EMT Exam: Preassessment Questions and Answers

If you plan on taking the EMT exam, you should definitely consider taking a preassessment test to see where you stand. Preassessment tests are good for identifying your strengths and problem areas.

Sample Questions

  1. You determine that your unconscious patient has an inadequate airway. You insert an oropharyngeal airway. The patient vomits. You should first

    • (A)place the patient into a prone position.

    • (B)remove the airway.

    • (C)suction the airway until it’s clear.

    • (D)place the patient in a sitting position.

  2. Your patient is supine in bed, unresponsive to verbal stimulus and having difficulty breathing. You note that the patient’s lips, face, and fingers are cyanotic and that there’s pink, frothy sputum in the mouth and nose. You should first

    • (A)suction the mouth and nose.

    • (B)place the patient into a sitting position with feet dangling.

    • (C)begin bag-valve-mask ventilations.

    • (D)apply a jaw thrust.

  3. A 7-month-old infant presents limp and unresponsive in his mother’s arms. You note no air exchange and a weak, slow brachial pulse. The mother reports that the infant was playing with toys in a crib when he suddenly turned blue and stopped breathing. You should

    • (A)administer five abdominal thrusts.

    • (B)suction the mouth.

    • (C)administer five back blows and five chest thrusts.

    • (D)begin chest compressions.

  4. A 16-year-old female says she is short of breath. She is alert and is speaking seven to eight words in between breaths. She has hives on her chest and arms, and her skin is pale. You should

    • (A)ventilate the patient with a bag-valve mask.

    • (B)insert a nasopharyngeal airway.

    • (C)administer supplemental oxygen.

    • (D)apply continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

  5. An unconscious 25-year-old female has pale, cool, and diaphoretic skin. Her respiratory rate is 6 times a minute. You cannot hear lung sounds with a stethoscope. Your next step is to

    • (A)administer abdominal thrusts.

    • (B)administer high-flow oxygen.

    • (C)ventilate with a bag-valve mask.

    • (D)turn the patient onto her side.

  6. A 4-year-old child is having breathing difficulty. He isn’t responding to your commands, he has cyanosis around his lips and fingers, and he’s drooling from his mouth. His parents report the patient has a high fever and didn’t want to lie down to rest. What should you do?

    • (A)Administer oxygen via blow-by mask.

    • (B)Ventilate using a bag-valve mask.

    • (C)Apply a nasal cannula and oxygen at 6 LPM.

    • (D)Administer a combination of back blows and abdominal thrusts.

  7. A 56-year-old male with a history of asthma complains of substernal chest pressure that radiates to his jaw. He is alert, with cool, pale, and diaphoretic skin. His respiratory rate is 24 breaths per minute, and lung sounds are clear. You should

    • (A)assist his breathing with a bag-valve mask.

    • (B)assist with the patient’s multidose inhaler (MDI).

    • (C)lay the patient supine with his legs elevated.

    • (D)administer supplemental oxygen using a nasal cannula.

  8. Lifeguards have pulled a 7-year-old child out of the pool. She is unresponsive and apneic with a rapid carotid pulse. What should you do?

    • (A)Assist ventilations with a bag-valve mask.

    • (B)Begin chest compressions with a rate of at least 100 times per minute.

    • (C)Apply AED pads and prepare to shock.

    • (D)Suction the mouth and nose.

  9. A 56-year-old male is alert and in respiratory distress after being rescued from a burning apartment. You note soot on his face and soot-tinged secretions from his mouth and nose. There is audible stridor when he breathes. He is able to speak in four- to five-word sentences with a hoarse voice. You should

    • (A)place him supine and assist with ventilations.

    • (B)place him supine and administer supplemental oxygen.

    • (C)have him sit if tolerated, and administer supplemental oxygen.

    • (D)have him sit if tolerated, and assist with ventilations.

  10. A 2-year-old child has a fever, cough, and audible stridor. The parent awoke to the child coughing forcefully with an unusual sound that improved after the child stepped outside into the winter night air. What is the most likely cause for this presentation?

    • (A)Foreign body airway obstruction

    • (B)Epiglottitis

    • (C)Asthma

    • (D)Croup

Answers and explanations

  1. B. It’s most likely that the oropharyngeal airway triggered the patient’s gag reflex. Removing it will stop the reflex.

  2. A. You need to ensure that the patient’s airway is patent, so clearing the airway of any potential obstructions comes first.

  3. D. A likely scenario for this presentation is a foreign body airway obstruction.

  4. C. The patient is alert and responding appropriately, which indicates respiratory distress and not respiratory failure.

  5. C. The patient’s respiratory effort is too slow to support adequate ventilations, so you need to assist with a bag-valve mask.

  6. B. This child appears to have signs of an upper airway disorder, possibly due to epiglottitis. You can deduce that his ventilations are inadequate due to his mental status and skin signs.

  7. D. This patient appears to have adequate breathing, based on his rate and lung sounds.

  8. A. The patient is in respiratory arrest.

  9. C. Stridor and a hoarse voice indicate some type of air restriction in the upper airway. Having the patient in a sitting position is most likely to promote optimal airway patency.

  10. D. The description best fits an upper airway disorder.

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