How To Study For CNA Skills Test

Infolearners.com provides the best source for CNA Skills Test Study Materials! Our certified and experienced nursing educators will help you pass your CNA Test in no time. Learn how to study for the test, what textbooks and resources to use, how to study effectively with our flashcards.

The purpose of this study guide is to help you prepare for the CNA Skills Test. It will be a great help for the learners to achieve their goals. This study guide is designed to help students master the important information, principles & concepts provided in the course and prepare them for exam within short period of time.

There are a few different ways to study for the CNA exam. While there is no specific way to prepare that works for everyone, there are some tips I’d like to share that have helped many students pass.”

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How To Study For Cna Skills Test

Looking for a comprehensive review guide to help you pass your CNA skills test? Our CNA study guide will provide you with all of the information you need including expectations, topics covered, practice questions, and even full explanations for each question!

A clinical skills test is a part of the CNA exam and requires candidates to perform five nursing tasks in front of an evaluator. You’ll be asked to demonstrate five duties in 30 minutes.

You probably already know what you need to do to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Here’s a quick recap:

  1. Complete training at a state-approved school.
  2. Pass a written examination of 60–100 questions, depending on your state.
  3. Demonstrate about five nursing skills in front of an evaluator.

Nearly every future CNA is most nervous about the Skills part of the certification examination. After all, there are about thirty basic procedures that you can be tested on. Except for handwashing — which every state includes — CNA candidates can’t know in advance which skills will be requested by the evaluator. There are about 30 basic procedures that you can be tested on. What’s the best way to prepare for the exam? How can you be confident when you walk in?

Let’s break the CNA skills test down into 5 easy steps

A clinical skills test is a part of the CNA exam and requires candidates to perform five nursing tasks in front of an evaluator. You’ll be asked to demonstrate five duties in 30 minutes.

You probably already know what you need to do to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Here’s a quick recap:

Complete training at a state-approved school.
Pass a written examination of 60–100 questions, depending on your state.
Demonstrate about five nursing skills in front of an evaluator.
Nearly every future CNA is most nervous about the Skills part of the certification examination. After all, there are about thirty basic procedures that you can be tested on. Except for handwashing — which every state includes — CNA candidates can’t know in advance which skills will be requested by the evaluator. There are about 30 basic procedures that you can be tested on. What’s the best way to prepare for the exam? How can you be confident when you walk in?

Let’s break the CNA skills test down into 5 easy steps
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Step One: Become familiar with the skills
There is no way around it: You have to know the skills better than you know your name. You already know these skills from your training. They’re the same skills you will use every day as a CNA (check out the CNA Job Description to learn more). Each skill is a series of steps that you must know and follow during the evaluation. The basic list looks like this (although your training may have omitted some of them or included a few others):

Handwashing
Indirect care
Measuring blood pressure
Measuring body temperature
Measuring and recording pulse
Measuring and recording respiration
Measuring the output from a urinary bag
Ambulation with a gait belt
Feeding
Mouth care
Mouth care with dentures
Mouth care for unconscious patient
Toileting with a bedpan
Hand and nail care
Foot care
Transferring to a wheelchair
Change of position in bed
Changing an occupied bed
Perineal care: female
Perineal care: male
Catheter care
Partial bed bath
Dressing a resident with a weak arm
Applying elastic support stockings
Body positions: supine, prone, lateral, Sim’s, and Fowler’s
Range of motion exercises (shoulder)
Range of motion exercises (elbow, wrist)
Range of motion exercises (hip, knee, ankle)
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Step Two: Use the resources
Thanks to the Internet, everything you need is readily available. Use these resources to help you study:

On YouTube, every skill listed above is demonstrated in several videos. Type in “CNA skills” or the name of a particular skill and watch a few videos. Your brain will capture the information and be able to recall it. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to view the Skills Test videos we recommend!
Two of the CNA testing providers have websites with precise descriptions of what the examiners will be looking for:
Headmaster.com, one of the CNA testing companies, has a list of CNA Skills, with step-by-step instructions, updated February 2019. The list is for Arizona candidates, but should be useful for anyone studying for their CNA exam. There is also a Candidate Handbook for Wisconsin, issued December 20, 2019. Even if you’re from another state, you can see what the evaluators will be looking for.
An effective old-fashioned way to learn is to make flashcards. Use big index cards. Write or paste the steps for each skill on one side and the name of the skill on the other side. Shuffle them and review them again and again.
Gather several classmates for a study group. Practice demonstrating the skills with each other until you can do them without hesitation. Never forget handwashing!
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Step Three: Know your state
Although the states all have similar requirements for the skills exam, their testing methods may vary. If your training program didn’t give you any specifics, find your state here. You’ll find useful information on how many skills will be tested and how much time you will have. You may also find out whether you’ll have an actor (another person taking the test) or a mannequin for your demonstrations and whether you’ll be required to “act” as a patient for another CNA candidate’s skills test.

Every state includes handwashing as a skill.

Every state includes handwashing as a skill. Some will make it the first skill; others will include it during your other demonstrations. Handwashing is the primary technique for infection control. Absolutely, positively do not mess this up; it’s an instant fail if you do.

Besides handwashing, most states will also test for one of these two skills:

Recording a measurement: Be ready to demonstrate taking a resident’s blood pressure, radial pulse, or respiration. Measuring urine output is common, too.
Indirect care: This skill requires you to communicate with a resident and pay attention to the person’s comfort, needs, and safety. The scenario might include knowledge about Residents’ Rights. Infection control is part of this skill, too.
Each state chooses an approved provider to administer the skills examination. These are professional organizations that provide independent and unbiased tests to CNA candidates.

Here are the test providers for each state, as of December 26, 2019:

Headmaster: AZ, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NV, OH, OR, SD, TN, WI
Pearson VUE: AL, AK, CA, CO, DC, GA, MD, MN, MS, NH, NC, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA
Prometric: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, HI, ID, LA, MI, NM, NY, OK
American Red Cross, university, or private: CA, IL, IN, KY, MA, ME, NH, UT, VT, WV

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Step Four: Dress for success
On the day of your examination, dress as if you were already on the job as a competent CNA. Wear a neat short-sleeved scrub uniform and clinical shoes with nonskid soles. Don’t forget a watch with a second hand. If your hair is long, tie it back. Leave your jewelry at home. Your nails should be short.

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Step Five: The big day
If you have prepared, you may still be nervous, but you will be ready for the challenge. If your skills exam is on a different date from the written part, be sure to arrive about 20 minutes early.

Greet your evaluator politely. Listen to the instructions carefully and ask questions if you need additional information. As the exam begins, take a deep breath. You are less than an hour from qualifying as a Certified Nursing Assistant!

As you go through each skill, it’s fine to verbalize what you are doing, but you must perform each step of the skill.
If you make a mistake or forget a step, tell the evaluator right away. Go back to the step that you think you missed and continue. You can make corrections during the skill but not afterward.
The passing score is usually about 80%. Of course, you want to do your best, but perfection isn’t the goal. It’s about going through all the steps to the best of your ability, keeping the patient in mind the entire time.
Examinations are always nerve-racking. And the one that stands between you and your future can be the scariest. But if you study and prepare, your knowledge and confidence will take over and you will sail through with ease.

tips passing cna skills test

1. Practice all Your Performance Skills Daily
Of course practicing your manual skills in the training lab in school is important, but what about in your home? Enlist your family, friends, and even pets at home to practice counting heart rate and respirations, taking blood pressure and performing range-of-motion exercises. Practice all 25 skills randomly and be prepared for any of the three to six skills your state examiner will ask you to perform.

2. Dress for Success
If your hair touches your shoulders, pin it up for a more professional look. Remove earrings, rings and never wear facial jewelry studs. Avoid artificial nails (you can be disqualified) and wear clear polish on finely trimmed nails. White or light colored scrubs look the most professional and wear comfortable shoes to help you move in comfort.

3. Are You Safe with Patient Care?
Above all else, your examiner is concerned with how you ensure patient safety. Properly cover your patient during personal care, pull up bedrails when you leave a patient unattended and secure a safety belt to their waste when performing any transfers.

4. Listen Carefully to Each Scenario
Ensure that you understand the performance skill scenario that your examiner has assigned you and ask any questions immediately if needed. Once you begin each skill to be tested, you will no longer have the option to ask for clarification.

5. Repeat Tested Skills if Necessary
If you make a mistake, admit it to the examiner immediately and ask to repeat the performance skill. Most states give you an opportunity to repeat each task and about 45 minutes for the entire performance test. You may gain valuable points back in the eyes of the examiner if you act quickly and repeat the task correctly.

6. Apply Safe Body Mechanics
Again, safety is the biggest concern of the test that also includes the wellness of the nursing assistant performing the exam. Remember to practice your body mechanics and always bend at the knees, position yourself comfortably, and don’t lift without a wide base of support at the feet.

7. Wash and Return all the Equipment Used
If you use a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff or thermometer, be sure to wipe with alcohol and place the equipment back to the original place. Rinse and air dry any wash basins you use and place used linens into the proper container.

8. Approach Your Patient with Respect
As a CNA, you must consider the emotional wellbeing of your patient. Address them with respect, introduce yourself, and explain all procedures thoroughly — even if you’re working on a mannequin. In addition, ask patients if they understand what you’ve told them and got their permission to proceed with their care.

9. Infection Control: Handwashing
Most CNAs who’ve failed the performance test the first time have forgotten to wash their hands before or after touching their patient. Ensure that you perform handwashing immediately after you greet your patient, once gloves are removed and before you leave the room. When in doubt, wash your hands. Ensure that you perform handwashing immediately after you greet your patient, once gloves are removed and before you leave the room. When in doubt, wash your hands.

10. Approach Your Performance Exam with Confidence
Although everyone wants to pass the first time, keep in mind that you can retake the performance exam if necessary. If you look at your performance test as an experience in life that you can learn from, you may reduce your test-related anxiety. Be as empowered as possible with practice and just do the best that you can.

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