Airway & Respiratory, Patient Care

Book Review: Paramedic Pearls of Wisom, 2 Ed.

Paramedic Pearls of Wisdom,Ü2 Ed.
By Guy H. Haskell, PhD, NREMT-PÜÜ
Jones & Bartlett, 2006

The number of study guides and textbooks for paramedics has exploded during the past few years. Each tries to fill a certain niche or to appeal to people who learn and retain information in a specific way. Paramedic Pearls of Wisdom by Guy H. Haskell prepares its readers for state/national written examinations with materials based on the 1998 U.S. National Standard DOT EMT-Paramedic curriculum. It’s composed of 500 pages of short answer and true/false questions that amounts to somewhere around 7,000 questions. (No, I didn’t count them all; I just took an average from a few pages).

The book is divided into seven sections: Preparatory, Airway, Patient Assessment, Trauma, Medical, Special Considerations and Operations. Each section is divided into chapters. In other words, it’s organized along the same lines as the DOT curriculum. Each section begins with a “Voice of Experience,” which is a short story from an experienced provider related to that section’s topic. There’s also a multiple-choice quiz at the end of each section.Ü

This book is a good resource to discover what areas the reader needs to study further before taking a certification or refresher exam. Because it follows the DOT format, it’s easy for the reader to refer to a DOT-organized textbook. The author makes no claim that it’s a stand-alone textbook or study guide. He encourages the reader to use other texts to clarify answers and give the necessary background information to understand the concepts being examined.

This would also be a great source for an instructor looking for quiz and test questions. The short-answer questions allow students to show their knowledge and enable the instructor to evaluate student’s critical-thinking skills. The large pool of questions in the book allows instructors to frequently alternate test questions while still covering the same material. Students can also use it for small groups by asking each other questions to see who has the best answer.Ü

With the specific goal of preparing readers for exams, Paramedic Pearls of Wisdom isn’t an all-encompassing study guide. There are no ECG strips or illustrations. There’s no explanation for why the answer is correct. But it does cover the DOT curriculum in great detail and forces the reader to go to other resources to understand the answer, which reinforces the learning process. This book is a good choice for both students and experienced providers preparing for exams, as well as instructors looking for a supply of test questions.Ü

This book is part of the Pearls of Wisdom series that includes EMT Basic and Intermediate. Also by this author is PALS Pearls, published by McGraw-Hill.Ü


— Barry D. Smith, EMT-P, has been a paramedic for more than 20 years and currently works for the Regional EMS Authority,ÜReno,ÜNev. He has also worked as a volunteer firefighter and as a member of SAR and Civil Air Patrol rescue teams.