How Much Do You Know About an EMT’s Job?



By: Kale Havervold

6 Min Quiz

Image: Tashi-Delek / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

An EMT (also known as an emergency medical technician) is responsible for quickly responding to a wide range of accidents or emergencies to provide first aid. This can be anything from car accidents to house fires, to major injuries and dozens of other situations. As you could imagine, this can be a very hard job, and EMTs really never know what they'll have to deal with on any given shift. 

EMTs need to have a wide range of skills, certifications and qualifications to be able to handle these situations. But how much of what an EMT does do you know? Do you know how to successfully stabilize someone with a broken neck? How about what the signs and symptoms of a concussion are? 

Whether you want to flex your EMT knowledge or want to further educate yourself on the topic, this quiz can help you do just that. We will look at all aspects of an EMT's job, covering their actual duties, their preparation and knowledge and even some stats related to the profession as a whole throughout the USA.

Without any further ado, put yourself in the shoes of a first responder, hop in the ambulance and get ready to test yourself against our challenging EMT quiz! 

If someone's skin is starting to turn a little blue, what is that likely a sign of?

If an individual or victim at the scene of an accident has their skin turning blue, it normally means that they have low oxygen in their blood. It is called cyanosis and can often come about quite suddenly.


What type of situation would someone need to carry an EpiPen for?

An EpiPen is something used to treat very severe and dangerous allergic reactions. An EpiPen contains a measured dose of epinephrine, which can reverse the overall symptoms of anaphylaxis.


Where on the body is the carotid artery located?

The carotid artery is a major blood vessel that is located in the neck. It supplies blood from the heart up to our necks, face and even our brains. As a result, it is an incredibly important part of our bodies and health.


When attempting to treat injuries, how do you handle getting consent from a victim who is unconscious?

While EMTs and other professionals are supposed to get consent from the patient, if they are unconscious, and harm will come to them if they are not treated, you are permitted to treat them.


Which of the following is not a common symptom of a concussion?

A concussion occurs when the brain suffers trauma that causes it to move or shake back and forth in rapid succession. All of the mentioned symptoms are common for concussions, except for fingers turning blue.


If you arrive to find someone on the scene who is bleeding profusely, what is the very first thing you should try to do?

The very first and most important thing to do is to stop the bleeding. This can be done by applying direct pressure in most cases, often using a clean cloth or gauze if possible.


What is the very first thing you should do if you believe a victim has suffered from a broken neck?

If you arrive at the scene of an accident as an EMT and notice someone may have broken their neck, it is important to keep them still and stabilize their neck. Moving them or their head and neck could lead to further injuries or issues.


What is a healthy and normal heart rate for an adult?

A normal heart rate for an average adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute. This will vary on a number of factors such as the age of a person, their physical condition, health and much more.


Which of these characteristics or behaviors is something not commonly seen in stroke victims?

A stroke is an unfortunately common event where the brain isn't getting enough blood. The symptoms of a stroke include a drooping face, trouble speaking and numbness, but not a feeling of happiness.


If you notice more than one victim at the scene of an incident, which do you provide first aid to first?

When arriving to a scene with multiple victims, EMTs will quickly assess the situation and help first those who need it most. They will prioritize those who are in the worst shape but still able to be saved and go from there.


Which of the following is not a vital sign?

Of the provided options, the eyesight of a victim isn't a vital sign. Vital signs can help indicate the functions of the body that are necessary to stay alive. Taking these measurements can help analyze the overall health or condition of a person.


Who sets the minimum requirements for EMT training?

EMT training is very important to ensure everyone is on the same page and has the knowledge they need to succeed. The minimum standards are set by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).


Where are EMTs employed in the USA?

There are many different places that EMTs can work including hospitals, fire departments and police stations. Any place that may deal with emergencies or dangerous situations could likely find a use for some EMTs on staff.


Which bone in the human body is the longest?

The longest bone in the human body is the femur. This bone connects your hip to your knee. In addition to being the longest, the femur is also believed to be the strongest bone in the body.


Our bodies are full of bones, but how many exist in the average adult human body?

The average adult has 206 bones in their body. At birth, however, we have about 270 bones. The number decreases, as several different bones throughout our bodies begin to fuse together as we get older.


What is the role of the endocrine system in the human body?

The endocrine system is incredibly important to our bodies for a number of different reasons. It helps produce hormones that regulate everything from our metabolism to our growth and even our mood.


What kind of body fluid can pass and transfer diseases or pathogens?

A variety of different types of bodily fluids are able to transmit and transfer different pathogens. It is very important to be careful around fluids when attending at the scene of an accident or emergency.


Where in the body is the aorta?

The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It begins in the heart, more particularly in the left ventricle. From there, it extends down into the abdomen, before splitting into two arteries that are smaller.


If a victim just snapped their ulna, what part of their body did they injure?

If someone snapped their ulna, they would have sustained an injury to their arm. In particular, the ulna is one of the bones that makes up our forearm, along with the radius. It also assists in forming the elbow joint.


Around when did the EMT program in the USA begin?

The EMT program began in the early 1970s as part of the "Alexandria Plan," The Alexandria Plan is when 24/7 and year-round emergency care was established in Alexandria, Virginia, and soon the idea spread elsewhere.


In our bodies, what is the role of the left atrium?

The heart is an incredibly complex part of our body, and the left atrium is no different. The left atrium is responsible for a number of things, most notably receiving oxygenated blood and pumping it to the left ventricle.


If an avulsion occurs during an accident, what has happened?

An avulsion is a type of injury where some part of the structure of our bodies is ripped or torn off. This can be anything from losing some skin, to losing all of your skin in an area, to potentially even losing a limb.


Which type of bleeding is the most harmful and dangerous to the victim?

All bleeding can be bad and harmful, but arterial bleeding is the most potentially dangerous. This occurs when an artery is cut and could result in a ton of blood being lost. In some cases, blood might even spurt out of the wound.


Of the EMTs working in the USA, what percentage of them are women?

According to Data USA and census estimates, it is believed that around 35% of all EMTs in the USA are women. As a result, there are tens of thousands of women working as EMTs and paramedics across the country.


How many times a minute should the average adult take a breath?

A normal breathing rate for a healthy adult is between 12 and 20 breaths a minute. Anything higher or lower than that could potentially be a cause for concern and should be investigated.


When doing CPR on a victim, what is the recommended ratio of chest compressions and breaths?

When doing CPR, it can be a life or death situation and thus, EMTs need to be able to do it correctly. The correct ratio for chest compressions and breaths is 30 compressions, followed by two breaths.


Approximately how many EMTs are working in the USA, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

According to stats provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are just over 250,000 EMTs working in the USA. The job outlook is good in the profession, as well, as it is supposed to grow faster than average.


How many "levels" of EMT are there that the NHTSA recognizes?

The NHTSA officially recognizes four separate levels of EMT. These are EMR (emergency medical responder), EMT (emergency medical technician), AEMT (advanced emergency medical technician) and paramedic.


How much blood does the average person have inside their body?

While the average amount of blood inside a person can vary a lot based on size, health, age and sex, the average person has around 1.2 to 1.5 gallons of blood circulating through their body at any given time.


According to the Census Bureau, what is the average age of EMTs in the USA?

According to census data, the average age of an EMT and paramedic in the USA is 35.9. On average, men are about 36 and a half years old, while women are just over 34 and a half years old.


During an explosion, what level of blast injury is likely to be the most fatal?

Out of all the different types of injuries often sustained during a blast or explosion, none have the potential to be as fatal or deadly as secondary injuries. These are injuries caused by shrapnel and other objects sent flying due to the blast.


If you want to discover the pulse rate of an infant, what is the best and preferred way to do it?

Despite what you may have expected, checking the elbow of an infant is the correct way to check their pulse. In particular, you will be checking the brachial artery of the child, which is located on the inner elbow.


When did the first ambulance service that was based in an American hospital begin?

The first-ever ambulance service that was actually based out of a hospital in American history was back in 1865. It was based out of a hospital in Cincinnati that was called Commercial Hospital.


Which of the following is the most common type of shock?

Shock is when there is too little blood flowing throughout the body. There are many different kinds of shock, but the most common is hypovolemic shock. It is caused by a low volume of blood circulating due to fluid loss or haemorrhage.


Which of these is the name for the symbol commonly associated with emergency medical services all over the world?

The Star of Life has been associated with the emergency medical field for decades all across the world. It is a blue star with six points, that features the Rod of Asclepius, which is a Greek symbol for healing.


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