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Back to Basics

Back to Basics

By Chris Seitz, MD and Jason Seitz, EMT-P, RN
Guardian Test Prep is dedicated to helping students prepare for and pass the NREMT. Our back to basics podcast was created to make what are sometimes complex medical topics easy to understand and retain for students of emergency medicine. Check out more of our content at
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Ask us Anything Round 2
Its been a few months and we want to open up the podcast to you so that you can ask us all of your questions! Whether they are medical, personal, spiritual, or inappropriate, nothing is off limits and Jason will answer it. 
December 8, 2021
Is POCUS Hocus?
Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is an exciting new technology being evaluated in the EMS space for use by Paramedics and EMS professionals on the road. However, does the research support the use of POCUS in the field? What types of diagnostic exams with the ultrasound have proven to be effective in making changes to patient care? And is there any evidence that patient outcomes are better when POCUS is adopted? In this episode of Back to Basics, Chris and Jason explore these questions and more as they attempt to figure out whether POCUS is hocus. 
November 9, 2021
Taking a look at Acute Vision Loss
A patient who experiences sudden vision loss may be suffering from a number of pathologies. How can the first responder in the field assess and diagnose potentially dangerous conditions that cause these types of symptoms? In this episode of Back to Basics, Chris and Jason discuss some of the most acute and potentially life threatening reasons for acute vision loss as well as how to recognize and potentially diagnose in the field. Join them as they take a look at acute vision loss! If you want to see more content make sure to visit! 
October 13, 2021
EMS Medical Direction - How are we doing?
EMS Medical Direction is a critical component of every EMS system. The NAEMT, ACEP, and NAAEMSP all help define what high quality EMS Medical Direction should look like. But how are we doing in implementing their guidelines? In this Episode of Back to Basics we discuss the role of the EMS Medical Director, what high quality medical direction should look like, and where we can continue to improve the quality and involvement of this important role in EMS. 
October 5, 2021
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - COPD
Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis together make up COPD. These are obstructive lung diseases like asthma, but what differentiates Emphysema from Chronic Bronchitis? Do your patients always have both? Find out in this episode of Back to Basics! We also have a big announcement! Soon we will be launching Guardian CME!! Guardian CME is a 100% FREE CAPCE platform so that you can get all your CAPCE credits by engaging our content as well as content from other great educators. And you heard that's FREE! Head over to and drop your email so we can let you know when we launch. 
September 28, 2021
Pirate Emergencies - Protecting your Booty
Happy International Talk Like a Pirate day! In this episode, Chris and Jason honor the holiday by covering a topic not often addressed in primary emergency education...Pirate Emergencies. Would you be able to take care of a pirate in the field? Everything from scurvy to gangrene, listen in to make sure you are prepared in case you ever come across these conditions on your future voyages! And don't miss out on our upcoming launch of Guardian CME - a 100% FREE CAPCE platform where you can listen to your favorite podcasts and content from other great educators all for free. Sign up at
September 19, 2021
A deeper look at Asthma
You probably see asthma everyday on the job. A common disorder, asthma is something that healthcare professionals typically feel comfortable treating and feel that they have a good understanding of. In this episode, however, Chris and Jason argue that maybe we don't know as much about asthma as we should BECAUSE we see it all of the time. Here, they take a deep dive into the pathophysiology of the condition and explain why its so important to go back to basics even on topics we feel familiar with! Want to earn CME for listening to the podcast? Go to and sign up to hear about our upcoming 100% free CAPCE platform launching in the next few months! 
September 14, 2021
High Altitude Illness: High and Not-So Mighty
We touched base on what can happen at depth under the water in our Dive Emergencies episode, but what happens if we head in the opposite direction? High altitude illness is divided into three presentations: Acute Mountain Sickness (the most common), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and High altitude cerebral edema (HACE). All are caused by a lower oxygen environment. How do we differentiate them and what do we do about it? All this and much more in this episode! Come get high with us!
September 1, 2021
Rhabdomyolysis, the destruction of muscle tissue, leading to risk of systemic complications, can be caused from a number of traumatic and non-traumatic mechanisms. Rhabdomyolysis is a confusing pathology to understand, and involves a fairly deep knowledge level of how the muscle cell works. In this episode of Back to Basics, the Seitz brothers simplify the understanding of how muscle cells work and how to both suspect and treat rhabdomyolysis in the acute emergency setting! 
August 25, 2021
Organophosphate Poisoning
Would you know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of organophosphate poisoning? Do you know the treatments and how they work? Is it common? Chris and Jason answer these questions and more on Episode 21 of the Back to Basics podcast! Whether you're a student, educator or advanced provider, we've got something just for you. Enjoying the podcast? Check out our other content at
August 17, 2021
Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome is a limb, and potentially life-threatening condition. But would you be able to recognize it in the field? And how do you treat the condition emergently? In Episode 20 of Back to Basics, Chris and Jason answer these questions and more! Studying for the NREMT? Check out our full program at
August 3, 2021
Understanding Priapism.....It's not that hard
We've all heard that if you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours you need to seek medical attention. But how come? A painful erection is called Priapism, and in this episode of Back to Basics, Chris and Jason discuss the pathophysiology behind the condition as well as what first responders and emergency personnel can do to diagnose and treat this emergent situation.
July 27, 2021
Delivery - Try not to drop it
The idea of delivering a baby can be daunting. Luckily, most of the time all you have to do is not drop it! But when things do go wrong you also need to know how to intervene. In this episode, Chris and Jason review the normal aspects of delivery as well as the simple steps you can take when things don't go exactly as planned. Studying for the NREMT and need more? Check out our course at! 
July 6, 2021
Ask us Anything!
In episode 17 of the Back to Basics podcast, Chris and Jason answer all of your pressing questions. By listener request, they answer your medical questions, personal questions and questions you didn't even ask! Have questions for Chris and Jason? Shoot your questions to and stay tuned for our next Ask us Anything next quarter! 
June 24, 2021
The topic of seizures in emergency care is sometimes oversimplified and many times overcomplicated. In this episode of Back to Basics, Chris and Jason break down the nuances of identifying types of seizures and simplify the emergency approach to treating patients suffering from seizure disorders. 
June 15, 2021
Why did it have to be snakes?! - Envenomations
Why snakes?! In this episode of Back to Basics, Jason tells us all about envenomations and Chris just gets scared and barely contributes because of a deep seated fear of snakes. Join them as they discuss what to do when your patient is bitten, and why bringing the creature with you to the ER is probably not a great idea. (Especially if Chris is on shift)
June 2, 2021
Thyroid Emergencies
Understanding the function of the thyroid gland and its hormones is key to being able to treat patients suffering from both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. In this episode of the Back to Basics podcast, we discuss the signs and symptoms of the most common thyroid disorders as well as how to identify emergency thyroid conditions that require immediate intervention. 
May 26, 2021
Pharmacology Basics
Pharmacology can be an overwhelming topic. With a strong foundation of the basics of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics however, anyone can simplify this topic and begin to more deeply understand the mechanisms and effects of different medications. In this episode of Back to Basics, Chris and Jason simplify the basics of pharmacology to give the listener a strong base to build from as they begin to learn and study new and different medications as a part of their medical practice. 
May 12, 2021
Lightsaber Injuries
May the 4th be with you! In this episode of the back to basics podcast, Chris and Jason discuss the rare but serious Lighsaber injury. Not typically covered in EMS and Medical education, lightsaber injuries can be life threatening and require a deeper understanding of pathophysiology in order to properly manage. Whether you are someone adept at using the force or not, this episode will definitely help you manage these critical incidents with more confidence. Don't forget to check out our NREMT prep program at and listen at the end of the episode for some fun bloopers! 
May 4, 2021
Dialysis Made Simple
Dialysis can be a complicated and overwhelming intervention for patients and medical providers can find this topic to be confusing as well. In this episode, Jason and Chris discuss what dialysis does, how it works, and how to manage patients undergoing dialysis as well as the complications they may suffer from. 
April 27, 2021
The Inflammatory Response - Friend or Foe?
The inflammatory and immune response are complex systems that help protect and heal our body and prevent disease. But then why do we take anti-inflammatories? Should I not be icing my twisted ankle? Can't inflammation be bad? Let's discuss all of this in Episode 10 of the Back to Basics podcast!
April 20, 2021
Disaster and Mass Casualty Triage
First responders are called to act in some of the most dire of circumstances. We are used to assessing critically ill patients and doing all that we can to save them. But what happens when our resources are overwhelmed? What happens when we can't save everyone? In this episode of the Back to Basics podcast, Chris and Jason discuss Disaster and Mass Casualty triage and how a simple system can be difficult to follow when it seems so different from what we are used to. 
April 13, 2021
Stability - Undefinable or misunderstood
How can we really tell if a patient is stable or not? Do we rely on blood pressure and vital signs? In Episode 8 Jason and Chris discuss how we should define instability and decompensation and how the way we've thought about stability in the past might need to be redefined. 
March 31, 2021
Narcan and Cardiac Arrest
In this episode, the Seitz brothers discuss the new Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines for Narcan use in cardiac arrest. They also go over the mechanism of action of Narcan and why it's so important in the field to understand how our drugs and therapies work. 
March 23, 2021
Chest pain and Arrhythmias
Your patient has chest pain and an arrhythmia. Which came first? Did the chest pain cause the arrhythmia or is the arrhythmia causing chest pain? Which one do we treat first? How do we even know? Chris and Jason dive into this issue and discuss how to approach these patients in a systematic way on Episode 6: Chest pain and Arrhythmias. 
March 16, 2021
Dealing with amputation injuries can be intimidating and stressful in the field. In this episode, Chris and Jason go over how to handle these types of injuries as well as what to do to protect the amputated limb to give the patient the best chance they can have. No two amputations are the same. Join the Seitz brothers as they take this complicated topic and simplify the process of responding to such emergencies. 
March 4, 2021
Do Not Resuscitate Orders
In this episode, Chris and Jason discuss what a DNR order is, and what it is not. Do we still treat pain and infection in patients with DNR orders? When can we terminate resuscitation? What's the difference between a DNR and Advanced Directives? Chris and Jason answer these questions and more during episode 4 of the Back to Basics podcast! 
February 24, 2021
Diving Emergencies
On this episode Chris and Jason discuss everything you need to know about drowning and dive emergencies. As experienced divers themselves, they share their knowledge and expertise on the pathophysiology of the different dive emergencies that exist and how to handle them in the field. 
February 16, 2021
Pulmonary Embolisms and the Danger of Assumptions
In this episode Chris and Jason go over the ins and outs of pulmonary embolisms. They cover the pathophysiology, presentation and treatments of this life threatening and sometimes fatal disease process. They also go over a case where Jason's initial assumptions might have caused a serious problem under different circumstances. It's all here on Episode 2! 
February 9, 2021
Penetrating Chest Trauma
In this premier episode of the Back to Basics podcast, Chris and Jason discuss a case of penetrating chest trauma and CPR. When do we remove a penetrating object? What do we do when we respond to one? And what about CPR in the midst of this type of trauma? Chris and Jason discuss it all on Episode 1: Penetrating Chest Trauma 
February 1, 2021