Congratulations on making it through your home health aide training. The next step you need to take in furthering your career is getting your certificate. This requires an exam.
Many people are intimidated when they hear the word “exam.” If you’ve had proper training, however, taking the test should be nothing to worry about — you’ve already learned all the skills you need. With a good study program to brush up on basic knowledge and clinical procedures, you’ll get past the exam hurdle and be ready to start your career as a professional healthcare worker.
These six steps can help you prepare.
#1. Learn All You Can About the Test
Some states that offer home health aide certificates require only a multiple-choice test. Others require you to take a multiple-choice test and to demonstrate certain clinical skills like helping a patient transfer from a wheelchair to a bed.
Check with the licensing agency in your state to find out what will be expected of you during the exam. (You can find the licensing agency by typing “[state name] home health aide certificate” into your favorite search engine.)
#2. Join a Study Group
A study group has several benefits. It allows you to profit from the knowledge of others while also sharing your expertise. It provides a structured and focused time to study. It’s also a great way to develop friendships that will last throughout your career in the healthcare field.
Check with your college or certificate program to see if they sponsor such a group.
#3. Purchase a Study Guide with a Sample Exam
Rather than basic facts, most home health aide tests provide a scenario you might run into in practice and provide four choices on how best to handle it. If you’re not used to these types of questions, they can be a little disconcerting because they call for more than rote memorization.
Taking a sample test can help you learn to apply your knowledge to practice situations. A study guide is also a worthwhile purchase because it can help you pinpoint the areas of expertise that most frequently show up on the tests.
#4. Study a Little Every Day
A state certificate examination is not the type of test you can “cram” for. You can’t start studying at midnight on the day of the test and get good results. Instead, set aside about an hour a day to review your textbooks and notes. If you have trouble finding a quiet place to study at home, it might help to take your materials to a library or a coffee shop and put in your study time there.
#5. Get Help with Problem Areas
If you’ve always had trouble with a particular subject, like anatomy, or a specific skill, like giving a bed bath, make sure to spend extra study time focusing on these areas. You can also ask the teachers from your degree or certificate program for a little extra help. Most teachers are glad to spend time working with students who want to learn. It may also help to study with a friend who has mastered the areas that are giving you a headache.
Taking and passing the home health exam does not have to be traumatizing. You’ve already taken the most important step by attending a substantial degree or certificate program. With a little extra studying to enhance your knowledge and skill set, you should have no trouble passing the state exam and embarking on your career in the healthcare industry.