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Overall value:
95 pts
If you've always dreamed about driving an ambulance over the speed limit with the "lights and music" on, and shocking people with high voltage, then you are a natural-born EMT or paramedic. Check out the EMT Tutor Lite app, it might come in handy.

Scores

Cost-in-use
Free but has limited functionality; could be upgraded to full version for $4.26 which is a reasonable price for a good app
90 pts
App Interface Usability
Easy to use; all sections of the app have Bookmarks feature; quizzes could be saved and resumed later. Simple design.
90 pts
Multimedia Usage
There's no multimedia and no need for it.
100 pts
Real World Usability
Very useful app for EMT or paramedics going through class or preparing for NREMT exam
100 pts

EMT Tutor Lite

The purpose of this app is to prepare first responders for the NREMT exam. The NREMT (The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) is a certification agency in the United States. This organization administers certification examinations for the Emergency Medical Services practitioners of various levels: First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate/85, Advanced EMT, EMT-Intermediate/99, and Paramedic.

If you are wondering about the difference between EMTs and Paramedics, here is the synopsis from the “compare anything” site.

*Hooray to the Canadian EMTs (I live in Ontario)!

Let's get back to the app. As the name implies, this is the "Lite" (i.e., limited) version. The upgrade to the full one costs 4.26$.

The app consists of four parts: Quizzes, Flashcards, Scenarios, and Tool Box, united with the Bookmark feature. Let's examine each carefully, as every EMT or paramedic should.

 

Tool Box

What's in the box? Unlike the infamous box at the of the movie "Se7en", this one contains no severed heads but Differentials, Check-offs, Reference Terms, and Skill Sheet. (Hint: if you have not seen "Se7en", watch the closing scene on Youtube).

Differentials and Considerations

Everyone in the medical field had a moment of sheer panic and mind going blank in front of a wheezing, bleeding or unwell in some other way patient. "I don't know what's wrong with him, I don't know what to do, please someone HELP ME". Hopefully, this section of the app, in addition to studying in class, would help to minimize a number of such encounters. Hopefully, a site of a wheezing patient would produce in your head a list of conditions associated with this symptom along with the prescribed treatment. (Speaking of wheezing patients: once, I managed to forget about epinephrine in a case of the refractory status asthmaticus. Such blunders could happen to anyone).

Checklists

"How to take a history has always been a mystery" as the song by Amateur Transplants goes. It would (or at least should) come naturally at the end, but using checklists in the process of training is a very good idea. Only two checklists are provided in the Lite version, for the "Abdominal pain" and "Heart attack". Other items on the lists, in addition to the history-taking, are assessment and treatment.

Reference Terms

This section is a searchable database containing a mixture of physiological and anatomical terms, and practical reminders. For example, selecting “Adrenal Gland” will show the anatomical location and function; “Shockable rhythms” will remind about V-fib and V-tach; and “Average vital signs for 10-year-old” will provide those. The list is quite extensive and contains some odd items, such as the "Amount of fluid in the amniotic sac". This is a fully functional part of the app even in the "Lite" (trial) version.

Skill sheets

The “Skill sheets” section is a simulated exam that evaluates the ability to examine a patient and apply standard treatment. For example, "Bleeding control and shock management" examination goes something like this: 

Examiner: “You have a bleeding patient in shock. What will you do?”

Candidate: “Apply direct pressure to the wound”.

Examiner: “Ain’t working, what now?”.

The test continues until the patient is stabilized and rushed to the Trauma Bay of the nearest hospital. Alternatively, if you are heading to a Code 4 (vital signs absent) which quickly becomes a Code 5 (dead at the scene), then the exam is failed. The shortcomings are summarized under the subsection “Failures of Omission”.

Scenarios

Three paramedics walk into a bar.. It is not exactly a joke as one of the scenarios is named "Bar of Fun". There are many others, such as "Shovel Time" and "Dizzyman". These are clinical encounters which start with a dispatch call and walk you through every aspect of the scene visit, from assessment of safety at the location to a call to the hospital.

Flashcards

The flashcards are divided into Chapters by subject (e.g., "Intro to EMS" or "Pharmacology"). Only fifty are available in the Lite version (three per chapter). 

Quizzes

Quiz time! We have already dealt with the skills assessment and clinical scenarios, now it is time to test the theory. Similar to the "Flashcards", this section is also divided into Chapters. Unfortunately, only two questions per chapter are available in this version of the app. To get the most of out it, do the Comprehensive Quiz which combines questions from every chapter, fifty in total. A quiz could be saved at any moment, and there is an option to bookmark the correct answer. The results appear in the "Score History" directory and could be deleted if you did poorly or shared on Twitter if you aced it. 

Verdict:

For
  • Elegant and colorful design with intuitive interface
  • Flashcards and Quiz answers are written concisely
  • Helps to prepare for the NREMT exam
  • Upgrade to the full version is reasonably priced (4.26$)
Against
  • Some sections are too limited even for the "Lite" version (i.e., quizzes consisting of only two questions or only two checklists in the Tool Box). It would be reasonable to expand them a little.
Suggestions
  • Add Codes, the most commonly used abbreviations and devices. Reading EMS records for the first time could be painful: “V-vac and BMV used, pt. became VSA, Code 5, pronounced by Base Hospital Dr.”
  • Add to the "Differential Rule-outs" neonates, peds, and geriatric patients. They are "special needs", and it is useful to review them separately.
  • Add protocols for the mass disaster and terrorism. EMS did great at Boston marathon 2013. "Preparedness paid off" - concluded the "After Action Report".
  • Rename the app from the "Lite" to "Lyte" (short from Electrolyte). Just kidding

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