5 Secrets to Passing the CNA Clinical Exam - Part 2 of 5

You really need to know this one!

So, on to today’s subject: #2 of the 5 Secrets to passing the CNA Clinical Exam.

If you remember from the last blog, there are 5 big things you need to know when taking the clinical CNA exam:

  1. Follow the Care Plan – EXACTLY
  2. Don’t touch the patient until you have washed your hands
  3. Follow the Principles for every skill – IMPORTANT
  4. The test is really about the patient
  5. Make corrections as soon as you realize you made a mistake
IC Checkpoint

2. Don't touch the patient until you washed your hands

Infection control issues can totally kill your test score! This one is a biggie! And, while we all KNOW we are supposed to wash our hands, it is way too easy to get going on the Opening (knock, identify your patient by name, introduce yourself by name and title, describe the skill, obtain permission and close the curtain), that by the time you get all of that done….you just want to jump right into DOING the skill! You have to remember that you can’t touch the patient until you have washed your hands…so as soon as you close that curtain, you have to wash your hands!

But, there is another danger here that you probably aren’t aware of…the role of practice. Sure, you are probably practicing washing your hands like you learned in class (or, at least, I HOPE you are!!) But the practice I am talking about here is bigger than just washing your hands!

The danger is that you will perform your skills on the exam like you practice them at home (or school). So, if you take shortcuts while practicing, you are likely to take those same shortcuts while testing! If you aren’t ACTUALLY going to the sink, turning the water on, wetting your hands, applying soap, rubbing all surfaces for at LEAST 20 seconds, generating LOTS of bubbles, rinsing, drying with paper towels, throwing the paper towels away, and turning the faucet off with a clean, dry paper towel….then you probably WON’T do it on the test either. Because you didn’t make it part of your routine. It’s the routine that will get you: the routine you develop while practicing will help you pass, or cause you to fail. And you are the ONLY one who can develop your routine.

So, don’t forget to wash those hands FOR REAL, every time you practice. Or, you may end up touching the patient before you wash your hands…and that can fail you!

You will be allowed to simulate at some point during the test (but only AFTER the evaluator tells you to). What does simulate mean for the test? Watch this video to find out!

See you next week, where we are going to talk about the Principles (or, basically, how to perform the skills in a way that guarantees that you pass the clinical exam!).

Happy learning,

Miss Patti

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