Equipment & Gear, Patient Care, Terrorism & Active Shooter

Book Review: Exam Prep EMT-Basic and Exam Prep Paramedic

Exam Prep EMT-Basic and Exam Prep Paramedic
By the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Dr. Ben Hirst
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett

Two exam prep texts released in 2007 — Exam Prep EMT-Basic and Exam Prep Paramedic — use a similar format, so this review covers both of them. I was impressed with the number of paramedics the author consulted to develop and validate his information. The new challenges faced byÜEMS providers are highlighted (e.g., terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and growing incidences of hazmat), and the need to prepare for such events rightfully deemed critical.

The author promotes education and a solid knowledge base as paramount for professionalÜEMS providers. The most widely accepted way to determine mastery of any subject is through testing. Both books use a system called the Systematic Approach to Examination Preparation (SAEP). Three phases fully describe and explain the system. Phase I is the initial test attempt and incorrect answers research. Phase II provides insight into test construction and authors. Phase III addresses the mental and physical aspects of test preparation.

I found the Personal Progress Plotter a bit complicated. Once mastered, it seems like a good tool. A Supplemental Practice Examination Program is available when you return the registration enclosed with your book. Like mostÜEMS providers, I tend to like things available quickly, so it would have been nice to include that with the original book purchase. It does however, offer a Web site for practice exams and instant feedback, which is a great asset.

My favorite feature of both books is that answers for every practice test question are in the back with the page reference for several majorÜEMS textbooks. Reviewing your work is thus very easy and efficient. However, the heading print on the “Appendix A Examination 1-3 Answer Keys” is small, so make sure you’re on the correct answer key when grading your work.

There’s also a series of “Rules” and “Helpful Hints” throughout the books. These study tips include techniques of test writers, how to properly research incorrect answers, test-taking facts and the reminder that “maximum effort = maximum results.”

Exam Prep EMT-Basic and Exam Prep Paramedic are good tools with solid foundations. Once readers familiarize themselves with the format and layout of the books, it allows for constructive use of study time. The ability to reference the major EMT and paramedic textbooks is the feature I found most helpful.

–ÜCarolyn Gain, EMT-P, San Diego Fire Rescue Department; flight paramedic, Mercy Air; and teaching assistant/instructor/preceptor/mentor; EMSTA