I just want to start out this post by saying, I commend those who are a CNA or STNA because that test is the most difficult thing I have ever encountered in my life.
I took my state test today. I went to PCHS (where I took my classes and also the test site) at 900 this morning. We did a review, different students demonstrated the skills and we were able to ask questions about the actual test. The owner of PCHS, Eric, makes sure we know exactly what is expected of us during the skills test and that we’re comfortable performing the tasks. I didn’t realize this until I was in the testing room. The review ended at 1200. There were two testing times, today, 1300 and 1700. My test was scheduled at 1700.
After review, I stayed at PCHS to study since I live about an hour away. This time helped me quiz myself on the supplies needed on each skill as well as the critical skills.
The written test was 79 questions and the requirement to pass is 80%. I was finished with this portion in about 40 minutes. (This makes me a little nervous).
Now on to the meat and potatoes…. the skills portion.
During class, candidates are taught approximately 40 skills. 25 of the skills have to be mastered. Candidates must know these inside and out, up and down… even backwards (I’m exaggerating, but it doesn’t hurt). During the state test, there is an actor and a tester in the room. Candidates must perform 5 skills in 35 minutes, one is always hand washing and the other 4 are generated by a computer. Most skills have a critical element. If the critical element is missed, that candidate fails and does not get their license.
For my skills test, I was given:
- Hand washing – I was confident during this skill. I told the tester EVERYTHING I was doing at every second, whether I had to or not.
- Arm/Shoulder Passive Range of Motion – I feel confident with this skill. I verbalized everything I was doing to the actor at every moment. I did forget to pull the privacy curtain but stopped as soon as I realized (beginning to move the bed to working level) apologized to him as if he were a patient and pulled the curtain. The tester nodded her head at this which made me feel less nervous. The critical element during this skill was ensuring not causing any pain or discomfort and verifying that with the patient. I think I asked the actor if he were feeling any pain or discomfort way too much. The way I look at it, I’d rather ask too much than not enough.
- Transfer to Wheelchair Using a Gait Belt – This is where I dropped the ball. I think I got to comfortable and too confident. The two critical elements for this skill are making sure the wheelchair and the bed are both locked. I locked the wheelchair, but as I was moving the bed down, the bed brake caught my eye and I just stopped dead in my tracks. I looked at the actor and said, “I am going to lock your bed too, I want to ensure you are safe and the bed does not move at all while I transfer you”, then I locked the bed and continued. That really threw a wrench in my confidence. With missing the critical element, I’m not sure if I passed. I don’t know if the tester heard and saw me lock the bed. Now I am questioning everything after that moment.
- Hair Care – This one was easy and there was no critical element so I feel confident with it and it boosted my performance on the last skill.
- Perineal Care on a Female Patient – This I got to perform on Ms. Jones, the mannequin. She cooperated with me, for the first time ever and I did not forget the critical elements or the turn pad (I am notorious for that).
My skills portion took me 24 minutes and it flew by. I was finished 11 minutes before the time ran out.
At this point, I’m not confident that I passed because of the bed brake. I wish I would have slowed down a little bit and not worked so quickly. I even gave myself a minute at the beginning of each skill to remember my supplies and go over the critical elements. I find out Monday if I passed. Cross your fingers for me!!!
The good news for today? I came home to school supplies!!! I received my printer, medical supplies and (most importantly) my Engraved, Littmann Classic II S.E. in Raspberry with a rainbow chest-piece. This is my favorite possession. It really means a lot to me because it reminds me that this is really happening. I am going after I want and doing what I love. Now if only I would get out of my own way.
Did you take the exam? How was your personal experience??
I did pass the exam!