If you fail your CNA Exam, what next?

You have completed your C.N.A. training and have excelled in learning your skills.  All that is stopping you from your certification is one pesky little exam.  It is the final exam.  You had 3 cups of coffee this morning and put on your happy face. You even had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast in an effort to boost your brain cells.  Shakily you enter the examination room with your 12 #2 pencils sharpened.  Is the shaking due to nerves or all of that coffee that you drank? The thoughts are reeling in your mind.  What if I forget?  What if I miss? What if I fail my C.N.A. exam? What next?

First of all, a little preparation may prevent a potential test failure.  There are 2 parts to the C.N.A. exam.  You will be tested on your skills in which you will be asked to perform your skills properly and safely.  This may consist of making a bed properly, shaving a patient, or transferring a patient while using proper body mechanics and exercising proper safety techniques.  Go through your skills checklist as you may be tested on any of them.  Don’t forget to wash your hands prior to each skill or state that you have just washed your hands so your instructors know that you haven’t forgotten that important little detail.  The second part of the exam will be the written test.  Generally, you must score 80 percent or higher to achieve a passing grade, though this may vary from state to state.  You will be asked questions about safety, proper body mechanics, patient confidentiality and other legal issues regarding HIPPA.  These are just a few of the topics that may be covered.

The best way to prepare for the C.N.A. exam is to practice your skills on your class mates or on a friend or family member until you become comfortable performing them.  You can also take a C.N.A. practice test which is usually offered at most training facilities and there are also practice tests available online. You should also review your study guide and if there is something that you don’t know or are not comfortable with then you should ask for clarification.

If you take the exam and you do happen to fail the first time, try not to beat yourself up about it too much.  The exam is set up to ensure that you can work with a patient in a safe manner.  Passing the exam is a good indication that you are ready to safely accept the responsibility of caring for a patient. If you do not pass, simply examine your mistakes, study harder, and try to focus on the areas in which you are deficient.  Some schools will allow you to go back and correct your mistakes right away and sometimes you will have to retest.  If you only fail one portion of the test then you will only have to repeat that portion.  You have up to 2 years and 3 tries after receiving your training to pass both sections of the exam.  If you fail the third time within that period then you must go back to school and repeat your C.N.A. training.

It sounds like a lot of pressure, doesn’t it?  Just take a deep breath and take your time to study and focus on what you don’t know.  Have your coffee, have your oatmeal and fruit, put on your happy face and try to remember the little details like putting the brake on the wheelchair, speaking to your patient and exhibiting good bedside manner, even he is a mannequin, and you should be fine. Good luck!

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