I’m in the last two weeks of my paramedic academy didactics. I can’t believe it has been almost a year already. As I await my internship to begin, I am currently taking exams, both written and psychomotor.
All year-long, we at given essay examinations. These are based on student learning objectives. These aren’t short answer items. I don’t think I will ever forget, “In detail…” followed by one of the SLOs from our textbook. And we are expected to excel at these. Most have been pathophysiology-based, but some have been local protocols, drug information, about operations, and more.
This semester (The last of 3), we were subject to more multiple-choice exams. The last of the multiple-choice exams was the other day. It was grueling. It is meant to assess our overall readiness to take the NREMT Computer-Based Test (CBT). We don’t get to see the correct answers, but we do gain a “learning prescription” that enables us to study those subjects that need improvement.
Thankfully, I have passed my multiple-choice exams, and now have turned my attentions to the essay questions in our comprehensive final exam (All 3 semesters worth), and the skills verifications showing my readiness for the NREMT psychomotor exams. I’ve taken a differing approach to these latter exams, due to TEST ANXIETY. Yeah, me. I finally figured out why I was having such a problem with them. My instructor is the one testing us, along with others. I loathed having him be my proctor for these. It was due to the fact that he has been barking at me during class. During training, he should be pushing my buttons. He had noticed I had certain difficulties in scenarios. He wanted to know if I could get over them, or if I would buckle. Thankfully, I overcame them.
Problem is, I was still envisioning him barking at me when I would be tested on skills. When I did a simple one recently (Supine Spinal Immobilization), I decided to essentially forget he was there, and perform the skill as the NREMT skills sheets have you play. I passed. I spoke with him about this today for a few minutes, and told him how I did it. He told me that is EXACTLY how I should handle each skills test. Today was yet another two. I had different proctors each time. And I passed each. One test at a time. One skill at a time.