What Drugs Can EMTs Administer?

Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMTs, can administer a wide range of drugs and medications, whether to stabilize an emergency patient before they are transported to the hospital or to address a critical health issue such as anaphylactic shock. An emergency response unit commonly carries an extensive kit, which may include medications like epinephrine, glucose, saline fluids, naloxone, and albuterol, which are used to treat conditions ranging from cardiac arrest and dehydration to respiratory distress and overdoses. 

It is essential that any aspiring emergency responder preparing for the NREMT test accesses a relevant paramedic pharmacology study guide and knows the most frequently used drugs inside out, demonstrating their knowledge of usages, dosages, contraindications, and safe administration protocols in line with the national standards.

What Drugs Do I Need to Know to Pass the EMT Exam?

Drug cards are one of the aspects of the NREMT syllabus that many students need help with because it might feel impossible to memorize every snippet of data on each of the more than fifty drugs that could crop up in your examination. The national standards expect you to be able to:

  • Identify appropriate drugs for any theoretical emergency
  • Name alternative medicines based on contraindications or the patient profile
  • Explain how a drug works and justify your choice of drug to show why you believe it to be the most appropriate
  • Understand dosages and why they’ll differ for IV lines and medicines in the field

As one of the mastery segments packed into our Video Vault, the EMS Medications Mastery Course is essential to your study. We’ve compiled breakdowns of every drug that could appear on any NREMT exam in a consistent drug card format to embed your comprehension.

We’ve found that focusing on the mechanism of action–the MOA–is one of the most successful study approaches. If you know and fully understand the MOA, other aspects of a drug profile become more apparent, and you’ll be able to respond to medication-specific questions with greater confidence.

Improving Drug Card Knowledge Before Attempting the NREMT

The NREMT examination will only usually present a multiple-choice question asking you to select an appropriate drug when a clear answer shows best clinical practice. For example, suppose you were asked what the most frequently administered medication by EMTs is. In that case, you might find that the correct answer depends on the nature of emergency callouts in your state, where regions with higher instances of drug use may have very different demands from those with a predominantly older population at risk of cardiac arrest. However, this by no means implies that a vague understanding of EMT medications is sufficient, nor that you won’t be expected to respond fully to all questions, many of which will have a component based on drug administration.

Signing up for our Video Vault gives you instant access to all medication breakdowns, with simplified explanations to help you absorb all the essential information well before your test. These use the familiar drug card layout and cover specific details such as interactions with other emergency medications and adverse reactions you need to be aware of.

Once you’re confident you have a solid understanding, you can access our practice questions and knowledge check quizzes to verify whether you’re ready or need to invest more time into your test prep. Knowledge check quizzes are an excellent way to highlight snags and ensure your study is focused solely on the parts of the curriculum you’re struggling with.

What Are Special Considerations in the EMT Exam Syllabus?

Special considerations are unique attributes of a drug or how the medication works that must be recalled on demand to protect the well-being of any patient. They might include medicines that are unsuitable for pediatric patients, for example, or medications that cannot be administered at the same time as another drug. 

Other drugs carry special considerations related to their use in pregnant patients or people with preexisting conditions or suspected of having a cerebral vascular accident (CVA), also known as a stroke. The EMS Medications Mastery program covers all these details, including drug categorizations, providing you with a great depth of knowledge and helping you provide comprehensive, accurate responses to all NREMT test questions.

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