The Colorado certified nursing aide, CNA, exam assesses all the knowledge and skills a student has learned through the course work. If a student studied and worked hard the test should not be difficult. The key to success on the written and the skills test is to lower the anxiety level through building confidence through practice and study. Do this by taking as many practice exams as possible and practicing each skill as many times as possible in a real setting. Pearson Vue has a website that has practice questions and all the skills listed, pearsonvue.com.
Tips for Preparing for the Skills Portion:
Form a skills test group while you are still taking the course work. A study group gives helps because you now have other people to help you practice for the skills portion of the exam. Students practicing for the skills portion need to make the setting as realistic as possible and as part of a group this is possible.
Look professional. Don’t wear that t-shirt with holes or the scraggly looking jeans. The best thing to wear to the exam is medical scrubs.
Long hair needs to be secure. Tie it back.
Do not wear any type of jewelry that might get in the way of taking the test, like hoop earrings, large rings and bracelets.
Long acrylic nails might hamper your test so take them off before the test.
When you practice the skills test and questions come up write them down and ask them prior to the test when the evaluator can speak.
Each skill has a certain number of steps. To correctly complete the skill all the steps must be done. The steps do not have to be done in any particular order, just as long as you complete them. Practice the skills though in a certain order because this will help you remember the order when actually performing the skill in front of the evaluator.
When practicing, use as much realia as possible. This means if the skill calls for a person, use a person. If it calls for brushing teeth, then use a tooth brush and brush person’s teeth.
If the skill requires buttons to raise and lower a bed, then make buttons by drawing them on paper so you have buttons to push. A garage door opener may also be substituted for the button. The whole point is to get use to real conditions so that when the exam comes you are prepared to push a real button.
While practicing for the skills part, put on a timer so you can time yourself. The Colorado CNA exam allows for 25 minutes. Make sure you know how much time each skill requires. This will give you a sense on how fast to go and how much time you have to complete them while taking the exam.
A list of skills tested:
1. Washing your hands
2. Putting a knee-high elastic stocking on a client,
3. Assisting client with using a bedpan
4. Assisting a client to ambulate,
5. Cleaning and storing dentures,
6. Taking and recording radial pulse,
7. Donning and removing PPE,
8. Helping dress a client with a weak arm,
9. Feeding a client that cannot feed themselves,
10. Giving a modified bed bath,
11. Making an occupied bed,
12. Taking and recording a client’s weight,
13. Performing passive range of motion for a knee and ankle,
14. Performing passive range of motion for a shoulder,
15. Positioning a client on their side,
16. Providing catheter care,
17. Providing foot care,
18. Providing fingernail care,
19. Providing mouth care,
20. Providing perineal care for a client,
21. Transferring a client from a bed to a wheelchair,
22. Shampooing a client’s hair in bed,
23. How to empty a catheter bag.
24. Counting and recording respiration,