The Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse (CCTN) examination tests the competency of a physician-aided nurse to support the process of patient care with respect to organ transplant procedures. The test examines recall of required medical monitoring techniques and the application of those techniques to a variety of high-priority concerns.
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Successful passage of the CCTN exam requires an extensive knowledge of the physiology of the human body and its various systems, and the pathological conditions that may afflict donors and patients.
The CCTN exam consists of 175 items in a multiple-choice format. 25 of these will be unscored pretest questions. The questions are either of the best-answer type or the performance-level type. A basic requirement is knowledge of the parameters for collaboration with primary medical transplant teams in pre-transplant preparations. A total of 23 questions fall into this category.
In the preparation phase of organ transplant operations, the certified clinical transplant nurse must be familiar with the techniques for monitoring the patient for viability or diminishing life signs while awaiting further procedures. Blood product types are also covered in the test section pertaining to pre-transplant activities.
There are 32 questions in the content area of post-transplantation care. This content area includes evaluation of objective criteria, monitoring lab results, caring for the living donor, and more.
The topic of transplantation management is included in 29 questions on the exam. This section involves evaluating the graft function, recognizing infections, monitoring for long-term complications, and more.
The CCTN examination has 26 questions on pharmacological therapeutics which involves the administration of immunosuppressive drugs, including side-effects and interactions. The successful candidate must have a thorough knowledge of the range of drug therapies, including antimicrobials, analgesics, cardiovascular agents, postaglandins, insulin, and hypoglycemic medications.
Education and Discharge of the patient and family is an area of concern to which 25 questions are addressed. This area includes possible dialysis in the case of kidney transplants, and patient care in the areas of discharge instructions, fluid intake, monitoring of medications, and possible reactions to life events like travel, pregnancy, birth control, and diet.
The last section of the CCTN exam covers the professional responsibilities of the certified clinical transplant nurse, including research, continuing education, ethical issues, and legal guidelines. There are 15 questions in this content area.