Q&A: “What can I expect while taking my CNA exam?”

iStockphoto | ThinkStock
iStockphoto | ThinkStock

Senior care is more than just a job, it’s a calling. It’s what our friends at Caregiverlist truly believe, and its staff more than proves the point. Many come from elder care backgrounds and feel very strongly about their mission, “Caring for the Caregiver,” because they’ve lived it.

Caregiverlist account manager Patrick Welch began his career as a CNA at age 16. In a previous post, Patrick shared his story about becoming a CNA and working during his clinical trials training. Here he talks specifically about taking his CNA exam:

After my interesting and memorable experience taking the 120 hour Wisconsin CNA class and having my first resident pass away during my 32 hours of clinical training in a rather abrupt and unconventional manner, it was time for me to take the official CNA exam. There are a few different companies who administer the Nurse Aide exam. I took the sample exam through Headmaster as a refresher and passed with a 93%. The official Wisconsin exam I needed to pass was through Pearson Vue, which includes a written and evaluation portion of the exam. The two-part exam takes approximately three hours and comprises approximately 60 multiple choice and 10 reading comprehension questions, in addition to five randomly selected skills to be performed during the evaluation portion.

After my class, I registered to take the official Wisconsin Nurse Aide exam and paid my $115 exam fee. In a letter I received shortly after, I was notified I would be taking my exam in Wausau, Wisconsin at a semi-monthly testing facility, which happened to be located on the same technical college campus where I took my nurse aide class.

I came in early to sign in, and was asked to provide a valid ID. This is important — make sure you have a valid form of identification or they will not let you take the exam. As all the students trickled into the waiting room, we waited to be called into the classroom to start their exams.

I finished the written portion of my exam with plenty of time to spare, flipped it over and waited to be called for my turn to complete the evaluation portion. I felt that the written portion was a breeze, but I was slightly anxious about the evaluation portion. What if I had to perform female peri-care in front of an instructor…would I get it right? As a male CNA, you always have a little push back and this was certainly on my mind. However, growing up around a mother who was a nurse and having an excellent instructor throughout my 120 hour CNA course, I figured that no matter what they threw at me, I could handle it.

When they finally called my name, I walked into the next room where the skills evaluation takes place and was given five random tasks. “You need to demonstrate proper hand washing techniques, female peri-care, feeding a diabetic patient, dental care and recording vital signs” stated my instructor. I knew that I could handle all of these tasks; the only one I was slightly anxious on was female peri-care, but my instructor had taught me a way to remember how to properly handle this skill with a simple rhyme: majora majora, minora minora, down the middle (obviously this is very basic, but it provided me with a guide to properly perform this skill).

Proper handwashing techniques are vital to remember before performing any task, and depending on the skill, it may require you to wash your hands more than once. Make sure that you always listen to exactly what your instructor tells you and remember to perform the task exactly as you learned it. I left the testing facility feeling pretty good about myself — all that was left was to wait for the results to be mailed to me, which can take up to two weeks. When the letter finally came, I was relieved to see that I had successfully passed my nurse aide exam and was an official Wisconsin Certified Nursing Aide.

Are you compassionate? A team player with a positive attitude? Well, sounds like you’re ready to become a CNA! Look up a CNA school in your area and get enrolled today.

Caregiverlist.com is the nation’s online destination dedicated to connecting seniors with quality senior care choices. Caregiverlist.com helps seniors and their loved ones define care needs, understand the many caregiving options and costs and connect to senior home care agencies that meet Caregiverlist.com’s checklist of quality standards. Caregiverlist.com is also a leading caregiving career and recruitment resource. Visit www.Caregiverlist.com.

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