The EMT Lingo Quiz

By: Robin Tyler

The EMT Lingo Quiz
Image: Zero Creatives/Cultura/Getty Images

About This Quiz

There is no denying that the world of an emergency medical technician is fast-paced, full of action and without a doubt, very stressful. Every day, these women and men serve their communities, helping patients in various levels of distress.

It could be the kid from down the street who has scraped his knee falling off his bike, or the teen with a broken leg thanks due to a skateboard accident. Or perhaps its the elderly neighbor that has suffered a heart attack or stroke.  In those serious situations, the emergency medical technician has to make some crucial decisions, often in the spur of the moment. And they need to get it right because lives are at stake.

In this fast-paced world, communication between emergency medical technicians is key. They certainly don't have the time to have long conversations when under pressure and so they have developed their own lingo. This not only comprises acronyms but slang words as well. Some are used in the heat of the moment while others are used in general chit chat between EMT's. 

So how many examples of EMT lingo do you think you would be able to identify?

Go ahead and take the quiz and let's find out!

In the world of medical emergencies, what does "ALS" mean?
Advanced Life Support
Advanced Life Support is the care given to a patient by paramedics prior to transporting them to the hospital. This is different from basic or intermediate life support as ALS paramedics are able to administer drugs where needed.
All Leg Support
Air, Lungs, Spine
None of the above

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If an EMT says someone is a "code yellow", what does this slang term mean?
A patient has jaundice
A patient has lost control of their bladder
A code yellow is a patient who has lost control of his or her bladder. Sadly, when accidents or trauma is involved, this can be a reaction, especially if the patient is in shock.
A patient is having a heart attack
The patient is dead on arrival

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When a patient is referred to as a "beemer" what are they?
Old
Cold
Obese
"Beemer" is slang for an obese patient. The name comes from BMI (body mass index), which measures body fat based on height and weight.
Missing

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Normally found on patient forms, what does "LOC" mean?
Limbs or Chest
Lungs Okay Cleared
Loss of Colon
Loss of Consciousness
"LOC" refers to two phrases in general in the EMT world. These are either loss of consciousness or level of consciousness. This is usually written on forms to describe a patient’s condition.

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EMTs might call a certain patient a "pita". What does that mean in EMT slang?
Pain in the ass
A "pita" is simply a pain in the ass. This is a slang word used by medical professionals to describe a patient or relative who is difficult to deal with.
Patient in trauma/accident
Patient ingested treatment accidentally
None of the above

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A person said to be "DRT" is described by which of these EMT slang terms below?
Dense Rib Trauma
Dead Right There
“Dead Right There”, a slang description for a dead person who has been left in the position in which they were found. Often, in the case of homicide, the body will be left this way until police forensics are done with the scene.
Deflected Right Tibia
None of the above

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Which of these below would "crackardia" be most applicable to?
A person with cracked ribs
A person needing an emergency heart operation
A patient with a raised heart rate from ingesting crack
"Crackacardia" is EMT lingo for a condition when a patient has ingested large amounts of crack cocaine, causing their heart rate to increase. They need to get to the hospital fast!
None of the above

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A patient said to have "Googlechondria" has done what?
Self-diagnosed using Google
It's relatively easy to work out what "Googlechondria" is. Simply put, it's a condition named by EMT where patients self-diagnose their condition, signs and symptoms using Google before seeking medical assistance.
Ordered their medicine online using Google search
Fallen sick at the Google office
None of the above

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If an EMT was "bagging" a patient, what would they be doing?
Putting them in a body bag
Giving them meds
Using a Bag Valve Mask on a patient
"Bagging" is using a “Bag Valve Mask” to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients who are not breathing adequately. This is to ensure they have enough oxygen in their system.
None of the above

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In the world of medical emergencies, what does "BLS" mean?
Bed Lift Support
Basic Life Support
Basic Life Support it the care that can be provided to victims of illnesses or injuries by EMTs until they can be attended to at a hospital.
Bone Leg Support
None of the above

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From the options below, which best describes an "MVA" as a way a patient may have been injured?
Motor Vascular Amnesia
Mountain Valley Allergy
Motor Vehicle Accident
Helping patients injured in an accident is just part of an EMT's every day duties. They would describe the patient as have been in an "MVA" or motor vehicle accident. This is also sometimes called a "MVC" or motor vehicle collision.
None of the above

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When an EMT refers to a "C-Spine" what are they talking about?
The neck
The "C-Spine" refers to the cervical spine (or neck), which comprises the seven vertebrae C1 – C7. It also houses the spinal cord. It is not only strong but flexible as well.
A flat wooden board
A single bone in the back
None of the above

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A "Frequent Flyer" is a term often used by EMT's. Who does it refer to?
The pilot of the medical helicopter
Someone who travels often
Someone who calls the emergency services often
A "Frequent Flyer" is a person who often calls for emergency medical assistance. This could be someone who abuses the system or someone with a persistent condition that requires regular assistance.
None of the above

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When talking about a "MICU" in the world of emergency medicine, what are we referring to?
A motorcycle ambulance
Mobile Intensive Care Unit
"MUCUs" or Mobile Intensive Care Unit are vehicle fitted out with apparatus able to offer advanced life support to patients en route to the hospital. This offers critically injured patients a greater chance of survival.
A military ambulance
None of the above

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An "AED" is a crucial piece of emergency equipment. What is it?
Automated External Defibrillator
An "AED" or Automated External Defibrillator is a portable device used to check heart rhythm and treat sudden cardiac arrest. This piece of equipment is nothing short of a life-saver.
Auto Emergency Deflabber
After Exercise Defibrillator
None of the above

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If an EMT says someone is a "code brown", what does this slang term mean?
The patient doesn't need to go to the hospital
An unexpected bowel movement
A "Code Brown" is used to describe fecal incontinence and is often used by medical staff when asking for help in cleaning up an unexpected bowel movement that a patient might have had.
The patient would need a check-up in a week
None of the above

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What is a "donorcycle" in EMT lingo?
A powerful motorbike
A "donorcycle" is an overpowered motorcycle that could turn its rider into an organ donor. Motorcycle accidents largely result in head trauma and less damage to the body, making the victim a good candidate for organ donation.
A bicycle
A monster truck
A racing car

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If EMT's mention the world "liver mortis", what do they mean?
A patient told to stop drinking alcohol
A patient with liver cirrhosis
Pooling of blood in the lower half of the body near the liver
"Liver mortis" is a term used to describe blood pooling in the lower half of the body, causing a red discoloration. It can be a sign that the patient cannot be revived.
None of the above

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EMT's might mention a latin sounding term, "dyscopia". What do you think it means?
A failure to cope
Dyscopia is a mock-Latin term meaning failure to cope. It refers to patients or relatives who have a hard time emotionally. It could even apply to EMT's struggling emotionally.
Tooth pain
A broken toe
None of the above

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Someone suffering from "NPS" is probably a ______?
New parent
"NPS" or New Parent Syndrome is a code that medical professionals use to describe new parents who are overly concerned with their baby’s health.
Regular hospital goer
Elderly person
None of the above

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When a patient is described as a "failure to fly", what does it mean in terms of EMT lingo?
The patient is not well enough to be discharged
"Failure to Fly" describes a patient who is not well enough to be discharged from hospital. Sometimes it is also a macabre reference to a suicide attempt.
The patient thinks he is Superman
The patient is a child
None of the above

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"FTD" is an abbreviation often used by EMT's. What does it mean?
Fibula Taken Down
Failure To Die
"FTD" or "Failure to Die" is normally used when EMTs are talking about patients who should be dead due to their injuries but are not. It can also be used to describe elderly patients hanging onto life.
Foreign Transit Deposit
None of the above

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The EMT abbreviation "POPTA" stands for?
Patient cried prior to arrival
Patient passed out prior to arrival
"POPTA is simply an abbreviation for patient passed out prior to arrival at the medical facility. Keeping records of everything that happens to a patient while they are transported to a medical facility is very important.
Patient slept prior to arrival
None of the above

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EMT's often say "TKO" when dealing with a patient with an IV line. What does it mean?
Technical Knockout
Taped Knee Outline
To Keep Open
If patients are seriously injured, EMT's might setup an IV line directly into one of their veins. This is then the easiest way to administer drugs to a patient and certainly the quickest.
None of the above

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When an EMT calls for a "C-Collar", what do they want?
A collar that stabilizes a patients neck
A "C-Collar" or cervical collar is a piece of equipment that is used to stabilize the neck of a patient. It is used when patients have suspected c-spine injuries.
A leg brace
A jacket because they are cold
None of the above

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A patient described as "A&O X 3" is which of the following?
Dead on arrival
Alert and orientated times three
"A&O X 3" means alert and oriented times three. This says the patient is alert and oriented around person, place and time and means they know who they are, where they are and the time period.
Awake and operated on
None of the above

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Can you please tell us what a "Code 99" is?
Patient requiring resuscitation
In EMT lingo, a "Code 99" is serious business. If issued it means a medical emergency is taking place with a patient requiring resuscitation. In many cases, they may be the victim of a heart attack.
EMT on a lunch break
EMT shift over
None of the above

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What is a "doctart"?
Female patient or nurse attracted to doctors
A little controversial but some people love doctors! A "Doctart" is said to be a female patient or nurse who are attracted to doctors. It seems EMT's have a word for just about anything.
A pie given to a doctors by a grateful patient
A student doctor
None of the above

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In EMT lingo terms, what does "ETOH" refer to?
Energy to other hemisphere
Ethyl Alcohol
"ETOH" is an acronym for Ethyl Alcohol (also referred to as Ethanol), the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. So if a EMT says "we have an ETOH" then it means the person is most likely drunk.
It describes a brand of stethoscope
None of the above

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Any idea what the EMT acronym "PERRLA" means?
Patient eats restrictive rations literally anytime
Pupils are Equal, Round and Reactive to Light and Accommodation
"PERRLA" is an acronym for Pupils are Equal, Round and Reactive to Light and Accommodation. It helps medical staff remember what to check for when examining pupils. It also give a sense of if the patient knows what is going on around them.
Patient enters restricted reality like always
None of the above

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EMTs who say they need to "Treat and Street" a patient will be doing what to them?
Take them to a special unit in the hospital
Take them to the nearest hospital
Treat and discharge them
The term "Treat and Street" means the patient does not have serious injuries, can be treated on scene and then discharged without needing to go to a hospital. For example, someone might have fallen and badly scraped their knee. It requires a dressing but not a hospital visit.
None of the above

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If an EMT is called a "Paragod" by others, which of these best describes him or her?
Religious
Has a big ego and think they know everything
. A "Paragod" is a paramedic who thinks they know everything or is more concerned with his/her ego than patients.
Paraglides in their free time and is really good at it
None of the above

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A patient said to be "status dramaticus" is ______?
Overbearing and overly dramatic
A patient that is "status dramaticus" is saddled with a supposed illness which makes them overbearing and overly dramatic.
Unconscious
Unruly
None of the above

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Which EMT vehicle is known as a "box"?
Motorcycle
Helicopter
Mobile Intensive Care Unit
"MUCUs" or Mobile Intensive Care Unit are vehicles fitted with apparatus able to offer advanced life support to patients. Because of their shape, they are often just referred to as a "box".
None of the above

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When EMT's place multiple patients in a "triage" order, what does that mean?
They are dealt with according to the severeness of their injury
When multiple patients are involved, for instance at a massive pile-up on the highway, they are assessed and placed in a triage order. Those with life-threatening injuries (called red patients in triage) are dealt with first while those with scrapes and bruises (called green patients) are dealt with last.
They are treated alphabetically according to their name
They are treated in terms of age with oldest treated first
None of the above

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