NREMT- Utterly Frustrating

bstone

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I am utterly frustrated with the National Registry. This is my personal frustration and I am unsure if other people have been similarly effected.

In late May 06 I took the Intermediate-85 exam. I passed the written exam just fine but was told I needed to retest (aka failed) Patient Assessment. I was shocked as I had always gotten it utterly perfect in Intermediate school, never missing a beat. I do know that I was about the last person of perhaps 70 or so to test during a long, long Sunday. The proctor looked completely exhausted when I walked in the room and sleepily conducted my test.

When I got the results I sent a letter on July 1, 2006 to NREMT's exam section (per the instructions on NREMT's website) asking for a review of this. I felt the proctor missed something I had said. I sent my letter via US Mail Certified Mail to ensure delivery (it was). They got my letter and, according to their record, on July 17, 2006 they "reviewed" my file and "confirmed" I needed to rest.

Today, November 1, 2006 - 5 months after I sent the letter- I called NREMT to see what has happened. Life was going quickly and I noticed that I had never heard from them. I am not working full time in EMS but getting my Intermediate card is important to me.

After being bounced around I finally got ahold of a woman who told me they "confirmed" I needed to retest. I asked why I had never, ever received anything from the NREMT and she said "I don't know". She said further appeals would have to go to her boss, Rob Wager an Associate Director of the NREMT.

I called Mr Wagner and briefed him of my situation. I told him 1) I felt the proctor simply missed something I said and 2) was very frustrated I never heard anything from the NREMT. He told me in short order that there is *no* method of appeal, the NREMT won't tell me what I supposedly failed and I would have to get remedial training and retest.

I told him I could have retested 4 time by now and so I was obviously frustrated. When I asked him why I had never gotten anything from the NREMT he gave a very half-hearted apology but then turned it around. He told me *I* was the on at fault for waiting so long to contact the NREMT. Additionally, he kept saying "we've been on the phone for 12 minutes" and "we've been on the phone for 17 minutes now". He did this three times. I told him I had no clue why he kept stating the time we had been on the phone. He said "you took almost half a year to contact the NREMT about something that could have been cleared up in 15 minutes on the phone". I told him I felt he was being rude to me and I did not appreciate it. He said "I am sorry you feel that way" (aka too bad). I wished him a good afternoon and hung up the phone.

Obviously I'll register to take the PA again and brush up on it very well. However my faith in the NREMT has been completely eliminated. If their examination section cannot send me one simple letter and their Associate Director is so rude, how do they expect me to place my EMS future in their hands?

I may have "failed" Patient Assessment but NREMT fails entirely in my book.
 

fm_emt

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Heh. I never got my results online. I was checking the website every day and kept freaking out because I never saw any results.

So one day I'm out for a walk and I dropped by to get my mail. I have all of my mail sent to a UPS Store address because I have had problems with apartment mailboxes in the past. Imagine my utter surprise when I saw this big envelope from the NREMT folks. I thought I'd open it and it'd be 5 pages of "HA HA HA" or something.

But it wasn't. it was my certificate and everything. I ran back to the office and checked online - still nothing. I called them and told them what was up, and they went to verify my info. Nope. Couldn't verify me. It turns out that they had fat fingered my birthdate when they did the initial data entry. I had them correct the entry, and I saw my results online that evening.
 

Ridryder911

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I do agree, that the behavior was inappropriate, but this is not atypical for any license and board institutions.

The representative should had informed that if you felt something was wrong the day you tested, as directed in the instructions prior to testing, you were to report it then. Reporting after the test usually as labeled as "sour grapes" and NO !.. no testing agency will ever tell you what you missed... etc. This could cause validity of the test to be ruined.

Albeit that they were rude, I am surprised that they answered any questions regarding a test nearly half a year later. Remember they are only a testing company and most of their employees are not or ever have been involved in EMS. Some agencies in the medical profession testing will not allow you to retest, if you have not taken action and made application within a timely manner. The one taking the test is solely responsible to follow up and pursue actions. Remember, it again is only a company that distributes a test.

Again, they should not had been rude, but they probably do feel it was really important to you; you would had contacted them by now.

Good luck in your retest...

R/r 911
 
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Guardian

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First bstone, let me say that I really feel sorry for you. That's why it is so hard to do what I'm about to do...that was dumb on your part. When your evaluator says you failed, you failed (even if you did everything right). The guy in ohio wasn't there. How the hell would he know what really happened that day. What did you think would happen. Did you think NREMT was going to send the FBI out to interview suspects. Secondly, in todays world, who the hell uses ground mail anymore except for routine unimportant crap. NREMT does a darn good job 99% of the time. Good luck on your retest and be sure to study hard because my guess is you missed something the first time.
 

bstone

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First off, thank to you everyone who offered even the basic sympathy. It does feel good.

My basic frustration isn't the fact that they think I failed. I will gladly retest and hopefully pass (again, IMO). My frustration is that I followed the proper procedures in filing a request for a review, sent it via US Certified Mail and never heard anything back. If the NREMT is trying to be the main certifiying company for EMTs then it would seem to me they should respond to their mail.

My other frustration is the completely unprofessional and uncalled for comments and demeanor on the part of the Associate Director. He rubbed me the wrong way and obviously does not care. Has he not heard of customer service? We who test for NREMT are paying them for a service- to manage our EMT credentials. If they don't respond to their mail and then belittle people who call them how can they possibly expect to win our respect.

They lost all respect from me. I hope that sits well with them. I am a pre-med and intend to become an Emergency Medicine Physician with a focus on EMS. I sure hope the same guy isn't still a higher up in NREMT when I become an attending.
 

akflightmedic

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I have to agree. The fault lies with you.

As a NREMT proctor, we stress over and over, if you have a problem, you speak up THAT DAY! You knew you failed that day as you are told the results of your practical on the spot. In addition, you are also allowed to retest a failed station that same day with a different proctor. Me thinks there is more to this story, however I was not there so I can only go on the information you have provided. However, 2 things went wrong that day. You did not retest the same day, and you did not speak up the same day.

If I were in the middle of a test and I felt the proctor was not paying attention, I would stop and ask them if they are ok and if they are paying attention. That is your right. Take responsibility for your lack of action. Saying he appeared sleepy and you were the last of 70 people is not acceptable.

Sorry I have no sympathy for you at the moment.

On the other hand, the guy you spoke to on the phone does sound rude, but again there are 2 sides to every story and perception varies. Perception is reality.
 

bstone

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I have to agree. The fault lies with you.

As a NREMT proctor, we stress over and over, if you have a problem, you speak up THAT DAY!
Agreed. If I thought there was a problem I would have spoken up. Below my response to your comments will paint a better picture of the story.

You knew you failed that day as you are told the results of your practical on the spot.
No. We were *not* told on the spot. In fact the proctors were NOT allowed to tell us if we passed or failed. This was stressed and NOBODY was told of their passing or failure on that day. We were all told we had to wait for the official NREMT results to be posted on the NREMT website. In order to "speed up" the process we were told we could sign a waiver allowing for the Test Coordinator (Becker Training) to send us, via email, "unofficial" practical exam results available about a week or two after testing.

In addition, you are also allowed to retest a failed station that same day with a different proctor.
No. We were *NOT* allowed to retest the same day. Here is a link from the testing coordinator's website stating they DO NOT allow for same day retesting: http://www.beckertraining.com/faqs.htm#Q24

Me thinks there is more to this story, however I was not there so I can only go on the information you have provided. However, 2 things went wrong that day. You did not retest the same day, and you did not speak up the same day.
I did not speak up that day as I had absolutely no clue the exausted proctor would possibly fail me nor did I retest that day as the testing company doesn't allow for it.

If I were in the middle of a test and I felt the proctor was not paying attention, I would stop and ask them if they are ok and if they are paying attention.
I was in the middle of my Patient Assessment practical. It was very stressful and I didn't realize until after that the look on the proctor's face was one of exhaustion. I seldom interrupt an exam to ask if the proctor is feeling well and I certainly didn't want to ruffle her feathers.

That is your right. Take responsibility for your lack of action. Saying he appeared sleepy and you were the last of 70 people is not acceptable.
I am not that upset that I "failed" the Patient Assessment. What I am upset about is the utter lack of communication on the part of NREMT (almost 6 months and no response to my letter) and the entirely rude behavior of the Associate Director. I wish I had a recording of the phone call, but I promise you it was perhaps one of the most insulting phone calls I've ever had.

Sorry I have no sympathy for you at the moment.
Based on what I wrote above (not being told of the result that day and not being allowed to retest same day) do you still feel the same? Additionally, my frustration isn't with the fact that I must retest. That stinks, but the frustration is NREMT got my letter in early July and *NEVER* responded to me. It took me calling them and discussing it, which is ENTIRELY contrary to their written instructions on their website.

Again, my frustration is 1) sending a letter to the NREMT and never hearing back (and thus missing several sooner opportunities to retest and have my NREMT-I card) and 2) the entirely rude and unprofessional behavior on the part of the associate director.

On the other hand, the guy you spoke to on the phone does sound rude, but again there are 2 sides to every story and perception varies. Perception is reality.[/QUOTE]
 

akflightmedic

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After reviewing that website, I must say you dealt with a :censored::censored::censored::censored:ty company. Ridryder, help me out here. I have proctored many, many NR tests, and not one of the students EVER walked out of there not knowing if they passed or failed the practical. EVERYONE knew where they stood with regards to the practicals. This was because if you failed, you have the right to retest up to 2 failed stations the same day. I was under the impression this was NR's rules. For example, if you simply forgot to say BSI and failed overall, why should you have to wait weeks to retest when the same day would suffice.

As for that website, it says they do not allow retests of retests the same day. Their wording leaves much to be desired, because a few questions above that they say you will retest a failed station that day.

So how does this work in your area? After completing your training, everyone goes to a testing agency that provides NR tests? And this company is allowed to set hard *** rules that no one else does? What is up with this?

Them deciding "after much hard decision, it is not logistically possible to offer retests" is pure BS. What is their reasoning for not telling you that day, this is hard for me to comprehend as well. I dont get it.
 

akflightmedic

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I am also confused because it says you passed the written just fine but failed the practical.

However on that same website link you gave me, it says you must pass all failed practical stations before taking the written. How did this happen?
 

bstone

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I am also confused because it says you passed the written just fine but failed the practical.

However on that same website link you gave me, it says you must pass all failed practical stations before taking the written. How did this happen?
Confusing, eh? Yes. I don't quite understand what they mean by that and I think that is pretty much universal. Suffice to say, I passed the written exam, ETT, IV and KED but must retest on PA. I didn't find any of this out until I got my "official" results from the NREMT. If you have doubts I am being truthful I would be happy to share a screenshot with you on NREMT's website.

That said, yes I think this company totally sucks. Up until now I thought it was NREMT's policy not to allow same day retests. I say this as the company comes across as being an extension of NREMT.

However, like I said before, my frustration isn't so much with having to retest or the company which runs the exams (tho now I am more upset with them as I surely would have retested same day) but 1) the fact I sent a timely letter of review to the NREMT only to get *NOTHING* back from them, requiring me to have to call them and discuss my case (thus violating their own rules which say don't call and they won't discuss it over the phone) and 2) the utterly rude and unprofessional associate director who I spoke you.

You catch more bees with honey. If he would have been apologetic and encouraging then perhaps I wouldn't be posting such a case on this website.

Clearly there are multiple failures here. The test company and their lousy, unclear and ambiguous policies, NREMT's failure to communicate and their utterly rude upper management.

This, here I sit almost a half year later, only now being told I must retest since no appeal is offered.
 

Airwaygoddess

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Hang in there my friend, It was a pain in b*tt lesson as far as follow up and follow thru rules go. With any big "agency" like that it always seems like some poor soul's paperwork gets lost in the process. Just do what you have to do to get your job done and pass on good sound advice if anyone else is going to test for NR esp.with that dam paperwork! :)
 
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bstone

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Jon

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Welcome, bstone.

That stinks. I guess your only choice is to go back and try again. Practice, practice, and practice some more, then knock 'em dead.

Where are you from? Are you currently an EMT-B or I, just testing for your NREMT-85 card? Start a thread and introduce yourself. Stick around... we are like a family here (like a dysfunctional family, but still like a family).

Jon
 

MMiz

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bstone,

First, welcome to the forum!

That said, I wish you'd take some personal responsibility for the situation. You sent them a letter back in July and confirmed that you needed to re-test. Now in November you're hoping the results are different?

I knew at the time I tested in 2002 that there was no appeal for the practical portion. They may allow you to test later in the day if they have slots, but that's not guaranteed. In fact I remember the feeling inside me when I failed my trauma assessment (damn c-spine), and my hope that they'd have enough time to allow me to retest later in the day. In fact I was so worried that I volunteered to act as a patient in other scenarios so we could speed things up.

The NREMT may have sent you an official reply via USPS mail, and it may have gotten lost. Clearly the EMT cert means a lot to you, so I'm wondering why you waiting so long to follow up. I too would wonder why you'd call my organization and be furious over something that could have easily been addressed months ago.

As a teacher I give students grades on all of their assignments, and grade reports every two weeks. They get another one half way through the grading period, and that one goes home to be signed by the parents. Then I give them one last one before I send home official report cards. Yet I still have students who cry and moan when they get a grade they think they don't deserve. They had an opportunity to make up the work and re-take the tests, and they had the opportunity to fix an error in my grade book, yet they didn't follow up on those, and are now complaining to me.

I know you're frustrated and this sounds like a rant, but where's the personal responsibility?
 

joemt

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AK... I am also a Practical Exam Evaluator... we're not allowed to tell students if they passed or failed.... we are told not to say things like "good" or "ok" also.. (which is very difficult for me as I am an Instructor first and foremost, and an evaluator... well.. it's on the list somewhere)... Anyway.. students wait 3 days here to find out results...

In Missouri, Candidates take the practical... when / if they pass the practical, then they may schedule a date to take the written exam. It's that easy.
 

akflightmedic

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That whole process just astounds me.

I never knew it to be any different than the way I have experienced it and done it since 1995.

The order of written and practical is irrelevant. We usually try to do the written first as it is beneficial to the student. Who is going to perform well knowing they have to retest a practical on another day? Since the written results always took a while it was best just to get that test out of the way and allow them to focus on their practical.

As the proctor at a particular practical testing station, you are correct. We are not allowed to say anything to the student. We take their sheets, hand them to the site proctor and he calls them in one by one to tell them which stations they need to retest...THAT DAY! This is also the time where the student voices any concerns prior to getting their results. You are allowed only to retest 2 failed stations the same day otherwise you have to come back at another date.

Regardless, me personally, I have never known of or allowed a student taking the NR exam to walk away not knowing where they stood with their practical test results. We adhere to all NR standards and guidelines of course.

I think these testing centers have just found another way to make more money. If you can't retest the same day they can charge another testing or site fee when you return to retest.

What I don't understand is why dont the schools themselves host the exams for their students instead of sending them to a testing center? It is not that big of a deal.
 

Ridryder911

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We are not allowed to discuss failure or pass as well in this state. One has to await results from the NR. We used to inform them and allow retesting immediately, but it became too complicated. That is why so many travel to another state to take the NR examination. It is according to local policies, usually unless otherwise stated most do not know or abreast of their status.

Now, in regards of poor professional behavior, I cannot argue if this is what occurred. I wonder although, if they took your cries serious after nearly six months (half a year) has lapsed and now you want to take action.
As I described earlier, there are particular and specific guidelines addressed both written and verbally before you are administered the test and apparently you DID NOT FOLLOW THEM. Did you actually read the "clump of agreement" before signing and taking their test. A designated NR representative is on site to voice or make official complaints. I personally have never heard of the NREMT acknowledging any complaints if the initial complaint was not made at the day of the testing. Nor do I believe they should as well, after thoughts are just that and too many times are considered "what if"...


I am TOTALLY AGAINST testing in schools and classes. All integrity and professional standards will have been violated. NREMT attempted this several years ago and found that favoritism and "passing through" occurred dramatically. Yes, basic EMT's practical are usually performed at the local institution... the reason is because it is a little known fact NREMT does not technically perform a practical at the basic level. They accept schools, state practical exams as a final... hence, that is why it is usually performed there.

In comparison to other medical professions NREMT is very laxed in discussing testing and posting scores. I personally do not feel they should post on the internet and one should have to wait the results by certified mail. The reason again is integrity and professional procedure. Anyone can obtain if you "pass" or not of the internet.. I have demonstrated it to friends. I hope with the written tests being on computer, tests could be administered at professional testing centers, like other professions. The practical then could be set up prior before written (no sense taking the written, if you fail the practical) and testing could occur by paid, professional proctors/evaluators. If one feels "cheated" or "misguided", it should be handled immediately on site, that day.. other wise hold no merit. This would as well allow non partial evaluators, tracking of what program, evaluators scored on what. If there appears to be a problem, then evaluators could be investigated and fired.. etc..

I can assure you that other medical boards are far more "tight lipped".. for example, many times there is no representation of "testers" on some medical boards and certifications. You have to appeal in writing (notarized) within a period of time, and then and only then they will decide if there is such merit and discuss it with you. So you see NREMT is pretty lax and liberal.

Before boasting on how horrible NREMT, do a comparison of other medical examinations and you will see how "nice and user friendly" the NREMT policies are. If you ever plan to proceed to other professional license and certifications, I will forewarn you it much more stringent.

I again think you need to simply do what they ask of you... bite your lip an proceed. If this certification is really that important to you, then proceed in taking it again. Yes, it may not be right, and yes you feel violated, but it is life.. and I and many others have felt the same rage many times on different testing organizations. Place your anger and energy in studying and passing the test... I am sure afterwards this will suffice the problems you had.

Good luck,
R/r 911
 

Chimpie

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We are not allowed to discuss failure or pass as well in this state. One has to await results from the NR. We used to inform them and allow retesting immediately, but it became too complicated. That is why so many travel to another state to take the NR examination. It is according to local policies, usually unless otherwise stated most do not know or abreast of their status.
It's funny that a "national registry" is different from state to state.
 

Ridryder911

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True, but what is more funny is how EMT's view the NREMT as an EMS god. When it is nothing more than a testing agency. States purchase or rent tests to be offered to examine EMT students .... that's it folks. This would be like comparing SAT & ACT tests to college degrees..... or the bar examination for attorneys in regards to our legal system... it has little relevance on our profession.

The problems of EMS is much more greater and deeper than any certification test.

What is ironic, next time you ask a colleague whom license or certifies them?...Chances are they will say NREMT. When in actually, they have no such authority. Only the state that you have registered or passed their test in has the authority.

So many of our own are so ignorant of their own profession and standards, it is a shame. Most can recite protocols, but are unaware whom their enforcement and development is.

In comparrison to other health care workers, we probably discuss the testing company much more than any others. I know NCLEX is discussed on how to pass... then that's it, never to be discussed again.

R/r 911
 
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