Many recent nurse grads have passed NCLEX and will be sitting for their very first nursing job interview (yay!). I have a video on some of the top nursing interview questions and answers that you might want to watch prior to your interview, but I wanted to share this one type interview question that you need to be prepared to answer so that you don’t get stumped.
One Nursing Interview Question that Could Stump You
So, what is the one type of question that many nurse managers are asking their interviewees? Many of them are asking a question about nursing care related to their specific specialty during the interview process. For example, if you’re interviewing for a job in a cardiac unit, the nurse manager may ask you a question such as, “If your patient complained of chest pain, what would you do as the nurse?”
I can tell you from experience that when you work on a cardiac unit, you’re probably going to have at least one patient during your shift complain of chest pain. It is very common. That’s just an example of a specialty-specific question. It could be over anything related to nursing care.
If you’re a new grad nurse, you probably don’t have a lot of experience, so you need to make sure that you know exactly what type of unit you’re interviewing for, because that will allow you to go back and refresh your knowledge on that particular area of nursing.
Let me give you an example of how you can prepare for this type of question (using the cardiac nursing example), You’ll want to review common cardiac diseases such as…
- Heart Failure
- Myocardial Infarction
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Heart valve disease
- And you’ll want to be able to recognize basic dysrhythmias
You’ll also want to be prepared to answer questions that deal with the following (using the cardiac specialty as an example):
- Pre and post-op care for cardiac patients, such as heart caths, stress tests, and pacemaker placements (just the basics that you’ve learned in nursing school).
- Common medications used to treat those heart conditions, such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
- Nursing interventions for cardiac patients. Let’s say you have a patient with heart failure. Some of the nursing interventions would be monitoring intake/output, taking daily weights, monitoring their diet and making sure it is low sodium and low fat, etc.
I’ve had several nurse grads tell me that they were asked a nursing care-specific question like that during the job interview process. Therefore, you’ll want to take some time to study up on the specialty for which you’re applying so that you can nail that one type of question with confidence.
What if You Don’t Know the Answer to a Nursing Scenario?
What if you are asked a question like that and you go blank and have no idea what to say? Instead of saying, “I have no idea,” you might want to ask the nurse manager to elaborate more on the scenario while you think of the answer.
Or you could begin by talking about some area you do know about cardiac nursing (or whatever specialty you’re hoping to work), and then shift to saying you’d consult with a fellow nurse or check the most recent protocols.
Try to avoid saying, “I don’t know.” It’s not always about the answer you give, anyway. The nurse manager is also going to be watching how you respond under pressure ,whether you can think on your feet, and what you will do if you don’t know something.
Conclusion: It’s Best to Refresh on the Specialty You Plan to Work
Okay, so I hope that helps you prepare for your nursing job interview. The one trick question could be any type of scenario of nursing care related to the specialty for which you’re interviewing. This will help you answer with confidence and help you stand out from the competition. Thanks for reading, and you might want to check our other new nurse grad tips.