Sample Questions and Answers: EMT Exam

Practice exams are very helpful when preparing for the EMT exam. Take the time to take a practice exam under testing conditions before test day. This will help you identify knowledge gaps and increase your confidence.

Sample questions

Directions: Choose the best answer to each question. Mark the corresponding oval on the answer sheet.

  1. Your patient complains of dizziness and a headache. He has a history of angina that is treated with nitroglycerin and high blood pressure for which he has not been taking his prescribed medications. His blood pressure is 230/164 mm Hg, his heart rate is 84, and his respiratory rate is 16 breaths per minute. You should

    • (A)assist the patient with his nitroglycerin to lower his blood pressure.

    • (B)administer oxygen via nasal cannula.

    • (C)lay the patient in a head-down position.

    • (D)perform a complete secondary assessment.

  2. A 23-year-old male presents conscious and alert, supine on the ground with an obvious abdominal evisceration. Bystanders tell you that he fell from a second story balcony and struck an iron fence. You should first

    • (A)flex the patient’s hips and knees.

    • (B)cover the evisceration with a moist, sterile dressing.

    • (C)provide cervical spine stabilization.

    • (D)administer oxygen.

  3. A patient presents with a knife impaled in his neck. There is profuse bleeding from the wound. You hear no gurgling or stridor as the patient breathes. You should

    • (A)remove the knife and apply direct pressure.

    • (B)provide direct pressure to the wound around the knife.

    • (C)apply direct pressure to the knife.

    • (D)cover the wound with a four-sided occlusive dressing.

  4. Your patient is supine on the sidewalk. As you approach, you observe an open wound to the anterior chest wall. You should first

    • (A)administer oxygen.

    • (B)dress and bandage the wound.

    • (C)apply an occlusive dressing.

    • (D)determine his heart rate.

  5. Your patient presents unconscious with a metal rod impaled through her jaw. Her respirations are slow and shallow; she is cyanotic. Because of the rod, you can’t form an adequate seal with the bag-valve mask. You should

    • (A)administer oxygen via a nonrebreather mask.

    • (B)administer oxygen via blow-by.

    • (C)remove the object.

    • (D)call advanced life support (ALS) to perform a surgical airway.

  6. Your patient presents unconscious with a gunshot wound to the thigh just above the knee. The wound is spurting bright red blood. You can’t control the bleeding with direct pressure. You should

    • (A)perform full spinal immobilization and transport.

    • (B)elevate the patient’s leg.

    • (C)apply a pressure bandage.

    • (D)apply a tourniquet.

  7. Where should you apply a tourniquet to a wound located on the wrist?

    • (A)Just proximal to the injury

    • (B)Directly on the hand

    • (C)Directly over the wound

    • (D)On the bicep, just proximal to the elbow

  8. Which of the following is an example of a closed soft tissue injury?

    • (A)Laceration

    • (B)Avulsion

    • (C)Contusion

    • (D)Puncture

  9. Your patient presents with a screwdriver impaled through his pants, into his thigh. You should immediately

    • (A)expose the wound area.

    • (B)manually stabilize the screwdriver.

    • (C)use a bulky dressing to stabilize the object.

    • (D)remove the object.

  10. Your patient is unconscious after being struck by a car. His breathing is slow and shallow, and you hear snoring. You feel crepitus when you palpate his pelvis and both femurs. His pulse rate is 126, and his blood pressure is 82/56 mm Hg. Which of the following treatments is indicated?

    • (A)Application of a tourniquet

    • (B)Application of a pneumatic antishock garment (PASG)

    • (C)Oxygen via a nonrebreather mask

    • (D)Use of a traction splint

Answers and explanations

  1. B. Nitroglycerin, Choice (A), should not be used to lower the blood pressure of a hypertensive patient in the field. Laying the patient in a head-down position, Choice (C), will likely worsen his headache. You will perform a complete secondary assessment, Choice (D), but only after administering oxygen, Choice (B).

  2. C. Both Choices (A) and (B) are part of routine care for an abdominal evisceration, but should be performed after you first hold cervical spine stabilization, Choice (C), and then administer oxygen if needed, Choice (D), as these are greater concerns.

  3. B. An impaled object should not be removed, Choice (A), unless it interferes with airway control and/or ventilation, which isn’t the case here. Direct pressure to the knife, Choice (C), may result in a worse injury, and covering the knife with an occlusive dressing, Choice (D), is impractical.

  4. C. A normal dressing and bandage, Choice (B), is inappropriate for a sucking chest wound. You need to determine the patient’s heart rate and administer oxygen, Choices (D) and (A), after correcting the life-threatening injury you’ve already identified.

  5. C. First, the patient’s airway needs to be controlled and she needs to be ventilated immediately.

  6. D. Arterial bleeding that is uncontrolled with direct pressure requires the immediate application of a tourniquet, Choice (D).

  7. A. Applying the tourniquet directly on the hand, Choice (B), wouldn’t stop the bleeding nor would placing it directly over the wound, Choice (C). Placing it proximal to the elbow, Choice (D), would cut off perfusion to much of the arm unnecessarily.

  8. C. Lacerations, avulsions, and punctures, Choices (A), (B), and (D), are all examples of open wounds.

  9. B. Choice (D) is incorrect because impaled objects are left in place unless they are interfering with airway control and/or ventilation, or CPR. Choices (A) and (C) are both procedures that will be performed, but only after the impaled object is manually stabilized to prevent further injury, Choice (B).

  10. B. There is no evidence of uncontrolled external arterial bleeding, so there’s no need for a tourniquet, Choice (A). The patient is in respiratory failure, which requires a bag-valve mask, not a nonrebreather mask, Choice (C). The fractured pelvis is a contraindication for the use of a traction splint, Choice (D)

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