really give a bed bath?? With water and all? And who do I give the bath to?? (oh by the way, you know how you are to test the bath water temp before giving bath, well do they have a thermomater or do I test it by dipping my gloved finger in or what??!)

    3.) I will need to perform 5 (yep count 'em!) 5 skills correctly. I was just wondering if anyone wanted to share what skills they had to perform, or any other personal experiences with the exam.

    Well thats all for now ( I know its alot!!) but I might be back with more Q's!! Thank everyone so much for taking the time to help! I really appreciate you helping me acheive my goal!!
    P.S. ALLNURSES.COM ROCKS!!

    1. No, not where I'm going to take mine. My test will be administered by the same people who are teaching me in the same facility I'm taking my classes in.

    2. Why would you have your gloves on to get the water? We always get our water without our gloves on and then check the water temp with our inside wrist. As far as the bed bath during the exam, we only do one side of the body and 90% of it is just verbalized so the examiner knows what you are doing. They don't expect us to perform a whole bed bath due to time restraints.

    3. Us too. I don't have the skills in front of me right now but I know hand washing and vital skills are ones that everyone must pass.

    Good luck!
  13. by   Megsd
    My tester was very nice, but quiet. She didn't say much to me while I tested.

    When I took my tests, the skills were printed on cards that I picked at random. The cards were specific regarding what you were to do, and if something wasn't specified, I asked for clarification.

    My skills as I remember were handwashing (everyone had to), weight/height, transferring from bed to wheelchair, and occupied bed change.
  14. by   indierock
    Quote from bethin
    1) They weren't mean. They were professional and businesslike. I've never heard anyone say they were mean. And they do not try to trick you.

    2) I didn't have to give 'real' bedbaths. Kept our clothes on and went over (without touching) the person. Did arms and legs only. I think they just want you to know the steps.

    3) It's been awhile, but I do remember getting lucky: I drew backrub, ROM, and brushing dentures.

    We were told we could make a mistake, the state woman would try to guide us back, and as long as we remembered we were ok. It wasn't like your HS principal grilling you because you couldn't remember who the president is of France.

    Good luck!
    1.) I did have one that was mean. The entire time she was looking at me like i was doing something wrong. When i started going into a panic attack, her response was "whenever you are ready". BUT.. this is not the usual case. In fact when the administrator where i worrk heard what had happened, she was livid.

    2.) things like bed bath remember uncover the only parts that need uncovered. the "client" with be wearing a gown over their clothes and you only only expose their arm...so you can move up their clothes underneath the gown.

    3.) washing hands, measuring weight, making an occupied bed, ted hose and catheter care.

    good luck!

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