By Shane Moffitt

[Note: Shane is a student at the Inland Northwest Health Services in Spokane, WA]

I am proud to say that I not only had an all-star cast of instructors for my AEMT class, but my fellow classmates were of the highest caliber.  I would be honored to serve with any or all of them.

The Practical Skills testing was as difficult as advertised.  However, my classmates and I went in together and at the end of the day, we passed it together.

Written tests have never been a problem for me.  If I can get good nights sleep before a test and can clear my mind of distractions, I can usually hold my own on a written test.

So for the NREMT test, I cleared my head of all anxiety and got good nights sleep.  My confidence was high and my attitude positive as I went in to take the NREMT.

I had so much time left over at the end of the test that I went back to the beginning and double checked every answer.

The NREMT test destroyed me.

I was convinced I was in the wrong room and took the wrong test.

I failed every section of the test.  Which could not be possible since I have been a AHA Health Care Provider CPR / 1st Aid Instructor for years.  Common sense would suggest that I could at least pass the CPR questions.  Apparently not.

For a few days I wallowed in despair and considered a career as a WalMart greeter.  Eventually my Instructor Shaun got ahold of me.  He did 3 things that made the difference.

#1: He told me that he too failed the NREMT test the first time he took it.  Since he is a very respected AEMT in the field as much as in the classroom, this began to restore my faith.

#2:  He told me to join Limmer Education and purchase their phone app study guides.  I found Limmer Education to be the Rock Stars of the phone app study guide world.  It worked for me, however something else may work for you.

#3:  Shaun pointed out that the NREMT is different because it is NOT simply answering questions.  The NREMT takes the answers to questions and forces you to use them in a working diagnosis of a sick patient.

I found #3 especially difficult because I rely on my short term memory to carry me through tests.  I memorize lists and key words. This will not prove useful with the NREMT.

This required me to “retrain” my thinking.

For 2 weeks I lived on Limmer Education phone app study guides.

I took and retook tests.  I read and reread test answer rationales.

The end result was interesting. I began trusting my instinct.

Classroom lectures gave me the foundational material I needed to make good decisions.

Limmer Education trained my mind to trust my classroom training.

On the test, my “gut” lead me to the right answer.

When I slowed down and overthought a question, I flagged it because I knew my brain was overriding my instinct. That question needed to be revisited.

What I want you to remember is that I did not learn more material after failing the test the 1st time.  I already had a good understanding of the material.  What I needed to pass was not more cram sessions.  What I needed was to retrain my brain to trust my instincts, which were based on my excellent classroom training.

And yes, I passed the NREMT on my 2nd attempt.  Now it’s your turn. 

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