We scoured social media sites for the 5 absolute worst pieces of advice on taking the NREMT exam. It was challenging to just pick 5 since there is so much bad advice out there. It was also quite entertaining. Here is our list—with a few more solid suggestions to help you pass.
1) Have a drink first.
We understand everyone has anxiety about the exam. Studying, a good sleep the night before and a few deep breaths when needed will help you. Drinking won’t. If you are inclined to have a drink, have it after the exam.
The real advice: Prepare well, then relax.
2) When in doubt choose airway.
You may not know the answer to every question. But it always makes sense to take an educated guess rather than applying a rote rule. Yes, airway is important. It may be the answer on many questions—but not all. The best way to choose an answer is to read the question and determine what it is asking. Then make your best choice.
The real advice: Read the question carefully and choose the best answer.
3) Just follow your protocols.
The NREMT doesn’t care about your protocols. Really. In our great 50 states there are hundreds of different protocols and it isn’t possible to match them all. The NREMT is based on science and practice. Choose each answer based on what is the best choice in the given situation, not what is in your protocol book.
The real advice: Again, choose the best answer.
4) There is no real way to study for the NREMT
We found this nugget of alleged wisdom on a social media site:
“I am the type that believes that studying for this kind of test does more harm than good because the test doesn’t care as much about right or wrong as it does about your pattern of answers.”
This is true to an extent. The NREMT does look for a pattern of answers: THE BEST ANSWER. And you can study for the NREMT. You’d be an ass not to study for the NREMT. Get a good foundation of facts and then study by using critical thinking and application questions. The NREMT doesn’t ask you for facts, it asks for judgments and application of those facts based on patient presentations. A reputable, high quality exam prep app will help as well.
The real advice: Study. Study. Study. (But don’t be crazy.)
5) Always use 100% oxygen by non-rebreather
We can’t believe this is even on the list almost 5 years after the AHA recommended administering oxygen based on pulse oximetry. It is an EMT-Basic way of thinking in an EMT world. We wouldn’t give any other medication indiscriminately, why would we think that way about oxygen? This is the equivalent of giving a whole bunch of nitro without checking the blood pressure. Give oxygen based on the patient’s complaint, your perception of their severity and pulse oximetry readings.
The real advice: Oxygen is a drug. Treat it like one.