Last night, we took our first quiz. And let me tell you, I now understand the anxiety even seasoned providers have around NREMT exams. Because I would answer, and then I would think, "Wait a minute. Is that right, or are they tricking me?"

Most of the time, they were definitely tricking me.

In the other cases, I was tricking myself because what I remembered from the instructor's lecture was slightly different from the book. For example, one of the questions had to do with responding to a call where a husband woke to find his wife unresponsive and cold to the touch. Once you determined that she wasn't alive and you stopped resuscitation, what were you supposed to do? The right answer and the distracter were whether you should hall a** out of there (presumably because your work is done and you need to go back in service) or stay and offer some supportive care to the distraught husband.

My thought process was, "Well of course you're going to have to offer condolences to the husband, but is that really 'supportive care?' And yes, you also need to get back in service pretty immediately. So if you don't say you need to get back in service, are you going to be penalized for delaying your time on scene unnecessarily?"

I had these internal debates 50 times last night (once for each question, and then when reviewing my answers before turning in my test).

Once the quiz and classroom debate were over, we got to pathophysiology. I had a lot of really cool moments where I remembered articles I've worked on for JEMS over the years (or am planning for future issues) that tied into the discussion. For example, we have an awesome Case of the Month coming up about a bicycle handlebar accident and had a past article on trending vital signs. Both tied into a scenario the teacher gave us about a kid who had occult bleeding in the spine due to a handlebar accident.

The magical moments where things started clicking made the frustrating parts of the quiz worth it. Kinda like, I'm sure, how those I-truly-saved-a-life calls make the frequent-and-annoying ones tolerable.

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