How I Passed the FP-C

Recently I swallowed my pride (and a lot of nervous bile) and took the FP-C. I was fortunate enough to pass my first time around, and I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my peers about it.

FAQs

  • How did you do?
    Beat it by about 15 points, +- . My understanding is that each test has its own particular % needed to pass, the FP-C site says “usually about 75%”. My test may have been harder, since passing was 70%. I did NOT feel confident walking out of the room, though.
  • How did you study?
    I used the ACE SAT, Back to Basics, CFRN / FPC guide by FlightBridgeED, and Critical Care Transport book from AAOS. Strategy: take one test, looked it up, got my answers, wrote down the things I didn’t know, took the test again, made sure I understood WHY I got something wrong, then went and took the same chapter in the OTHER book).  Rinse/repeat.I also had my CCEMTP, which helped a LOT.
  • Any particularly tricky topics?
    It depends on what you’re used to. Study THEIR airway algorithm and what THEY want for neurology, I ran into some trouble of FPC vs Janus General’s way. Those not used to working with PACs should study them.Understand the relationship between CVP (R-preload), PA (R-afterload), wedge (L-preload), SVR (L-afterload), CO/CI, and different shock states, even if you can’t read PAC waveforms for your life. Understand cyanotic vs acyanotic heart defects in neonates and kids. Understand the reasoning behind prostaglandins, indomethacin, and other neonate meds. Remember what drug gets used for upper GI bleeds. Drill the Parkland and Consensus formulas into your brain, along with the Rule of 9s. Study your oddball overdoses.
  • Was the test difficult?
    Yes—and it damn well should be.
  • Was the test fair?
    This question is implied, but it’s REALLY important. I feel that yes, the test IS fair. Most questions didn’t have much in the way of distractors. It was a lot of questions about how you would treat a particular patient–totally justified.
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