Written by an EMS Program Director and NREMT paramedic with first-hand experience and classroom instruction, our targeted review chapters in outline style cover all the official test categories found on the EMT exam: airway and breathing, cardiology, medical, obstetrics and pediatrics, and trauma. The author explains the structure of the exam and shows you how to answer questions quickly and correctly.Expert Test-taking Strategies
Our author explains the structure of the NREMT Certification Exam, so you know what to expect on test day. He also shares question-level strategies and shows you the best way to answer questions. By following our expert tips and advice, you can score higher on the exam. Must-know Key Terms
Knowing the right medical terminology can make a real difference in your test score. That’s why we give you a glossary of more than 400 EMT terms you need to know before you take your exam.Take REA’s Online Practice Exam
After studying, go online and test what you’ve learned. Our practice exam features timed testing, diagnostic feedback, detailed answers, and automatic scoring. The exam is balanced to include every topic and type of question found on the actual EMT exam, so you know you’re studying the smart way.No matter how or when you prepare for the EMT exam, REA’s EMT Crash Course will show you how to study efficiently and strategically, so you can get a great score.
About the Author
Dr. Coughlin earned his AAS in Advanced Emergency Medical Technology from Glendale Community College; his B.A. in Adult Education from Ottawa University, Phoenix, Arizona; his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, and his Ph.D. in Professional Studies from Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr. Coughlin welcomes correspondence at: email@example.com.
Read an Excerpt
A NOTE FROM OUR AUTHOR
It is impractical to try and learn every fact or concept in an EMS textbook.An EMS student must be able to distinguish the “must know” from the rest of the material presented. That’s what this book does:
it emphasizes the “must know” content. This Crash Course is unique because it’s designed for those who are one test away from direct patient care in potentially dangerous circumstances.
This publication is not a substitute for a well-written textbook or participation in a high-quality EMS training program, but rather as a bridge between your training and your certification exam. This book
helps you focus on the knowledge necessary to pass the NREMT certification exam and function competently as an EMT.
In EMT class, students take a test after the lesson. When you are an EMS provider, the test comes unannounced and the lesson is learned afterward. When you are not prepared for class, you risk a
poor grade. When you are not prepared on the street, the patient pays the price.
As you work your way through this book, imagine yourself certified, hired, and on duty for your very first shift. You have just been dispatched to the community pool. There are reports of a fire in a
storage room near the pool with a number of people fleeing the area. The dispatcher tells you a lifeguard is performing CPR on a child pulled from the water during the evacuation.
You don’t know if you will be the first EMS unit on the scene . . .
You don’t know what was in the storage room or what hazards await you . . .
You don’t know how many patients are waiting for your help, or what might be wrong with them…
You don’t know if you will be caring for the pediatric drowning victim or other patients . . .
With this scenario in mind, read through this book and ask yourself, “What do I really need to know to handle this call?”
Study hard and good luck on your certification exam.
Chris Coughlin, NREMT-P, Ph.D.
Preparing for Success on the NREMT Certification Exam 1
Serving the public as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is among today’s most rewarding careers. The overwhelming majority of states in the U.S. require that you pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam to become certified and work as an EMT. Certification through the NREMT indicates that you have demonstrated entry-level competency as an EMT.
The NREMT certification exam is a “pass/fail” test. Its purpose is not to identify who is the “best,” but to identify who is “competent.” Your future patients don’t care what you scored on your certification exam. They care about receiving competent and compassionate care for themselves and those they care about. This Crash Course gives you the essential information you need to prepare for the NREMT certification exam.
The NREMT exam is a computer-adaptive test (CAT). The test tailors itself to your individual abilities. The exam delivers questions one at a time and the questions are not randomly chosen. While you are taking the test, the software that drives the test is estimating your ability level. The ability estimate gets more and more precise as the exam progresses. The exam ends when there is a 95% certainty that your demonstrated competency is above or below the passing standard.
TOPICS COVERED ON THE EXAM
Your NREMT exam will have between 70 and 120 questions and you will have two hours to complete the test. All of the questions will be multiple-choice and each question will have 4 answer choices. You need to choose the “best” answer for the question posed.
The exam will broadly cover the content of the 2009 National EMS Education Standards (NEMSES). Topics will include airway, oxygenation, ventilation, cardiology, resuscitation, stroke, trauma, medical emergencies, obstetrics, gynecology, and EMS operations.
Here are the percentages for the topics found on the exam.
NREMT Exam Topics % of Test by Topic
Airway and ventilation 17–21%
Cardiology, resuscitation, stroke 16–20%
Medical and OB/GYN 27–31%
EMS operations 12–16%
For all but EMS operations, 85% of the questions relate to adult patients and 15% relate to pediatric patients. Although not separate categories, topics such as patient assessment and safety will be emphasized throughout the test.
Typically, you can retrieve your score from the NREMT website 24 hours after you complete the exam. If you fail the exam, the NREMT will provide some detailed information about your performance on each of the exam categories. Candidates must wait at least 14 days before taking the test again.
Like the NREMT certification exam, the information in this publication is based on the 2009 National EMS Education Standards and the 2010 American Heart Association CPR and Emergency Cardiac Care Guidelines. This Crash Course will help you become familiar with these standards before taking the certification exam. For more information about the 2009 NEMSES, visit www.ems.gov/education/nationalstandardandncs.html.
GENERAL TEST-TAKING TIPS & STRATEGIES
BEFORE THE TEST
• Eat a balanced meal and get plenty of rest.
• Don’t cram. Your preparation should end (not begin) the day before the test.
• Avoid caffeine, energy drinks, excess sugar, etc. These will not improve your performance or steady your nerves.
• Study regularly over an extended period before the test.
• Know exactly where the test center is and plan to arrive a few minutes early. Remember, you must have an appointment to take the test. Bring two forms of photo ID.
• The testing center may be cold. Bring something warm in case you need it.
DURING THE TEST
• You cannot skip a question or come back to it later. You must answer each question before the next one will be provided.
• Read the whole question thoroughly at least a couple of times and formulate the answer in your head before you look at the answer choices. If you see a similar answer choice, that’s probably the correct response.
• There are four answer choices. Two of them can often be eliminated after reading the question thoroughly.
• When you get stuck, look for key words in the question and re-read the answer choices. When in doubt, lean towards the more aggressive treatment. For example, if you are not sure whether you should ventilate the patient or just administer oxygen, choose to ventilate.
• Do not complicate scenario-based questions. Do not bring elements into the questions that are not there.
• Relax! Remember, everyone is going to feel like the test is extremely challenging. Everyone is going to miss a lot of questions. This does NOT mean you are failing.
Table of Contents
About This Book
A Note from Our Author
About Our Author
Chapter 1 Preparing for Success on the NREMT Certification Exam
PREPARING TO BECOME AN EMT
Chapter 2 The Emergency Medical Services System: History, Public Health, and the EMT’s Role Chapter 3 EMT Safety and Wellness/Lifting and Moving/Patient Restraint
Chapter 4 Medical, Legal, and Ethical Issues, and EMS Research
Chapter 5 Communications
Chapter 6 Documentation
Chapter 7 Anatomy and Physiology/Medical Terminology
Chapter 8 Life Span Development
AIRWAY, PHARMACOLOGY, AND PATIENT ASSESSMENT
Chapter 9 Airway, Respiration, and Artificial Ventilation
Chapter 10 History Taking, Vital Signs, and Monitoring Devices
Chapter 11 Pharmacology
Chapter 12 Patient Assessment
SHOCK, RESUSCITATION AND MEDICAL EMERGENCIES
Chapter 13 Shock, Resuscitation, and AED
Chapter 14 Respiratory Emergencies
Chapter 15 Cardiac Emergencies
Chapter 16 Neurologic Emergencies and Syncope
Chapter 17 Diabetic Emergencies
Chapter 18 Anaphylaxis
Chapter 19 Toxicology
Chapter 20 Abdominal, Gynecologic, and Genitourinary/Renal Emergencies
Chapter 21 Behavioral Emergencies
TRAUMA AND ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCIES
Chapter 22 Kinematics of Trauma, Trauma Triage
Chapter 23 Bleeding and Soft Tissue Injuries
Chapter 24 Burn Injuries
Chapter 25 Musculoskeletal Injuries
Chapter 26 Head and Spinal Injuries
Chapter 27 Chest and Abdominal Trauma
Chapter 28 Eye, Face, and Neck Trauma
Chapter 29 Environmental Emergencies
SPECIAL PATIENT POPULATIONS
Chapter 30 Childbirth, Obstetrical Emergencies, Newborn Care
Chapter 31 Pediatric Emergencies
Chapter 32 Geriatric Patients
Chapter 33 Special Patient Populations
Chapter 34 Ambulance and Air Medical Operations
Chapter 35 Vehicle Extrication
Chapter 36 Hazardous Materials
Chapter 37 Incident Management and Mass Casualty Incidents
Chapter 38 Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction
THE PRACTICAL EXAM
Chapter 39 The NREMT Practical Exam
PRACTICE EXAM ONLINE ......................www.rea.com/EMT