Can You Pass a Paramedic Certification Exam?

By: Brian Whitney
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
When things get dire, a paramedic will have to do A.L.S. What does that stand for?
American Lung Safety
Advanced Life Support
While the paramedic has numerous different functions on the job, first and foremost is keeping the patient alive until they can get them to a hospital. One of the methods they use to do this is A.L.S.
Always Live Safe
Advanced Life Summary

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What are the types of things that could cause anaphylactic shock?
Bee stings
Insect bites
Food allergies
All of the above
Anaphylactic shock can be sudden, potentially severe and life-threatening. Symptoms include generalized itching and hives, swelling, wheezing and difficulty breathing, fainting, and/or other allergy symptoms.

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Paramedics have to triage a lot. What does that mean?
Exercise
Study
Use equipment.
Assess how serious an injury is.
The definition of triage is the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties. This is an important part of a paramedic's job.

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Atrial tachycardia is when a paramedic has to work on what part of the body?
Brain
Heart
Paramedics need to know all sorts of medical conditions. Atrial tachycardia, which is also known as AT, is a type of abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia which causes the heart to beat quickly.
Lungs
Spine

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What might be a patient that has "googlechondria"?
One who looked up their symptoms on the Internet and thinks they're dying
The act of "googlechondria" is probably more common than you think. People have symptoms all the time and once they google them think that they're actually worse than they really are.
One who looked up their symptoms on the Internet and feels fine
One who was hit in the head with a computer
One who slipped and fell while carrying a computer

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Emergency rooms can be busy, what is the meaning of "treat and street"?
When you keep someone in the emergency room for a long time
When someone is waiting for service
It is the name for when the ambulance pulls into the hospital.
It is when a patient is treated quickly and discharged.
Just like other jobs that deal with emergencies, there is a lot of dark humor that comes with being a paramedic. A "treat and street" is when a patient is treated quickly then discharged.

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Where would you be responding to a "Code Blue"?
On the street
In police headquarters
In the E.R.
A Code Blue isn't all that common for a paramedic, because it exists in the actual hospital itself. Still, this can occur in certain situations. A paramedic has to be prepared for anything.
In a house

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What condition do paramedics use Narcan to treat?
Heart attacks
Choking
Opioid overdoses
Narcan is a bit controversial, but there is no doubt that it saves lives. As opioid use is an epidemic at this point, there is no doubt that all paramedics have used it more than once.
Broken bones.

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How important is it for a paramedic to be non-judgmental?
It doesn't matter.
Not very important
Pretty important
Extremely important
Just like police officers and firemen, paramedics have to go everywhere, from the nicest of neighborhoods to the worst neighborhoods. A good paramedic treats everyone exactly the same.

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Collapsed lungs are serious. What would be the most likely cause of them a paramedic would see?
Someone falling down the stairs
Someone being in a car accident
Cars are all over the roads more than ever these days, and with them come all sorts of accidents. One of the most common injuries suffered in a severe car accident is a collapsed lung.
Slip and fall in the tub
Work accidents

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Is a paramedic the same as a nurse?
Pretty much
Yes, exactly the same.
No, but they have the same degree.
No, they're two totally different things.
Paramedics and nurses have many things in common with the jobs that they do, but there are many differences as well. These two very important jobs are two distinctly separate careers.

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We all have a tube that carries food to our stomach, what is it?
Trachea
Intestines
Embiid
Esophagus
When you're a paramedic, you have to be prepared for just about anything and be comfortable with every part of the body, including the esophagus. It lets food and liquids reach the stomach.

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Is it important for a paramedic to know how to treat people with psychiatric issues?
No, that doesn't matter.
It can be, but not usually.
Yes, that is very important.
While in the past there wasn't a whole lot of specialized treatment when dealing with people with mental illness, this is different today. Paramedics as well as police officers receive special training for dealing with the mentally ill.
No, everyone needs to be treated the same.

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Paramedics have a lot of their own terms. What does "POPTA" stand for in paramedic lingo?
Passed Out Prior to Our Arrival
There are all sorts of acronyms in any sort of medical field, and if you're a paramedic that holds true just as much as the rest of them. The term "POPTA" means "Passed Out Prior to Our Arrival."
Person Out Prior to being On Ambulance
Passed Over Priority On Arrival
Paramedic Over Priority On Ambulance

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Paramedics have to get where they're going fast, but can they break the speed limit?
No
Sure, they can go as fast as they want.
Yes, within reason
As an emergency vehicle, ambulances are not subject to regular rules of the road, but they still have to drive safely. While they can speed they shouldn't go more than 15 miles an hour over the speed limit as a rule of thumb.
Only sometimes

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What is the medical name for the thigh bone?
Femur
While paramedics aren't doctors, they need to know all sorts of different medical terminology to communicate with other medical professionals. A human thigh bone is known as the femur.
Patella
Fibula
Tabula

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What does the paramedic slang term "Status dramaticus" mean?
The patient is dying.
The patient is angry.
The patient is imagining their problem.
When you think of someone being dramatic, or if you're watching a play that is a drama, it's similar to what we're talking about here. Of course the paramedics don't actually say this to the patient.
The patient has run away.

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Knowing the body is important for a paramedic. What is the tragus a part of?
The ear
While it is hard to imagine there being a whole lot of issues that a paramedic has to deal with that have to do with an ear, they have to be prepared for anything. A tragus is part of the ear.
Genitals
Brain
Back

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There are lots of opportunities in this field. Which of these jobs exists for paramedics?
Mall paramedic
Cruise ship paramedic
While there are numerous different jobs that are available to paramedics, the one of the above that is most common is to work on a cruise ship. Now that doesn't sound like a bad gig.
Office paramedic
Baseball team paramedic

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What should a paramedic do when first on the scene?
Manage patient airways.
Stabilize patient.
Assess what care the patient needs.
All of the above.
When arriving on scene, a good paramedic makes sure the patient can breathe, then they stabilize them, then assess their medical needs. All of these things are extremely important to do.

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In paramedic slang, what is a ParaGod?
A paramedic who thinks he knows everything
Just like in another other job, there are terms that are specific to it and slang that is used. In paramedic slang, a "ParaGod" is a paramedic who thinks he or she is the best paramedic ever.
A really smart paramedic
A rookie paramedic
A veteran paramedic

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How long does it take to be certified as a paramedic?
1-2 months
3-12 months
6-months to 2 years
While becoming a paramedic doesn't require an enormous amount of education, it still takes some time. Depending on certain factors, it takes a student 6 months to two years to become certified.
2-4 years

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Breathing is kind of important, you know. What is the normal respiration rate for an adult?
1-2 breaths per minute
12-20 breaths per minute
One of the first things that a paramedic has to do when they arrive on the scene is make sure the patient is breathing correctly. 12-20 breaths per minute is considered the normal range.
20-30 breaths per minute
30-40 breaths per minute

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If you were in the ECU, would that be a good thing?
Yes, that would mean you're almost ready for release.
It is neither bad nor good.
It's pretty bad.
No. The ECU is the morgue.
ECU is not a good place, also known as the "Eternal Care Unit". In other words, the person has passed away. This is slang used not only with paramedics but with doctors and nurses as well.

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What might you be responding to on a Code 99?
Cardiac arrest
As you might imagine, paramedics use all sorts of codes so they know what type of call they're going to be dealing with. A code 99 is always a call that has something to do with cardiac arrest.
Car accident
Slip and fall
Psychotic break

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There are lots of options for training, but can you study to be an EMT online?
No way
Yes, but it is not recommended.
Yes, it is combined with real-world training.
There are very few degrees that you can't study for online somewhere, and if you want to be a paramedic that is no different. Classes are usually combined with online training.
Only in Canada

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What is the high end of earnings for a paramedic per year?
$20,000
$40,000
$50,000
While you aren't going to become totally rich being a paramedic, you can make a decent living. 50 grand is about as much as you're going to make though, which isn't a lot for this type of work.
$100,000

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What is the most important thing to do during an initial assessment of a patient?
Be polite.
Maintain an open airway.
While there are all sorts of things that are really important for a paramedic to do, when they arrive on the scene they always do one thing first: Make sure the patient is breathing comfortably.
Keep the patient comfortable.
Get verbal consent.

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How often does a paramedic have to perform CPR?
Not that often
Pretty much never
Often
All the time
Paramedics do a lot of things daily in their jobs, but knowing how to perform CPR well has to be one of the most common. These people are experts at giving CPR quickly and the right way.

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In an emergency, would you know what the left ventricle pumps blood into?
Aorta
The aorta is the largest artery in the entire body, and its function is incredibly important. So it stands to reason that this is a term that all paramedics need to be comfortable with.
Pulmonary artery
Trachea
Lower back

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How many chances do you get to pass a certification exam?
1
2
3
If you fail a couple times on your paramedic certification it is no big deal, but it does become one if you fail your third. It's an important job so it makes sense that they're rather picky.
4

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Can a paramedic drive down a one-way street going in the wrong direction?
Yes, it is encouraged.
Yes, but they have to put the siren on.
Yes, if it really is an emergency.
No
Paramedics are not allowed to drive the wrong way down a one-way street. When you think about it, what's the point of arriving to help someone if you cause more injuries on the way?

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If a patient is lying in a "prone" position, how are they lying?
On their abdomen
You not only need to know medical terminology as a paramedic, you need to have a good vocabulary as well. "Prone" means when someone is lying on their abdomen, and not on their back.
On their back.
On their side
They are sitting

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If you fail a certification exam, how many days do you have to wait before you try again?
1
5
15
If you flunk your certification test you can't just turn around and take it again right away. You have to wait at least a full 15 days before you try again. So make sure you study up.
30

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Where is someone who has "cellulitis"?
At the hospital
In jail
This is another term that is a bit insensitive but is still popular paramedic slang. When they hear that someone has cellulitis, that means that the person they're dealing with is incarcerated.
At work
At home

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