The Ultimate EMT Exam


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Zero Creatives / Cultura / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Sadly, our fast-paced world is one in which many people, from all walks of life, are often in need of urgent medical attention. And fast. That's where the emergency medical technician comes in. Not only are they trained to get to the emergency quickly, but thanks to an intensive education in their particular brand of medicine, they can quickly assess a patient and plan a course of action that will see that patient get the best medical care possible. And if they need to get to a hospital, they can stabilize and transport the patient as fast as possible.

There's no doubt about it. Emergency medical technicians are the foot soldiers on the front line, fighting medical emergencies anywhere! And they see all kinds of patients, from people injured in a car crash to someone showing signs of a heart attack. Or sometimes, it might just be caring for a few scrapes and bruises after one of the neighborhood kids falls out of a tree. They are prepared for anything.

And it's their training that puts EMTs in that position. In addition to engaging in practical demonstrations, EMTs must pass many theory exams revolving around the human body. And how would you fare if you were in their shoes? Do you think you have what it takes to pass the ultimate EMT exam?

In trauma, what do you call an injury in which more than one body system is injured?

Multisystem injuries are very serious indeed. For example, a patient involved in a motor vehicle accident might have injured their respiratory system -- damaging their lungs -- and they may have suffered head injuries as well.


When applying manual ventilation to a patient, how does an EMT know they are doing it successfully?

In some situations, a patient might not be able to breathe on their own. In that case, an EMT will aid the patient in breathing using a bag valve mask. To ensure that this is working properly, the EMT will watch the patient's chest to see if the lungs fill and contract with each breath.


What do the letters MOI mean in the world of the emergency medical technician?

The letters MOI mean "mechanism of injury" in emergency lingo. This is a full description of the injuries a patient is suffering from. Essentially, it is the who, what, when, where and how of each specific injury a patient might have.


True or false? Blunt trauma does not perforate the barrier provided by the skin on a human body.

There are many ways a patient may experience blunt trauma. They could have been hit with a blunt weapon, such as a 2x4 piece of wood. Or think of a motor vehicle accident before airbags -- a steering wheel could hurt a person's chest with a blunt trauma injury. In blunt trauma, bruising is visible but the skin would not be penetrated.


A patient in the prone position is lying on his or her ______.

Patients may be found lying in a number of ways. If lying down with the front of their body on the ground, they are said to be prone. EMTs might put someone in a prone position to improve ventilation if the person is having trouble breathing.


In the human body, which is considered to be the largest organ?

Yes, that's right! The skin is classified as an organ, and it is therefore the largest organ found in the body. It is also the fastest growing. The top part of the skin is known as the epidermis. Our skin helps us to keep warm when it is cold and cools us when it is hot.


True or false? If an EMT decides a patient needs passive rewarming, they apply a heat source, such as a hot water bottle, to parts of the body.

No, the application of a heat source is not passive but active rewarming. An example of passive rewarming is after someone has fallen into cold water. The EMT would remove the wet clothing and then add insulation in the form of a blanket to prevent any more heat loss from the body.


Heat, chemicals, electricity and radiation can cause which type of injury?

Burn injuries are simply horrible. They can be caused in a number of ways. The most obvious cause is flames, but exposure to radiation or chemicals such as acids can also cause severe burns. Often, patients with severe burns might need a skin graft.


A woman has ________ ribs than a man.

Although the Bible tells us that Eve was made from the rib of Adam, men and women have exactly the same number of ribs. There are 12 pairs of ribs in our body, so that is 24 in total.


From the options below, identify two parts of the nervous system.

The nervous system is split into two distinct parts, both of which play a crucial role in our bodies. They control the movements of our body and can be voluntary, such as when we choose to put one foot in front of the other to walk, and involuntary, such as breathing.


How is HIV transmitted?

HIV cannot be transmitted through inhalation or through regular contact. It can only be transmitted through bodily fluids. This includes blood or sexual fluids from an infected patient. It does NOT include saliva.


A bag valve mask provides how much oxygen to a patient?

If a patient is not breathing, or not taking in enough oxygen, an EMT will use a bag valve mask to help them breathe. This mask is manually operated as the EMS squeezes a bag to push oxygen into the patient's lungs. It will provide around 90 to 100 percent oxygen.


Which term describes pressure from inside a patient's skull?

Intracranial pressure is pressure from inside the skull. It also describes pressure on the brain tissue and the fluid around the brain, which is called cerebrospinal fluid. Intracranial pressure can lead to vomiting, headaches and problems with eyesight.


A regular male patient should have a tidal volume of around _____ mL.

An average male patient should have a tidal volume of around 500 mL. But what does tidal volume measure? Tidal volume is the amount of gas that is inhaled and then exhaled during one breath cycle.


What are the first things a responder will do when assessing a patient on scene?

Any patient must have a clear airway to be able to breathe. An EMT will then make sure the patient can breathe on their own, or bring in equipment to help them. Circulation is also important, so they will check that the heart is pumping properly.


Which of these defines a communicable disease?

Communicable diseases are spread from person to person but not through one specific way. In the case of HIV, the disease is spread through body fluids, while in the case of influenza, the virus can be transferred in saliva or through the air.


When an EMT starts their shift, what is the first thing they should do?

A critical part of any shift is to ensure the vehicle an EMT goes out in is fully stocked. This is done at the start of the shift before the vehicle hits the road. Depending on how busy the last crew was, this can be an easy or difficult task. Nevertheless, it must be done.


Of the options below, which one defines where the costal arch is found?

The ribs are connected by a cartilage called the costal arch. Also known as the costal margin, it is formed between the seventh to tenth ribs.


A patient suffering from respiratory distress will have which of these symptoms?

A patient suffering from respiratory distress is not getting enough oxygen in their system while breathing. This will show in the fact that their nostrils will flare as they try harder and harder to breathe. You will also notice more movement in the accessory muscles, such as the diaphragm.


The medical term for the kneecap is the _______.

In medical terms, the kneecap is known as the patella. Its primary job is to protect the knee joint. Interestingly, babies are born without a patella but have a soft cartilage protecting the knee joints. This cartilage eventually forms into the patella when they are around 36 months old.


Do infants breath through the mouth or nose?

Infants will breathe through their noses when they are born. At around six months, they will also begin to breathe through their mouths. We are meant to breathe through our noses in any case, as the hairs in the nose help to capture impurities in the air, making it cleaner. We also breathe out slower through our noses, which allows the lungs to extract more oxygen.


True or false? A person with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin daily.

If someone has type 1 diabetes, their pancreas does not produce insulin. These patients rely on an insulin dose daily, and sometimes even more than one, to keep their blood sugar level in a healthy band. People with type 1 diabetes often inject insulin before meals to keep their blood sugar levels from spiking.


Where are the bronchi located?

The bronchi are the two pathways that lead down into the lungs. They are divided into a left and right bronchi and branch out from the trachea. Essentially, they are the passage for air into our lungs.


A patient suffering from a concussion might have which of the following symptoms?

Retrograde amnesia is best described as having no recollection of events before the concussion incident took place. Procedural memory and the ability to learn new things is not affected. In a patient suffering from concussion, retrograde amnesia will eventually disappear.


Which of these sounds would you normally associate with a patient with an obstructed airway?

A patient with an obstructed airway will produce a sound known as stertor. This is a sound very similar to snoring. It is caused by turbulent airflow in the upper airway, a result of vibration of the pharyngeal tissues.


Where are the coronary arteries located?

The coronary arteries provide a supply of blood to the heart. There are two main coronary arteries, the left and the right. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and leads to many deaths worldwide each year. This occurs when the coronary arteries harden and narrow, making it more difficult to supply blood to the heart.


What does the distal end of the Achilles tendon attach to?

The calcaneus is just another name for the heel bone. The Achilles tendon attaches to the foot at this point. The calcaneus is the large bony part you see at the back of your heel. This is the largest bone in the human foot.


Using the triage system, which color would a patient suffering a heart attack be?

A patient suffering a heart attack needs help right away. In the triage system. They would be classified as a "red" patient and dealt with by EMTs immediately, even if there were other patients that needed help. Green patients will need to be treated too, but their injuries or condition is not considered to be life-threatening.


The bone in the upper arm is known as the ______.

The upper bone in the arm is called the humerus. It connects the shoulder with the elbow. "Humerus" comes from the Latin word for the upper arm.


True or false? Penetrating trauma is visible on a patient, as they will have a wound where the skin is broken.

If a patient has suffered a penetrating trauma, the skin would definitely be pierced. An example of penetrating trauma is a knife wound. A deep penetrating wound would pierce down at various levels below the skin and into the flesh.


The cricoid cartilage is located in which part of the body?

Named after the Greek word "krikoeides," which means ring-shaped, the cricoid cartilage is located in the neck. This cartilage is round, as the name suggests, and surrounds the trachea.


True or false? Tuberculosis is very infectious.

Yes, tuberculosis is a very infectious disease and can be easily spread through the air via a cough or sneeze or even when the infected person talks. If an EMT knows a person has tuberculosis, they should wear a mask at all times.


Yes or no? Peoptype 2 diabetic controls their insulin level through medication in tablet form

Unlike patients with type 1 diabetes, who need to inject insulin, those with type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar levels by means of oral medication. People with type 2 diabetes might produce insulin, but either it is not effective or their bodies do not produce enough. That is why they need medication daily.


Can you tell us what the medical term "hypoxemia" means?

A low level of oxygen in the blood, called "hypoxemia," can have many causes. It is most often a problem that patients with some form of respiratory condition suffer from. This can lead to hypoxia, a condition in which body tissue suffers from low oxygen levels.


If using a nasal cannula on a patient to administer oxygen, what flow should be set?

In the hospital, you will often see patients with a tube across their nose with two points just entering their nostrils. This is a nasal cannula, and it is used instead of a face mask, which makes it hard for the patient to communicate. The level of oxygen for a nasal cannula should be set between 1 and 6 liters per minute.


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