The 2006 version of the Maryland EMT-Basic Practical Examination is the result of much hard work, dedication, and consensus from Maryland’s finest EMS coordinators, instructors, and evaluators. The enhancements made to the examination are based on EMS provider data (MAIS and eMAIS), research particular to emergency medical services, as well as expert input from providers and instructors alike. The forms associated with this examination, as well as the accompanying scenarios and logistics have evolved throughout the development process and are now being implemented as a result of consensus built from all involved parties, including MSFA, MFRI, MIEMSS, community colleges, commercial ambulance services, academies, and other agencies.
The reasons for modifying the EMT-B practical examination stemmed from the release of the 2005 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care which presented to the BLS community some significant changes from previous CPR and AED practices. Every medical scenario set of the previous practical examination was impacted by these changes and modifications were necessary to align with the new AHA guidelines. SEMSAC’s BLS Committee viewed the need to modify the examination as an opportunity to enhance not only the CPR and AED sections of the exam, but an opportunity to enhance the format of the exam as well. The Committee took the practical examination revision on as a project in November, 2005 and continuously improved it to where it is today.
The examination aligns with the 1994 DOT EMT-Basic curriculum and has gone through pilot testing as well as standard setting to determine appropriate pass criteria and significant actions. The examination is anticipated to take approximately the same time to complete as the former EMT-Basic examination, but yet allow for a broader assessment of the entry-level EMT-Basic candidate’s skill abilities. The new examination is comprised of a medical assessment station, a resuscitation station, and a trauma station. All three stations are explained as follows:
- MEDICAL STATION: Within this station, the candidates will be objectively evaluated in patient assessment and patient management with an intervention (pharmacological or otherwise). Each candidate will be presented with one of about a dozen medical scenarios and will be required to appropriately assess the patient and make an intervention as required. Also within the medical station, each candidate will be assessed with their ability to take blood pressures and pulses on a real person or eventually, a BP arm manikin.
- RESUSCITATION STATION: This station focuses on a straight forward cardiac arrest scenario in which the candidates will demonstrate CPR and AED in accordance with the 2005 AHA guidelines. The candidates may encounter a witnessed or unwitnessed adult or child in cardiac arrest. There is also a second component to the station that focuses on airway management. Here, the candidates will demonstrate, through a simple scenario, basic airway management using a BVM, oxygen, OPAs, NPAs, and/or suction. The reason for having the "airway" station in addition to the CPR/AED is due to the criticality of the airway skills, as well as research which indicates a high attrition with skill performance with EMT-Basic providers.
- TRAUMA STATION: Candidates will work as a team and demonstrate a patient assessment on a trauma patient. Within the trauma assessment, the candidates will be required to demonstrate spinal immobilization. Given that the number one trauma skill performed by EMT-Basics is spinal immobilization, the committee has decided to incorporate spinal immobilization testing for every entry-level candidate tested. At the conclusion of the patient assessment and spinal immobilization scenario, the candidates will be presented with a random basic skill for which they must successfully demonstrate treatment. For this skill, the candidates will be asked to provide treatment for an isolated injury for a patient with normal vital signs and no other injuries.
The enhaned EMT-B practical examination goes into effect for all courses starting on and after August 1, 2006. Any questions regarding this, you may call the Office of Education, Licensure, and Certification at 800-762-7157.
Maryland EMTB Practical Exam Manual - Explains the new and improved EMTB practical examination in detail.
Medical Station (Note: Candidates must individually complete both the Patient Assessment Medical and BP)
Patient Assessment - Medical incorporates both the medical patient assessment and intervention.
BP is the form used to assess the vital signs (BP and pulse).
Resuscitation Station (Note: Candidates must complete the Airway Management (Apneic) and either the Witnessed or Unwitnessed Arrest)
Witnessed Cardiac Arrest Management is used for a cardiac arrest scenario that is witnessed. This scenario may be a pediatric arrest or an adult.
Unwitnessed Cardiac Arrest Management is used for a cardiac arrest scenario that is unwitnessed. This scenario may be a pediatric arrest or an adult.
Apneic Patient is used for the assessment of airway management skills of candidates.
Trauma Station (Note: Candidates must complete the patient assessment - trauma and supine patient within a scenario and then complete the random basic skill as a separate scenario)
Patient Assessment - Trauma is used to assess the trauma patient assessment.
Supine Patient is used in conjunction with the patient assessment - trauma form to assess spinal immobilization of a traumatized patient.
Random Basic Skills - The candidates must complete one of the following as a team: