Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Taking the Clinical Skills Test

September 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Certified Nurses Aide, Certified Nursing Assistant License

The Clinical Skills Test (CST) is the competency validation portion that most certified nurse aide candidates dread; it is nerve racking to perform skills in front of a strange skills evaluator. A key to success on this test is, once again, to practice at least two hours each day. Review each skill you’ve learned so that, when the performance test day arrives, you can consider it just another practice day…only for real. Practice helps build confidence; confidence decreases test anxiety.

Speaking of real, you might be required to bring along someone who can serve as the clinical actor/resident on whom you will perform selected nursing skills. Your testing actor/resident will be briefed prior to the skills examination. Each procedure will be selected by the skills evaluator.

Within a specified time limit, around 35–45 minutes, you will perform at least five procedures selected from a pool of 25–30 skills. Each selected procedure will be evaluated and scored according to a skills performance checklist. Although you are not expected to perform each skill perfectly, you must not omit a critical step or key checkpoint of the skill, often noted with an asterisk. A critical step is defined as a step within a procedure that ensures safety of the resident (or yourself), which includes infection control. You can perform steps in a procedure out of sequence as long as infection control or another physical safety principle is not compromised.

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