When pursuing a career as a Dialysis Technician, you are going to come to the point when it is time to take the exam for the Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT). Of course, you want to get certified as this gives you a competitive advantage in getting hired. It also protects the public from caregivers who are incompetent or would give risky treatment.
The CCHT exam is the turning point between failure and success in your new career. The best way to approach this test is to take a practice exam to see how you are going to fare on the final one. The NNCC (Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission) administers exams and they also have an option of a practice exam you can take that is similar in both content and format. This gives you a chance to prepare in the best way possible, knowing what you will face with the actual examination.
A Study Guide for the CCHT Exam
If you search on the Internet, you’ll find a number of sites that offer hard-copy study guides that you can use to prepare for the CCHT exam. However, just knowing what the exam consists of can be a great help.
Typically, the CCHT exam contains 150 questions, all of the multiple-choice variety. The test takes three hours and you need to score a minimum of 70 to 75% on the exam. This variation in minimum scoring is because there are differences in versions of the test.
The test will be divided into four parts:
The clinical section will be half of the test questions. The technical questions will be approximately 23% of the questions, environmental questions about 15% and role will be 12%.
The areas you must have knowledge of are many and varied. Some of the things you’ll need to know are:
- Principles of hemodialysis such as diffusion, fluid dynamics, etc.
- Precautions with hazardous materials
- The composition of the dialysate solution
- What the components are of the dialysis machine
- The basic renal diet
- Vascular access
- Responding to emergencies, such as bloodline disconnection or clotting, etc.
Additionally, you should be familiar with the metric system and basic medical terminology related to hemodialysis.
Prepare for the Practice Exam as if it is the Actual Exam
When you take the practice exam, you should approach it just as you would the actual exam. You should download a test blueprint from the NNCC website so you can determine the content of the exam. Be familiar with the test specifications and review all the material. When you are not very familiar with one area, concentrate on that area so you increase your familiarity.
If you have doubts on how you will do on any exam, you can attend a certification review course. This will bring you up to date and give you more certainty on succeeding on the exam. Check on the website of your local ANNA (American Nephrology Nurses’ Association) chapter. They can tell you where you can take this review course. You can also review textbooks or find a study group in your area.
All the normal preparations should also be done, such as getting a good night’s sleep, eating well, and of course, relaxing and not allowing yourself to become too nervous. And remember, this is not a test at your skill at taking tests, but is an exam to show your knowledge of hemodialysis. There are no shortcuts except knowing the materials related to hemodialysis.
Taking the Practice Exam
Eligible candidates for the CCHT exam can practice using the NNCC’s practice test. The questions on the actual exam will not appear on the practice test, but you will get a feel of how this test will actually progress and the types of questions it will contain.
You will have 90 minutes to answer fifty questions. Answer all the questions, even if you have to guess at the answer. However, even if you do well on the practice test, it does not guarantee you will have a similar performance on the actual test.
You can pay for the practice test ($30) online by credit card. Once paid, you will have access to the test and you will receive one question at a time that is multiple-choice. Once done, you will be given a summary and shown of any questions that do not have responses. After you complete and select the “submit test” option, you will get your score.
Where to Find Hosting for the Tests
To find a place to take your final exam (not the practice test), you can contact the ANNA chapter in your area. These exams are hosted in specific places throughout the U.S. There is also computer-based testing available if there is no physical location in your area.
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