certification

Today I took the NREMT exam – the National Registry exam for EMT’s.
I can’t work as an EMT until I pass this test. It’s a big one. And it’s hard.

I finished top of my class, studied like crazy for this exam, and came out of the testing center today thinking … “well, that was weird.”

It was a difficult exam. There is no set amount of questions and the questions you are given are pulled from a huge data bank, based on your knowledge. “Adaptive testing:” If you answer a question correctly, it will give you a harder one until you miss a question, then it will give you an easier one. The idea is to test your level of knowledge. And you feel it. Geez. It’s a good test to make you feel like a dummy quickly. It’s pass/fail and I’ll know “within two business days.”

Well, if I failed this time, at least I know what to expect when I take it again.
If I passed, then I get to write “EMT” after my name (and look for a job.)
Crossing fingers….

almost there

I can taste it. The end. Graduation. Certification. Work.

Finals are separated into two sections: Practicals and Exam.
The Practicals are hands-on testing. We enter a room with equipment and a tester person. We have ten minutes to complete the exam which will consist of a scenario. There are six stations with six different objectives; Medical Assessment, Trauma Assessment, Bag Valve Mask, Spine Immobilization, AED/Cardiac Arrest, and a random one.

Nerve wracking but doable. I hope I am ready and I’m glad I have a few more days to practice. I still have a cold, but I figure if I can get this stuff down when I’m foggy headed and feeling crappy, then I’ve got it.

The multiple choice exam is next week. The last day of class, provided you pass the exam. This will be 150 questions covering the entire book. All 1068 pages. That’s a lot of reviewing to cover.

After all this, I will head to the National Registry Exam. This is The Big One. I can pass the class, but if I don’t pass this exam, I don’t become an EMT. I’m signed up for it already and once I complete the class I can pick out a date. I’ll take it as soon as possible so that I have the information fresh in my head.

I’m excited! After doing my clinical rotation at Scottsdale’s Osborn Hospital ER I was even more excited. This is an honorable, thrilling job – even if it’s just helping an 86 year old woman feel more comfortable. EMT isn’t really all about “saving lives,” it’s about helping people.

One of my favorite jobs was in high school when I worked at an ice cream place. People don’t get ice cream when they are cranky and tired. They get it as a treat, kids aren’t complainy they are on best behaviour hoping this will garner them a larger scoop. People have already eaten so are content. They are always pleased when you hand them their cone.

Working as an EMT won’t be like that. A lot of folks won’t be happy to see us, there will be combative people, people with mental disorders and lots of truly disgusting smells and fluids. But there will be people who are scared, and people who called us and hope we can help. There will be people who understand our role is to attempt to be of service to them.

The countdown has begun.
Here I come!