Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Quality Paramedic Study Guide

NREMT Paramedic Study Guide
Every once in a while a good study guide will come along and I'll post it up here. This one by EMSSuccess.com contains over 8 hours of audio review that I believe you can use as a paramedic study guide during paramedic school for as an NREMT study guide. Take a look at www.EMSSuccess.com.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Is The NREMT Exam?

To best review and prepare yourself for the NREMT Exam, you must first fully grasp how the NREMT Exam is constructed. The NREMT Exam is developed on what is called a Computer Adaptive Test (frequently called a C-A-T or CAT. ) This sort of examination is obviously computer structured and is referred to as an “adaptive” exam established on an Item Response Theory (IRT) that pragmatically gives questions based on the test takers reply to prior questions. This is naturally a lot different than a “linear” exam in which questions are randomly selected from a question bank. Computer Adaptive Tests are common in “high stakes” exams such as the NREMT where by test taker proficiency needs to be assessed as precisely as possible.

When creating these tests, every question is calibrated to establish what level of difficulty it will be positioned. This is accomplished by way of “pilot” questions put into each assessment that will not be counted for or against the test taker in the course of the scoring of the exam. The degree of difficulty associated with the question pinpoints the “level of ability” necessary to answer the question correctly. Some questions are determined to be a low level of ability while others are identified to require a greater level of ability from the test taker.

The variety of questions that every test taker is presented with ranges when taking this type of an test. As questions are answered accurately or inaccurately, the questions presented adjust in difficulty until a specified level of proficiency is proven. This is done ordinarily by commencing the exam with questions a bit below the standard set for passing. Once a set of these questions are answered correctly, the computer will select questions demanding a greater ability to answer properly. If the majority of this series of questions are properly answered, the computer will yet again, pick questions that require an even higher level of ability until the test taker reaches his or her greatest level of ability. This the reason why the NREMT Exam “feels” more complicated than other tests and also the reason why test takers often times feel like they didn't score well at the end of the test. The correct and incorrect answers together with the level of difficulty of each question is placed on a standard scale to figure out the test takers overall ability. Once the computer establishes that the test taker is either executing above or below the standard, entry-level competency, the exam will stop. The test taker that exhibits the ability to respond to the bulk of the questions accurately normally finds that their test stops early. This takes place when the computer is able to see that the test taker is continually able to answer questions greater than the standard, entry-level competency. The exam will stop after the computer is 95% assured that the test taker has hit this level. Early completion of the assessment might also happen if the test taker exhibits within 95% confidence that he or she cannot reach the standard, entry-level competency. The most useful method to make sure that you satisfy the standard entry-level competency when you take this exam is to exercise excellent study practices and make the most of effective NREMT paramedic study guides.

Take and Pass The NREMT Exam

Before You Start

 Considering that you will not be able to look at the complete exam just before you start and you are required to answer each question prior to moving on to the following one, you want to be prepared for anything they throw at you. I advise using the empty sheet of paper and pencil that they provide. Utilize this paper to quickly note down any little thing you think you might want to recall, like drug drip formulas, the Parkland Burn Formula, the Rule of Nines for burns, etc. Do this the moment you enter the assessment area, before you start the examination. The examination is timed and you do not want to be hurried.

Read Each Question Carefully

 You’ve heard this a thousand times before, read each question thoroughly before answering. Are they asking for “everything except” or “the most” or “the least”. Ensure that you understand what it is they want to know prior to answering the question. Repeat it back to yourself if you have to.

Do away with Incorrect Answers

 After you read the question and know exactly what exactly they are asking for, get rid of as many choices as feasible. This is, often times, is very difficult during this particular exam because this exam wants you to recognize the “best” answer. You will find that more than one choice may be an appropriate answer. You need to determine which is the “very best”.

Scene Safety and Personal Safety First

 This seems to always get people. The question could be something like, “You and your partner arrive first at a house fire. As you arrive a person lying down in front of the house that appears to have just exited the burning house and multiple onlookers are gathering in the road. ” What is your very first course of action? A) Provide life saving measures to the individual in front of the home B) Secure the scene by placing “Do Not Cross” tape along the front of the property C) Wait for firefighters to arrive D) Call for extra support. My answer? I have no idea, but one similar to this was on my NREMT assessment. I believe a great argument could be made for any of these. These are the type of questions you have to be really careful with.

Pay Attention To The “Least Invasive”

 This is an excellent rule for the NREMT Exam. In many cases, test takers want to “make use of their newly acquired skills” when in actuality, the most ideal treatment is often times the least invasive. Don’t let the test drag you into selecting “Assist Ventilations With High Flow O2” on patient with a low oxygen saturation when “Provide O2 via a Non-Rebreather” is an option. Usually, the least invasive is the proper answer.

In conclusion, nothing can take the place of good preparation. Set aside sufficient study time, utilize study groups, flashcards, audio NREMT exam study guides and cheat sheets and then follow up with a practice exam to see how you are doing.

Proper Preparation For Your NREMT Exam

Study Time

 Provide plenty of time in advance to study. NREMT tests are not one thing you should cram for. Create a schedule and create a habit of studying for the NREMT during this period. Set aside the start of each study session when you are most alert to the areas you have the most frustration. It’s good exercise to study that night, the material you talked about that day. If you attend an evening NREMT class, review immediately the next morning.

Audio Reviews

 Audio Reviews like those you can put on an MP3 player or play on a CD in your car can be a great resource and NREMT study guide for studying. The repetition of principles and ideas will really fortify what you learn while in class and review from your notes and books. These usually are remarkable study resources for all those moments when you would ordinarily not be able to review for the NREMT including in the car, exercising, jogging, etc.

Study Sheet

 One quite helpful tool you can make while you study is to summarize and outline the material to be used later as a study sheet. Doing this accomplishes two things; First, it supplies you with an instant, overview of the NREMT material for review in the future, and by outlining and re-writing your content, it reinforces what you learned that day. Anytime you re-write a principle in your own words, it really reinforces those principles.


 Flashcards do the job very well, especially when you need to memorize terms or simple concepts like drug actions, indications and dosages. The use of flashcards can significantly enhance your NREMT exam study time. Not to mention, flashcards printed on notecards are easy to take with you wherever you go so you can make use of downtime to study such as when you travel, during lunch, etc. When creating your NREMT study flashcards, be sure to put them into categories for easy “grab and go” review.

Utilize Your Instructors

 Don’t limit the expertise of your teacher to only the amount of time you spend in school. The majority of course instructors are more than happy to guide you outside of class, particularly if you are struggling with a specific subject. With the NREMT, it’s important that you thoroughly understand all of the difficult subjects that you will be expected to know for the NREMT assessment.

NREMT Review Groups

 This is IMPORTANT! If you don’t already have a study team together, get one. Keep two things in mind when you are in search of study companions; Those that seem to “Get It” in class and those that live close to you. The first one is obvious. It does you no good to study with individuals that are really having difficulties unless you believe that by assisting these individuals you yourself will gain more expertise which is often the case. They claim that if you can explain a principle, then you genuinely understand it. The second is also important. Find individuals that reside in the vicinity of you. You will be much more likely to maintain a study schedule if you reside near each other as opposed to one of you needing to commute an hour or more each time you plan on reviewing. Also, keep your NREMT review periods to a realistic amount of time and have a plan on what you will cover. I like 2-3 hours.

Practice Tests

 I put Practice Assessments at the bottom for a reason. While I feel practice exams can be valuable, I believe that individuals often times depend on them far too much. These people take a few practice tests from a book they purchased, do fairly well, and think they’re finished. This can actually give a person false hope. I do think that practice tests are great for aiding to recognise the parts you ought to focus your review. With that being said, the most useful way to pass the NREMT is to simply understand your material. I believe that mixing an effective practice exam with a good audio NREMT exam study guide, flashcards and review sheets are the most helpful.