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.