What Are the Basic Nursing Skills Tested in the NATCEP?
One portion of the NATCEP, or Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Program test, involves assessing what the prospective STNA understands about basic nursing skills.
Observations and Changes in Bodily Functions
Observational skills are the primary task for an STNA. Noticing what’s going on with patients and reporting those observations to other medical professionals can be a crucial step in ensuring that patients get the care that they need. Physical changes in how the patient is functioning involve all of the systems of a patient’s body. Being able to observe these changes is the key part of the process.
Keeping Patients Comfortable
Whether patients are in a long-term care setting like a nursing home or are in a hospital for a brief visit, that’s their home for now. Being able to keep patients comfortable involves making sure that they have what they need and that their environment supports their needs. Being able to understand and perform deceptively simple tasks, like making the bed to hospital standards, falls under this category.
Admitting and Discharging Patients
Understanding the processes around admission and discharge of patients is vital. There are the emotional aspects of being there for patients and the practical aspects of making sure the process runs smoothly. There are things that the STNA can do during both admission and discharge that can put patients at ease.
Meals, Nutrition, and Fluids
Meals are the main way that patients get the nutrition that they need. Being able to handle meals with a positive attitude and with the right techniques ensures both safety and that patients are able to eat. STNA’s need to understand how to help patients who may be at risk of choking, too. It’s also important to understand the basics of both nutrition and fluid management.
Vital Signs and Patient Information
Another task that an STNA will perform many times throughout the day is to take vital signs for patients. You’ll learn why vital signs are important and how to properly take these various measurements and to record them. Noting abnormalities and warning signs in vital signs is also crucial. Again, an STNA can be the first medical professional to notice that something is wrong for a patient and that can be the key to a fast response from the entire medical team.
Being an STNA means that you’re handling a lot of basic nursing skills on a regular basis. The NATCEP is designed to ensure that you truly know what those skills are and how to use them.
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