Share this article on:

What does EMTALA mean for you?

doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000405350.43311.8a
CE Connection

For more than 54 additional continuing education articles related to emergency care topics, go to

Earn CE credit online: Go to and receive a certificate within minutes.

Back to Top | Article Outline

INSTRUCTIONS What does EMTALA mean for you?


  • To take the test online, go to our secure website at
  • On the print form, record your answers in the test answer section of the CE enrollment form on page 39. Each question has only one correct answer. You may make copies of these forms.
  • Complete the registration information and course evaluation. Mail the completed form and registration fee of $17.95 to: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, CE Group, 2710 Yorktowne Blvd., Brick, NJ 08723. We will mail your certificate in 4 to 6 weeks. For faster service, include a fax number and we will fax your certificate within 2 business days of receiving your enrollment form.
  • You will receive your CE certificate of earned contact hours and an answer key to review your results. There is no minimum passing grade.
  • Registration deadline is September 30, 2013.
Back to Top | Article Outline


  • Send two or more tests in any nursing journal published by LWW together and deduct $0.95 from the price of each test.
  • We also offer CE accounts for hospitals and other health care facilities on Call 1-800-787-8985 for details.
Back to Top | Article Outline


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, publisher of Nursing Management, will award 1.6 contact hours for this continuing nursing education activity.

LWW is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

This activity is also provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 11749 for 1.6 contact hours, the District of Columbia, and Florida #FBN2454. Your certificate is valid in all states.

The ANCC's accreditation status of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Department of Continuing Education refers to its continuing nursing education activities only and does not imply Commission on Accreditation approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

What does EMTALA mean for you?

GENERAL PURPOSE: To provide professional nurses with information about EMTALA and how it affects ED practice. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After reading the preceding article and taking this test, you should be able to: 1. Discuss EMTALA goals and regulations. 2. Identify the role of personnel in the transferring hospital.

1. EMTALA seeks to improve patient care by

a. preventing transfers from one ED to another.

b. helping reduce unnecessary waiting time in the ED.

c. setting reasonable limits on transfer time.

d. preventing refusal of care to uninsured patients.

2. EMTALA specifies that patients coming to a dedicated ED should be

a. triaged by an RN.

b. medically screened if the patient feels he or she has an emergency.

c. classified as nonacute, acute, or emergent.

d. assigned to a room within a defined time period.

3. EMTALA defines an emergency medical condition as

a. acute symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

b. significant, abnormal changes in vital signs.

c. any condition that may jeopardize a patient's health.

d. serious dysfunction of an organ system.

4. A hospital wouldn't be liable under EMTALA if

a. it didn't receive Medicare reimbursement.

b. the triage nurse determined that a medical emergency didn't exist.

c. the patient was advised upon arrival that a 2-hour wait was likely.

d. a patient in active labor was safely transferred in the family car.

5. Which patient coming to the ED is always covered under EMTALA?

a. an unconscious patient who can't provide informed consent

b. one who's in police custody

c. a woman in active labor

d. the person who appears to be or is intoxicated

6. The triaging of patients by a nurse is

a. considered equivalent to a medical screening.

b. the first step in medical screening.

c. not considered equivalent to a medical screening.

d. performed immediately after medical screening.

7. In order for a nurse to conduct the medical screening exam, all the following criteria must be met except

a. it must be permitted by medical bylaws.

b. a written protocol must exist.

c. the RN must be an advanced practice nurse.

d. the exam must be consistent with the state's scope of practice laws.

8. According to EMTALA, the medical exam must

a. include all testing and services needed to make a definitive diagnosis.

b. reasonably determine if the patient has a medical emergency.

c. be completed within a specified amount of time.

d. always include a minimum period of observation.

9. Which of the following is a criterion for defining a dedicated ED?

a. The ED is capable of handling Level I trauma.

b. At least 75% of its patient visits are for emergency conditions.

c. The hospital indicates the ED offers urgent care for emergencies.

d. The ED meets certain physician and nurse staffing requirements.

10. EMTALA requires hospitals to treat patients with medical emergencies

a. only when they're brought directly to the ED.

b. quickly and comprehensively.

c. in all hospital-owned properties.

d. within the hospital's capability and capacity.

11. The capability of a hospital's resources is defined as

a. the diversity of consultants it has on staff.

b. resources needed to meet patients' specific treatment needs.

c. the complexity of care it can deliver.

d. having resources available when the patient requires them.

12. If a hospital lacks the capability or capacity to care for a patient,

a. the hospital must bring in outside consultants.

b. the patient should be informed of this fact.

c. the hospital must stabilize and transfer the patient.

d. the patient must be immediately transported to the next closest hospital.

13. If a patient must be transferred because an on-call physician doesn't respond, EMTALA requires that

a. this fact be documented in the patient's transfer record.

b. the ED seek a consultant from another hospital.

c. the patient be informed of the reason for the transfer.

d. the hospital administrator be notified immediately.

14. Which of the following isn't an appropriate reason for patient transfers?

a. a higher level of care is needed

b. it's more convenient for the physician's practice

c. the patient's condition has been stabilized as far as possible

d. the benefits of the transfer outweigh the risks

15. The accepting hospital can decline to accept a patient transfer if

a. the patient can't pay for its services.

b. the transfer time will exceed a specified limit.

c. the initial hospital can provide the care the patient needs.

d. the waiting time for admission to a patient-care unit is unacceptable.



© 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.