When it comes to hiring emergency medical technicians, EMT squads and companies don’t bring on just anyone. Because saving lives is part of the job description, EMT employers put each candidate through a rigorous interview process to pick the most qualified and best EMTs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up 31 percent of all EMTs as of 2012 and, like their male counterparts, must earn an EMT degree and pass a national certification exam before interviewing for jobs. As part of the interview process, most EMTs will face a skills test.
Topics You’ll Cover
The exact topics covered in an EMT interview skills test will vary from employer to employer but include general topics like CPR, AED and basic first aid. Typically, your interview skills test will challenge your knowledge on national, state and local EMT rules, regulations and protocols. Other topics employers test you on include patient assessment, basic diseases, health conditions and drug interactions. You’ll also cover practical skills like hare traction, operating a Kendrick Extrication Device and using a backboard. Many employers base the skills test on questions asked in the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification exam, the national certification test all EMTs must pass.
Types of Skills Tests
Each employer follows its own interview process, which may include an oral skills test, written skills test or a combination of both. Priority One Medical, for example, requires all job candidates to take a 50-question, multiple-choice test and pass with a grade of 80 percent or better. Some employers ask candidates to demonstrate their skills during the interview. For example, during the interview, Advance Life Systems has job candidates perform six or seven EMT skills, such as backboarding, applying traction splints and administering oxygen.
Skills Test Formats
The skills test during an EMT interview may include questions that require a simple yes-or-no or one-word answer. Most tests will ask more open-ended questions, such as asking for a detailed description of what you would do in a specific emergency situation. Along with skills test questions, an EMT interview includes more general questions about the candidate. Interviewers ask candidates to speak to their strengths and weaknesses and why they want to work as EMTs.
Depending on the employer, one person or a team of people may conduct the interviews. Interviews can include human resources professionals, medical directors, managers and supervisors. In addition to an oral or written skills test, many employers also require candidates to pass other types of tests, including spelling, grammar and language comprehension. Some employers offer different levels of skills tests depending on your level of certification. For example, Advance Life Systems offers three skills test levels -- EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate and Paramedic -- for EMTs at different levels.
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