I live in ri and have my CNA state exam tomorrow morning. I'm super nervous about the skills part. So nervous that I'm second guessing everything. Like after hand washing skill so I pretend to wash my hands or should I use hand sanitizer that it there as that. Also when I am speaking during the skill should I just speak just to the instructor or should I be speaking and saying steps to my pretend client. I guess I just want to know what to expect. Plz help


16 Posts


First of all, take a deep breath. Right now and again before you begin your skills test. It's going to be okay.

Second of all, after you do the actual hand washing, when you get to a point in one of the skills where you would wash your hands, e.g., before and after beginning each skill, you would say to the instructor, "I am washing my hands," and make a hand-washing motion with your hands.

Third, you will be speaking to both the instructor and your "client," whether they are an actual person or not. For instance, if you are instructed to take a pulse, you would say certain things to the client, such as "knock, knock, knock" upon entering the cubicle, identify yourself, confirm the client's identity, then say, "I am here to check your pulse today." You would also say certain things to the instructor, such as "I have located the brachial artery."

Always treat the client and the situation as if this were a real life situation. It also helps if you announce your basic steps to the instructor. This will help you avoid missing a step. Speaking of which, if you notice during the skill that you did miss a step, you have the right to announce this to your instructor and say something like, "I missed a step. I should have done 'XYZ' at such and such point in the skill." You can only do this during the skill you are performing, so think carefully before you announce that you are done with the skill.

One last tip, if you do have to take a pulse, don't be afraid to ask to do it again if you are unsure. It only takes an extra minute and it's better to be sure that you got the correct count.

Good luck. Now no more studying today. Do something to completely take your mind off the test. I drove to San Diego and picked up our new Siberian Husky the day before my state test, LOL, but I don't recommend that. ;)


16 Posts

Oops, you would say "I have located the brachial artery," for blood pressure, not pulse. My bad.

To clarify, for pulse, you would say, "I have located the pulse and am ready to begin counting."

Sorry about that.