Can You Pass This EMT Certification Practice Exam?

By: Torrance Grey

Can You Pass This EMT Certification Practice Exam?
Image: Tammy Hanratty/Corbis/VCG/Corbis/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Have you ever wondered if you could pass the test that would-be EMTs take? It's called the NREMT, for National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, and it is taken, like most tests these days, on a computer. This allows it to be "cognitively adaptive" -  which means the test starts with the most difficult questions on each sub-topic, and if you answer those correctly, it moves on. If not, it tapers down to progressively easier questions. So if it's taking you what feels like a long time to take the exam, you might not be as prepared as you thought! But don't worry, as long as you demonstrate an adequate level of knowledge, you won't fail. 

There's a lot to cover. EMTs must have a good understanding of human anatomy, the systems of the body and common illnesses and injuries. But beyond that, they have to understand how to communicate with children, the elderly and those for whom English is a second language. They need to know how to instill trust in patients, how to deal with the drunk, drug users or those agitated by mental illness. And. no less important, they need to remember how to protect themselves in the field. There are many risks to the job, from back injuries incurred while lifting patients, to hostile dogs, to the canisters of highly combustible oxygen that are a part of an ambulance's equipment. 

Are you ready to put your knowledge to the test? Try our quiz now!



If a patient reports that she takes albuterol, you'll know she probably has what ailment?
Alzheimer's
Asthma
Albuterol is a bronchodilator. That is, it opens up small airways in the lungs to let asthma patients breathe easier.
Diabetes
Lupus

Advertisement

Which of these might you expect to find on a patient with a life-threatening allergy?
Neosporin
An Epi-pen
"Epi-pen" is capitalized because it's a brand name, but like "Band-Aid," it's become synonymous with "epinephrine auto-injector." Using it, patients can give themselves a potentially life-saving dose of epinephrine during an anaphylactic episode.
A pacemaker
A tracheotomy knife

Advertisement

Which of these does NOT protect the EMT from infectious disease?
Back board
A back board is used for immobilizing and then transporting patients with potential spinal injuries. The other three items are all part of "body substance isolation," which keeps first responders clear of body fluids that might carry pathogens.
Goggles
Gloves
Mask

Advertisement

What is an "advance directive"?
The general mission statement of the ambulance service
Rules about how fast the ambulance can go
Standing orders the director leaves upon going on vacation
A written document laying out what life-saving care a patient does or does not wish to receive
People create these in order not to be subjected to drastic, invasive measures when there is little chance of their ever recovering enough to have a normal life. Have you created an advance directive? Your doctor's office can probably provide you with a template to do so.

Advertisement

Over the radio, you tell the ER that you are bringing in a 30-year-old female patient who is HIV positive and having difficulty breathing. Afterward, your supervisor calls you in for a talk. What did you do wrong?
Describing the patient's complaint
Revealing her gender
Revealing her age
Revealing her HIV status
HIV status is sensitive information and shouldn't be discussed over the radio. Wait until you're at the ER and dicreetly tell the doctor or nurse who takes charge of the patient.

Advertisement

What is "CNS" short for?
Cardio-Neurological System
Central Nervous System
"Nervous" and "neurological" are closely related terms. Here, the less-formal term is used -- and it's commonly abbreviated to "CNS." You'll hear this term a lot.
Common Neurological Sympton
Critical Neonatal Symptom

Advertisement

What part of the body produces insulin?
Bone marrow
Corpus luteum
Pancreas
Diabetes is probably the fastest-growing health threat in the developed world. It's good to understand what underlies it, although there's a difference between Type I and Type II, which we'll get into in another question.
Prostate gland

Advertisement

A severe allergic reaction, based on excessive histamine release, is called what?
Anaphylaxis
This is also called "anaphylactic shock." Swelling of the throat and airway passage can cause suffocation and death -- it needs immediate treatment.
Praxis
Insulin shock
Neoplastic crisis

Advertisement

What is "hypotension"?
Low blood pressure
"Hypotension" is the medical term for low blood pressure. Why is this bad? For one thing, it could indicate blood loss severe enough that the tissues of the body aren't getting enough oxygen and nutrients.
Decreased mental status
Pinpoint pupils
Loss of muscle tone

Advertisement

Asking questions about a patient's past health conditions and treatment is called what?
Field testing
Interrogation
Pre-hospital interviewing
Taking a history
Medical practitioners of all types take patient histories. In the field, they are usually a bit briefer than ones a patient would do on a first visit to a new doctor.

Advertisement

What are "standing orders"?
The chain of command at your ambulance service
Rules about proper dress and grooming
Rules for medical treatment in the field
"Standing orders" are rules everyone needs to know. For example, are you allowed to administer insulin to a diabetic patient, or only glucose? These things both aid in proper treatment and protect the ambulance service legally.
The name for the work schedule at the station

Advertisement

Which of these is a potential job hazard?
Being bitten by a dog
Catching an infectious disease
Back strain from heavy lifting
All of these
There are many risks out in the field. Part of EMT training is learning how to look out for yourself and your partner, including correct lifting techniques.

Advertisement

What is the name for non-life-threatening chest pain caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries?
Angina
Angina is a symptom of heart disease. However, it doesn't signal an immediate heart attack.
Aortic myalgia
Pinched artery
Peyronie's disease

Advertisement

The "clavicle" is the common name for what?
The collarbone
"Clavicle" is the anatomical name for the collarbone. Kids break this a lot, because there's not much fat or muscle up there to protect it.
The left atrium of the heart
The pelvic bone
The main artery in the leg

Advertisement

Where in the body would you find the aorta?
The arm
Near the heart
We hope that as an EMT, you won't have to actually see a patient's aorta. A major artery that carries blood away from the heart, it is meant to be protected by the breastbone and a lot of chest muscle.
Near the brain
The lower leg

Advertisement

Where would you find the femoral artery?
The arm
The leg
The femoral artery takes it name from the femur. That's the large bone in the upper leg.
The heart
The skull

Advertisement

An "abrasion" is what kind of cut?
Infected
Narrow and deep
Wide and shallow
Abrasions are wide, shallow cuts on the surface of the skin -- scrapes, to use the common term. They *are* painful ... nearly all cuts are!
Non-painful

Advertisement

Lack of oxygen in the blood and body tissues is a medical condition called what?
Dehydration
Hypoxia
Hypoxia refers to the condition of the body -- you wouldn't use it to describe the environment the patient is in. When hypoxia is very severe, it is called "anoxia."
Hypotension
Hypertension

Advertisement

A wound that is narrow but deep is called ...
A debrasion
A fissure
A puncture wound
Things that cause puncture wounds include stabbings or accidental impalements. Depending on location, there is a possibility of damage to organs.
A sting

Advertisement

What is the main difference between Type I and Type II diabetes?
Type I affects men and Type II affects women.
Type II diabetes is acquired; Type I is not.
Type I diabetes is often genetic, and stems from a inherent failure of the pancreas to make sufficient insulin. Type II diabetes develops over time, usually due to excess weight and inactivity. This is what makes it such a fast-growing health issue.
Type I affects cognitive function to a greater extent.
Type II is usually remediated by surgery.

Advertisement

If a patient is "diaphoretic," what are they?
Confused
Energetic
Short
Sweaty
Oh no! Sweat! Well, truthfully, this can be a bad sign. Sweating for no reason means that something is wrong in the system that controls body temperature -- aka thermic regulation.

Advertisement

If you are "ascultating," what are you doing?
Palpating for broken bones
Gauging blood pressure
Listening to breath sounds
"Ascultation" is a formal term for listening to a patient's breathing. You might be trying to hear wheezing or crackles. This can indicate a lot about their condition and potential injury or illness.
Metering a dose of an inhalant medication

Advertisement

If you are dealing with "flow rate," what are you most likely doing?
Overseeing inhaler use
Administering oxygen
Many ambulances carry oxygen tanks, and require an EMT or paramedic to set a flow rate at which the oxygen-enriched air is released. Some ambulance services only allow a paramedic, not an EMT, to perform this duty.
Stemming blood flow
None of these

Advertisement

What is the minimum age at which you can become an EMT?
17
18
You can qualify for the job at the age of 18. Not surprisingly, this means that a college degree isn't necessary to land the job.
19
21

Advertisement

If you are using a "sphygmomanometer," what are you doing?
Administering oxygen
Taking blood pressure
This gets our vote for the most unnecessarily complicated term in emergency medicine. Most people say "blood pressure cuff" (though the cuff is only part of the whole).
Listening to breath sounds
Gauging mental status

Advertisement

Who creates the standing orders?
A national body in Washington, D.C.
A doctor known as the medical director
Every ambulance service has a medical director, who is an MD. He or she draws up the protocols for treatment that paramedics and EMTs follow.
The highest-ranking paramedic
The fire chief

Advertisement

The blood from a patient's wound is bright red. What does this suggest to you?
That it is arterial blood
When an artery is cut, the oxygen-rich blood is bright red. Not all artery wounds spurt -- that is, the spurting might be over by the time you arrive, because the patient has lost enough blood to cause blood pressure to drop. Either way, you need to stop the bleeding quickly.
That it is venous blood
That the patient has excess CO2 in the blood
That the patient has a potassium deficiency

Advertisement

What is a "contraindication"?
A reason not to take a patient to the hospital
A reason not to administer a medication
The informational sheet that comes with a medication will list its contraindications. A common one is that the patient is pregnant. We should note here that EMTs don't administer a patient's medication until they reach an advanced level, with more than 150 hours of training - so this won't come up for the EMT-B.
A reason not to go on a call at all
A sign that the original diagnosis was wrong

Advertisement

What is a "size up"?
Checking the scene, on arrival, for potential safety issues
"Size up" is a term used by most first responders, not just EMTs. It means quickly assessing what's going on at a scene, if it's safe to proceed and where to start.
A 30-second assessment of the patient
Ensuring the ambulance is properly stocked
A field-skills test of would-be EMTs

Advertisement

A transient ischemic attack is a minor version of what event?
Heart attack
Stroke
Often called a "TIA," this is a mini-stroke. It's important to be aware of the signs, because some patients might not know they've had one.
Anaphylactic shock
Blunt force trauma

Advertisement

What color is "cyanotic" skin?
Blue
Cyanosis is a blue tint to the skin that occurs with lack of oxygen. It usually first appears around the lips. This is a sign that a patient, for whatever reason, is not getting enough oxygen and is in danger of various consequences.
Gray
Pink
Yellow

Advertisement

Do "dose" and "dosage" mean the same thing?
Yes, they do.
No, they don't.
This is one of those questions where the answer seems so obviously to be "yes" that you know it's got to be a trick question! And it is: "Dose" is the amount of a drug to be taken. "Dosage" is the schedule on which the doses are taken. Though EMTs don't often administer meds, they do talk to patients about what they're taking -- both "dose" and "dosage."

Advertisement

Which of these senses would you probably NOT use in a size up?
Sight
Smell
Hearing
Touch
During a good size up, you won't just look around. You'll listen for the sounds of alarms, yelling, or unusual silence (which tends to be a bad sign, as most emergency scenes are noisy). And you might want to smell for smoke, too.

Advertisement

True or false: Colorblind persons can't be EMTs.
True
You have to have correct color vision to be an EMT. The ability to recognize colors is relevant to traffic lights when driving the ambulance, to triage tags, and more.
False

Advertisement

You see two red marks on a patient's arm which look like parentheses. What does this suggest to you?
An allergic reaction
A dog bite
A human bite
The human mouth is shallower and wider than a dog's snout. This makes a human bite mark look a lot like red parentheses (or bloody ones, if the bite actually broke the skin. It could be a sign of domestic abuse or behavioral illness that needs to be followed up on.
An underlying fracture

Advertisement

You Got:
/35

Featured