Pursing a certificate as a Nursing Assistant is a very exciting adventure. The curriculum generally lasts from four to twelve weeks depending on the requirements in your state. Federal regulations require a minimum of seventy five hours of training. You Nursing Assistant course will be composed of classroom training, practicing what you learned on mannequins and each other, and clinicals that involve working with actual clients in a medical facility under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.
Upon completing your certification, you will be required to take the Certified Nursing Assistant Exam. Most states require you to sign up for the test within ninety days of completing all course work. Your program is set up to specifically teach you the fundamentals you will need on the job as well as to pass the exam. It is your responsibility to ask for clarification of any areas you are unsure of prior to taking the Nursing Assistant exam.
While the Certified Nursing Assistant Exam requirements will vary from state to state, most are very similar in structure and content. The test is made up of two parts – written and clinical. The written portion of the test will contain questions about basic concepts and procedures. Your course textbooks and class notes are excellent studying resources.
The clinical portion of the exam requires you to demonstrate anywhere from three to five Nursing Assistant skills you should have mastered during your program. You will need to perform these skills for a state examiner who will be watching your every move. These skills involve hand washing, privacy, dignity, providing a bed pan, re-positioning a patient in their bed, grooming, taking a patient’s temperature, and completing a linen change with the occupant still in the bed.
While hand washing, privacy, and dignity may all seem like common sense areas to many of us, they are very important. Since most communicable diseases can be eliminated by proper hand washing, this skill is absolutely necessary. Providing all patients with privacy and dignity are the cornerstone of any area of the medical profession. They are relevant to the many duties of Nursing Assistants.
Most people are very nervous about this portion of the test, but practicing correct processed during your program and on your own will help you be prepared. Forming study groups with classmates is an excellent way to practice for both the written and clinical portions of the test. There are also study guides available and online practice tests.
The state examiner understands that exams are stressful and make people nervous. They will be watching to see how you react under stress and pressure because these skills are also important for Nursing Assistants to acquire.
Passing your Nursing Assistant exam is very important. Some employers will hire you once you have completed the program, but you must provide verification that you also passed your state exam within a specified timeframe to maintain that employment. Most states will allow you to find out right after the exam if you have passed or not. You will have the opportunity to retest if you don’t pass the first time. There are rules regarding how many times you can take the test, the length of time between each testing, and the cost to retest. These things all vary by state guidelines.