Had saved this blog-post about my CNA certification experience for a while now. Just had not felt like adding on the initial draft. But now that am getting ready for some major changes in my life school-wise and finding me a CNA job , I revisited my nursing and medical field love.
Nov 3rd, 2011
I arrived at the state testing facility about 7:50 am. Our admit card said the testing began at 8 and that we should arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Some of my past experiences had suggested that this 30 minute thing was not a strict rule and so I was taking my own sweet time. But I started getting antsy when I found out my friend ,who I love and who is normally never on time, was already there!. So I drove panicking the rest of the way and in a hurry even dropped my driver’s license somewhere in the car, without my knowing.
The testing room had just been opened and about 20 some people made their way into it. We had to first show our IDs and get that out of our way. That is when it struck me, so I had to excuse myself back to the car ,all the way thinking “Oh no, not a good start !”. But that brief moment of panic was over when I found my ID and completed the paper-work.
The CNA licensure exam has two parts – a written and a skills part. The written test was very easy and basic. Really, any person with some idea on safety could have passed it.Easy Peasy. I was the second person in the room to hand over my paper. I am always the second because I am pretty sure I finish first but I do not like to make the first move. 🙂
So anyway , me and my friend went over to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and breakfast. If we had hung around we would have right away found out if we had passed the written but eeh! no biggie.
So, the skills is the more crucial part of the testing. You have to actually demonstrate the skills you have learned in your classes and clinicals. You are randomly paired with someone from the testing group and each one of us had to be a patient as well for the other tester. And by sheer luck I was paired with my friend which was great cause we had that certain comfort level by now to calm us a bit.
While waiting our turns, I decided I was not at all going to worry about remembering the steps of the skills or anything related. I also ran into an elderly Indian lady.
When it was our turn, my friend was made the volunteer patient first. Which meant I had to perform first. I got the following skills.
Hand-washing (everyone HAS to perform this )
Performing ROM (Range of Motion) exercises on one knee and ankle only
Ambulating patient with transfer belt
Measuring urine amount
You get 30 minutes.
Looking back now, I feel I did a great job. I moved very fast and because it was my friend I felt confident while narrating what I was doing so that the instructor would know I know my job. I finished all of the skills in under 20 minutes and felt a huge sense of relief. Done! The moment I had been working towards is over for now.
We got out results faxed back right away. It was a huge moment to see the big bold ‘Congratulations’ !
Sorry, I just cannot keep these self-reflecting posts short. I like the little details like the coffee break, meeting the random Indian lady and having fun with my friend while we were waiting our turn.
I just hope now I find someone who is willing to hire a brand-spanking new nurse aide!