Here is our third free Medical Assistant practice test.
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The correct position for a patient who is going into cardiogenic shock would be:
Question 1 Explanation:
Trendelenburg is the correct position for a patient who has suffered blood loss or is otherwise going into shock because it positions the head lower than the feet.
A patient identifies himself as John Smith upon registration at the office. The medical assistant should be most careful in checking the patient’s:
primary care physician.
date of birth.
Question 2 Explanation:
When a patient has an especially common name, such as John Smith, it is necessary to be careful when inputting the date of birth correctly. The date of birth will be used as the second identifier in the EHR.
Lawrence Kohlberg is well-known for his theories regarding moral development and ethical behavior. He believed that these relied mainly on:
the age and problem-solving ability of the individual.
the developmental phases of the individual.
the ability of the individual to adapt to change.
the ethical and moral capabilities of the parents.
Question 3 Explanation:
Kohlberg, who built his ideas on theories already developed by Piaget, believed that moral development and ethical behavior relied on the age and problem-solving ability of the individual.
The kidneys have which of the following effects on a medication?
Question 4 Explanation:
Drug excretion is handled by the kidneys as they ultimately remove the medication from the body by way of the urethra. Drug distribution refers to the transport of medication through the body once it is ingested, while action refers to how the medication works. Metabolism is how the medication is converted for the process of excretion.
The medical assistant receives a phone call from a patient who received five stitches after a mole was removed from her hand. The patient asks when she should schedule her appointment to come in and have the stitches removed. The stitches were placed on August 21st, and today is August 23rd. The medical assistant schedules the appointment for:
Question 5 Explanation:
Stitches should be removed 7–10 days after being placed. August 28th is the only day that falls within that timeline.
Which of the following health care workers is not professionally licensed?
Question 6 Explanation:
The medical assistant is the only health care worker listed who is not licensed. She or he may instead be certified, but this is not the same as a professional license.
When asked, a patient admits to abuse by her husband. “It’s okay though, he doesn’t hurt the children — only me,” she says. This response is a form of the defense mechanism known as:
Question 7 Explanation:
Rationalization is making excuses or subverting logic in an attempt to explain a behavior. In this case, the patient is attempting to justify the behavior of her husband. Denial is a flat-out refusal to accept that anything wrong happened. Compensation is a mechanism in which a person focuses on a strength in order to compensate for a weakness. Regression is reverting to an earlier stage of development in order to deal with an issue.
A new patient is being registered in the computer system and says she has forgotten what her insurance is called, but says that her husband is active-duty personnel of the military. She is on his insurance. The medical assistant lists that the patient has:
Question 8 Explanation:
TRICARE is the insurance that covers the dependents of active-duty military personnel. CHAMPVA covers the spouse of a veteran. SSI is social security income, which is not insurance. Lastly, EPO is an exclusive provider organization and usually requires that the physician work for them.
Which of the following would be the result of a morphological laboratory study?
Cells that are observed to be macrocytic.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)
ABO blood type
Question 9 Explanation:
Morphological studies describe the shape and size of cells, including whether they are micro-, macro-, or normocytic. A CBC includes a complete count of all cells from red blood cells to white blood cells. ESR describes the amount of inflammation present in the body. ABO blood type categorizes the markers on the blood cells themselves, but does not describe the shape and size of the cells themselves.
Heart sounds heard when the blood pressure is being measured manually and listened to via stethoscope are known as:
Question 10 Explanation:
Korotkoff sounds are produced when listening for a blood pressure reading manually. The top noise is the systolic number and the last noise heard is the diastolic number. Rinne sounds have to do with a unilateral hearing test. The other two names are not related to heart sounds.
If the medical assistant has questions about the dosage of a medication order, he should:
call the pharmacy to verify the usual dosage for the medication.
verify the dosage with the physician who wrote the order.
ask a registered nurse to interpret the order.
consult the reference book for the usual dosage for the patient.
Question 11 Explanation:
Verifying the dosage with the physician who wrote the order is safest for the patient and is the most appropriate response. Checking with a coworker, or the pharmacy, or a reference book is inappropriate.
Which of the following pieces of office equipment is an output device?
Question 12 Explanation:
A monitor is an output device which displays information. A peripheral is an auxiliary device, such as a computer mouse or keyboard, that connects to and works with the computer in some way. Software is a general term for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices. A scanner is an input device that scans documents and images.
The basic tenet that indicates successful communication is the:
Question 13 Explanation:
Feedback is the only part of communication that would indicate whether communication is a success or a failure. The sender, message, and receiver are other important parts of the communication process, but they do not necessarily indicate the success or failure of an interaction.
A patient is diagnosed with cystitis. The medical assistant knows that cystitis is an inflammation of the:
Question 14 Explanation:
Cystitis is a potentially painful inflammation of the bladder. It can produce symptoms such as increased urinary frequency and burning with urination. The prefix cysto- indicates the bladder.
The medical assistant is preparing to draw up insulin from a multi-dose vial. She takes an empty needle and picks up the syringe. The medical assistant’s next action is to:
inject air equivalent to the dose of insulin needed.
withdraw the correct dose of insulin.
inquire if the physician meant to prescribe this type of insulin.
shake the vial to disperse the medication.
Question 15 Explanation:
When using a multi-dose vial to withdraw medication, it is important to first inject air equivalent to the amount of medication needed. Never shake the vial of insulin; doing so will create bubbles and possibly destabilize the dose.
The medical assistant is preparing to give a medication that must be administered intradermally. She injects the medication correctly at an angle of approximately:
Question 16 Explanation:
15 degrees is the correct angle at which to inject an intradermal medication. Intramuscular and subcutaneous medications are generally given at a 45 degree angle, but at different depths.
AIDS is considered a viral condition of the _______ type.
Question 17 Explanation:
AIDS is considered a viral condition of the immunotrophic type because it greatly affects the immune system. Dermotrophic viruses, such as shingles or small pox, affect the skin. Enterotrophic viruses, like hepatitis, affect the gut. Neurotrophic diseases wreak havoc on the neurological system, an example being rabies.
A numeric filing system:
is the only practical system for a practice greater than one thousand patients in size.
is the most common filing system.
may include portions of the patient’s social security number.
organizes records according to the patient’s last name.
Question 18 Explanation:
The alphabetical system, which organizes according to last name, is fine for larger practices. This is also true of a numeric filing system. A numeric system; however, may include portions of a patient’s social security number. It cannot be concluded that the numeric filing system is the most common.
Which of the following words is spelled incorrectly?
Question 19 Explanation:
The correct spelling is “larynx.” The others words are all spelled correctly.
An ‘office policies and procedures’ manual should be updated, at the very least:
only when required by law.
Question 20 Explanation:
The ‘office policies and procedures’ manual should be updated at least yearly to ensure that the information in it is current. It may be updated more often, but it should not be updated less than once a year.
A patient becomes upset after receiving news that her lung cancer has returned. She says, “I don’t want to hear any more about that right now.” The medical assistant replies:
“Why don’t you call your husband and we can tell him together?”
“I need to tell you this information for your health.”
“It is your right to refuse or decline any information.”
“That’s okay for now, but you will have to hear it eventually.”
Question 21 Explanation:
It is the patient’s right to refuse any health information offered by the medical assistant. The patient is not under any obligation to hear it. Breaching the patient’s confidence to tell her husband is inappropriate.
The medical assistant is given the task of reordering office supplies. He is asked specifically to reorder business-size envelopes, so he orders 500 of:
Question 22 Explanation:
A No. 10 envelope, commonly referred to as ‘business size,’ measures 4⅛ by 9½ inches and should be used to mail all general correspondence unless otherwise indicated.
Which of the following best represents emergency preparedness in an office?
The backup power source has not been verified yet this year.
Staff members know they have a list of duties to accomplish as a team.
The automated external defibrillator is present, though its expiration date is unknown.
There is one staff member authorized to trigger a full evacuation of the office if necessary.
Question 23 Explanation:
One staff member should be designated as the person to decide when the office should be evacuated. Backup power sources should be identified and routinely checked, as should devices like an AED. Staff members should have individual duties to complete in an emergency to make sure nothing is missed.
Which of the following is the correct term for protein that accumulates and hardens in the lumen of the kidney’s nephrons?
Red blood cells.
Question 24 Explanation:
Casts are hardened proteins that are washed out in the urine, and may provide many diagnostic values. Sediment describes any waste particles in urine. Plasma and RBCs are found in the blood component.
A patient is being treated for a severe upper respiratory tract infection. Which of the following medications would you NOT expect to see ordered?
Question 25 Explanation:
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that may clear up the URI, while Mucinex and Albuterol will improve breathing status. Hydrochlorothiazide is used to remove excess water from the body and is unlikely to be prescribed for this patient’s URI.
Which of the following is an example of utility software?
Question 26 Explanation:
Antivirus software is an example of utility software, which is used to maintain a computer’s function. Gmail is an email client, which is an example of communication software. Microsoft word is word processing software and Adobe Photoshop is graphics software.
The practice manager, the day manager, and an employee of a medical office review an employee’s training record and find that he was never trained in how to correctly use the blood glucose monitor. The responsibility to complete this training rests solely on the:
day manager and the employee.
Question 27 Explanation:
The day manager is responsible for this training, as the employee cannot be expected to know which training must be completed in a new office environment. The practice manager depends on the day manager to fulfill this responsibility.
Which of the following vitamins is water soluble?
Question 28 Explanation:
Vitamin B is the only water soluble vitamin listed above. Vitamins A, K, and D are fat-soluble. Water soluble vitamins readily dissolve in water, and consequently, are required daily by the body in small amounts. Fat soluble vitamins do not require daily consumption due to their absorption by fatty tissue.
The medical assistant is in the middle of taking a health history on a patient. The patient suddenly has trouble speaking, but he manages to describe numbness in his right arm. The medical assistant suspects:
high blood sugar.
a heart attack.
Question 29 Explanation:
A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident, can feature dizziness, mental confusion, difficulty in speaking, loss of vision, headache, difficulty in breathing or swallowing, and potential loss of bowel and bladder control. The other conditions would not present these symptoms.
A claims form requires entry of which of the following data?
name and social security number only
Question 30 Explanation:
Medical information is required to be entered on a claims form for insurance purposes. The chief complaint may be included, but “medical information” as a whole is more descriptive, and more important. The social history and social security number is not included.
The document that expresses the wishes of an individual regarding any end-of-life treatment is known as a:
power of attorney.
last will and testament.
GFEL (guideline for end of life).
Question 31 Explanation:
The living will is the document that expresses the wishes of the individual regarding any end-of-life treatment. The power of attorney is a document indicating a person who can represent the individual, per their consent, if the person is unable to do so. The last will and testament is not entirely medical and may contain other legal items. The GFEL is a fictional document.
Which of the following is NOT an adequate source of calcium?
Question 32 Explanation:
Compared to the other answer choices, cauliflower is not a good source of calcium. Milk, sardines, and canned salmon are excellent sources of calcium.
Which of the following surgical methods would be used for photocoagulation therapy?
Question 33 Explanation:
Laser surgery would be used for photocoagulation therapy procedures because this surgery uses light waves for thermal vaporization, coagulation, and ablation. Microsurgery involves the use of tiny instruments, while cryosurgery involves freezing an area in order to remove damaged tissue. Electrosurgery uses an instrument to deliver an electrical current that can cut tissue.
The physician discharges a patient who has just received a plaster of Paris cast for a broken arm. Which of the following activities should the patient refrain from while the cast is still on?
Reading a book.
Swimming in a pool.
Walking a dog.
Riding a stationary bike.
Question 34 Explanation:
Swimming in a pool would destroy the plaster of the cast and should be avoided. The other activities are all safe to do while wearing a cast.
Which of the following is NOT one of the seven sections of procedure codes listed in Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)?
Evaluation and management
Question 35 Explanation:
Diagnosis is not a category of CPT; the other choices are all correct examples. Surgery, radiology, nuclear medicine, and diagnostic ultrasound, pathology, and medicine are all sections listed as well.
Which of the following physicians would be most likely to implement advance scheduling?
Primary Care Physician
Question 36 Explanation:
Dermatologists are normally specialists who may be booked weeks in advance. Consequently, they are most likely to use advance scheduling. Normally, primary care physicians and gynecologists have more open options and schedules. ER physicians do not typically have appointments booked.
A physician who was on call intentionally ignored a direct call from one of his established patients. Based on this scenario and the four “D”s of negligence, which of the following did the physician violate?
The defendant must be a licensed physician.
The action must be the direct cause of injury.
The defendant must have an established duty toward the plaintiff.
Damages or injury must have occurred as a result of the action.
Question 37 Explanation:
In this situation, the physician had a clear duty to the patient, which can be determined from the phrase “established patient.” Additionally, there was no damage done that we know of, nor do we know the physician’s licensing status, so we cannot conclude that the other answer choices are correct.
Which of the following is considered a low complexity test (also known as CLIA-waived)?
Question 38 Explanation:
A pregnancy test may be performed at home and is therefore considered a low complexity test. The other tests require professional knowledge that is beyond the average layperson when it comes to carrying out and correctly interpreting the test results.
One of the main benefits of the problem-oriented medical record is that it:
describes all problems and treatments on the same page.
contains assistant notes as well as physician notes.
clearly states a patient’s treatment and progress.
Question 39 Explanation:
The problem-oriented medical record makes it easy to follow a patient’s treatment and progress, especially when compared to the alternative: a source-oriented record. The source-oriented record describes all problems and treatments on the same page. Both records contain assistant and physician notes.
Which of the following is true regarding kidney function?
Bowman’s capsule is where the kidney filters water and waste from the blood.
The kidneys process up to 300 liters of filtrate each day.
Bowman’s capsule is shaped like the letter L.
ADH causes parts of the kidney to become less permeable in order to expel water.
Question 40 Explanation:
Bowman’s capsule, which is shaped like the letter C, is where the kidney filters water and waste from the blood. The kidneys process up to 180 liters per day. ADH stands for antidiuretic hormone and causes the kidneys to become more permeable in order to retain more water.
The fifth cranial nerve is responsible for:
Question 41 Explanation:
The fifth cranial nerve is responsible for jaw movement and sensation. The second cranial nerve is responsible for sense of vision, while tongue movement is controlled by the twelfth cranial nerve. Swallowing is controlled by the ninth cranial nerve.
A patient has lost a significant amount of blood after a surgical procedure and is thought to be going into shock. The medical assistant could do all of the following EXCEPT:
administer oxygen to the patient.
keep the patient warm under a blanket.
position the patient with the lower extremities above the heart level.
monitor vital signs.
Question 42 Explanation:
Oxygen may be used, but only when deemed necessary by the physician, not the medical assistant, in order to facilitate the patient’s breathing. All other actions, such as monitoring vital signs, keeping the patient warm under a blanket, and positioning feet above the level of the heart are correct.
A ratio of 1:10 correctly describes the ratio of disinfectant made from ____ and _____.
apple cider vinegar, bleach
Question 43 Explanation:
A ratio of 1:10 for bleach and water is the correct amounts to constitute an adequate disinfectant. More water than bleach is needed for disinfectant in order to properly kill germs without harming the user. Apple cider vinegar is not used as a disinfectant in the medical setting. Solute is not properly defined and therefore cannot be concluded as containing the correct ratio.
A patient is seen in the office and is complaining of a lump in her lower stomach, a chronic cough, persistent indigestion, and occasionally coughing up blood. These four symptoms are warning signs for:
Question 44 Explanation:
Cancer can present itself by way of suspicious lumps, a chronic cough, persistent indigestion, and coughing up blood. These signs should be examined immediately to diagnose the situation and to determine potential treatment options.
Which of the following is an important consideration when scheduling seriously ill patients?
It is okay to have them wait for fifteen to twenty minutes in the waiting room because unlike other patients, they do not have a job to return to that day.
They may require additionally scheduled time to accommodate limited mobility.
It is best to encourage them to discuss how other aspects of their life are going.
They often come alone and will need fewer chairs in the exam room.
Question 45 Explanation:
Patients who are seriously ill usually require more scheduled time. It’s a good idea to place additional chairs in the exam room, as many seriously ill patients come to the appointment with a caregiver or other family member. Try to be prompt and respectful of their time; remain focused on what issues are present today in order to best help the patient.
The medical assistant loads an autoclave with dirty instruments for standard processing time after a long day of surgery. Suddenly, a patient arrives for an emergency procedure and the surgeon asks when the instruments can be used again. The medical assistant answers:
“20 minutes at the longest.”
“5 minutes at the longest.”
“30 minutes at the longest.”
“15 minutes at the longest.”
Question 46 Explanation:
Standard processing time with autoclaves requires 15-20 minutes before the instruments will be clean and sterile.
Sterile technique is required when:
performing a Pap smear.
removing sutures from a healed laceration.
placing sutures in a new laceration.
performing a rectal exam.
Question 47 Explanation:
When placing new sutures, sterile technique is required in order to avoid introducing bacteria into the wound. Rectal exams are, by definition, not sterile. Pap smears should be clean, but cannot be sterile based on the environment. Sutures should be removed with clean gloves, but because they are being removed, sterility is not required.
Iris, Metzenbaum, and Mayo are all types of the instrument used in surgery known as:
Question 48 Explanation:
Operating scissors are used to cut or dissect tissue. They may have straight or curved blades. Popular brands include Iris, Metzenbaum, and Mayo. Some surgeons refer to these scissors by their brand name.
The medical assistant is checking over a letter written by the physician. She notes that a section is correct when she sees:
the copy notation is four lines below the enclosure.
the postscript is five lines below the last line.
the closing compliment is 1 line below the body.
the address in the letter is four spaces below the date.
Question 49 Explanation:
The address in the letter should be four spaces below the date. The copy notation should be 1 or 2 lines below the enclosure. The closing compliment is 2 lines below the body. The postscript should be 2 lines below the last line.
What is a portable, easy-to-use device, that delivers a therapeutic electric shock to the heart as treatment for a victim in sudden cardiac arrest?
Question 50 Explanation:
An Automated External Defibrillator is usually called an AED. The AED detects the electrical activity of the victim’s heart and checks the heart’s rhythm. If the heart is in ventricular fibrillation, the AED instructs the provider to press a button that delivers a controlled shock to the victim’s heart. The shock stops the heart and allows it to resume a normal rhythm. When an AED is immediately available, the chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest can increase by 75% or more over CPR on its own.
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