Just waiting now...

  1. Hi all,

    I just finished my interview with St. Elizabeth yesterday. Overall I felt "OK" with the whole interview. I got nervous towards the middle of the interview (well, who wouldn't with 4 MDAs and 3 CRNAs there) and stuttered and had to clear my throat with my bottled water...Yikes! They saw that I was nervous and deep inside, I was hitting myself over the head with a 2x4 to "snap out of it"

    Has anyone fumbled (well, i thought i fumbled) with a clinical question?

    During the start of the interview, they kept firing away at me, asking the personal-type questions...such as, tell us about you...your background...the hospital that you worked in...your education...etc. THEN, a clinical question from the director, "How do you do a wedge reading?"

    Here's where I really hit my head over a 2x4...I had to pause and think about what to say and I wasn't as DETAILED as I wanted to be...mostly because again, I WAS SOOOOO NERVOUS. I basically just told her, well,
    "you take the syringe that's attached to the balloon port, unlock the stopcock, inject about 1.5 ccs of air slowly, watch the monitor for the waveform...and get your wedge reading."

    She then asked, can you put more air in? To which I said, well, you can, but it's not a good idea. She asked for some of the complications of it...to which I answered, well, you can "pop" the balloon, you can cause anuerysm of the PA, and when inserting the catheter, the tip can "tickle" the ventricle and cause arrythmias, and also cause the pt resp distress if the balloon is left inflated for a long time.

    THIS IS WHERE I FELT I FUMBLED!

    I know this stuff, and for some reason - maybe from being watched by all these clinicians, I failed to be SPECIFIC and DETAILED on my answer.

    After everyone left, I stayed behind and the director talked to me about the program...ie the requirements, study obligations, the organization, etc. She was actually very nice, eventhough she came across as being a "drill sargeant (did I spell it right?)".

    Overall, I think they liked me. I made sure that I didn't come across as someone who was "cocky" and a know it all. I'm NOT a know it all. I remained very humble during the interview...and hopefully, they saw that I have the DRIVE to do this.

    Well, I'll keep you guys posted.

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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Sherpa RN
    VinnieCA,

    Take a deep breath and exhale. I'm new to the forum and this is my first post and it's for you Vinnie! I got accepted to Virginia Commonwealth University's program this coming fall and I totally relate to your interview. Here's my story:

    I'm a soon to be ex-Navy LT who last year was jumping through all the hoops to be selected to the Navy's CRNA program. My package was in with them and I wanted another school if the Navy said no. My wife got accepted to Medical College of Virginia in Richmond and mentioned that they had a great CRNA program too! I checked out the web site, saw the great things they were doing there, and put in my application the next week (I had all the intital legwork done since I slogged through it doing it for the Navy's appl). Well, October rolls around, and I get an interview and can you be here in 2 weeks? After creative rescheduling and owing shifts to others, I work a night shift, immediately jump a plane from the West Coast and crawl into my hotel at 2200 EST and get up at 0430 for the interviewing group at 0700. Mind you, my body clock feels like it's still 0400 when I arrive to the interview, my brain bathed in coffee and apprehension of what they're going to throw at me clinically.

    Just like you, I get suprised of all the "get to know you questions" from the first 2 sets of interviewers. Where are the clinical questions I prepared for? At the 3rd and last of interviewers, it starts out with the get to know you questions and then the upper jabs and body shots of clinical questions hit me as if you're talking at a water cooler with someone and then they just haul off and tag you 2 ft from you! (graphic example to show my shock, knew it would happen, just not when!)

    Well, the caffine wore off by then and the initial adrenaline rush was wearing off. I answered the first few questions adequately, but then when we went down a neuro line of questioning, I could tell I wasn't following the interviewer's path, like I still left my brain packed in my suitcase with my socks. I tried to keep a poker face and exit the discussion as gracefully as I could. My words were " I'm sorry sir, but I just don't have the answer you're looking for today. I've taken care of these patients before, and I'm sure I had the answer there in the clincial setting, and I could dance around the question guessing what the answer is, but I would have to look it up and get back to you. Today I don't know."

    Well, like you I felt like Dennis O'Connor in the America's Cup watching the Kiwi's pass him an the way to the finish line. Felt like I blew it and an airline ticket, hotel and my dreams. The interviewers could look at my answer two ways. 1. "why did we waste an interview on this kid? He's clueless!" or 2. "This kid knows what he doesn't know, and won't let himself get over his head in the OR if something's not right and will ask for help early, and we can teach this guy, because he doesn't think he knows everything". It was a long ride back to the West Coast and I would have to wait until December to find out the result of my answers.

    December came, and by some funny twist of events, I got accepted by the Navy and VCU for anesthesia. Something worked! Navy doesn't interview, just what you look like on paper and a panel of 7 high-ranking officers decide who the best 18 candidates are out of an average pool of 35-40. Long story short, I turned down the Navy offer and accepted the VCU offer. (If I took Navy, I'd be sent to my 2nd choice of thier 2 schools, and be away from my wife for 30 months, have 2 households to pay for, and that's before I even would be deployed on a ship for 6-9 months or sent to Iraq throughout my time owed. (4 yrs after school and they can send you anywhere they want to, that's what you sign up for.)

    So VinnieCA, take it with agrain of salt. You can be a genius and spout off everything they want to know about the pressure-volume loop in acute and chronic aortic insufficiency, or you can be an educated candidate who doesn't have all the answers and can admit that and is applying to their school to learn the answers from them. Good Luck on the outcome, and I'm sending positive vibes in your direction. I've been there and know how you feel.
  4. by   Athlein1
    VinnieCA,
    Hang in there. It's easy to overanalyze. Just know you did the best you could at that time. Let the chips fall where they may!

    SherpaRN,
    Loved your post. Welcome! Looking forward to hearing about SRNA life out there.
  5. by   MaleAPRN
    Thanks so much for the positive thoughts guys. I've taken the interview with a grain of salt, and I don't feel as bad as I did earlier. I do think now, that I gave it my best and now that it's behind me, I'm going to move on and think positive.

    If it wasn't meant to be, and I don't get accepted, well then I'll jus move on and apply again.

    Vinny
  6. by   RLSU4CRNA
    I finshed my interview April 6th and I felt fairly good about it. However, I did not get any clinical questions to discuss. (Of course I refreshed my memory just in case) My interview entailed personal questions as well. Homelife, relationship, financial plan, etc. After the interview, I felt like a heavy burden was lifted. The nerves, the waiting, the anticipation, the questions, and the interview board was behind me and i lived through it. Now the waiting period and anxiety that accompanies the anticipation of "the Letter". We are to find out in the first week of May which is around the corner. Keep your head up! You did fine!!! Good luck and lert us know!

    Quote from vinnysca
    Hi all,

    I just finished my interview with St. Elizabeth yesterday. Overall I felt "OK" with the whole interview. I got nervous towards the middle of the interview (well, who wouldn't with 4 MDAs and 3 CRNAs there) and stuttered and had to clear my throat with my bottled water...Yikes! They saw that I was nervous and deep inside, I was hitting myself over the head with a 2x4 to "snap out of it"

    Has anyone fumbled (well, i thought i fumbled) with a clinical question?

    During the start of the interview, they kept firing away at me, asking the personal-type questions...such as, tell us about you...your background...the hospital that you worked in...your education...etc. THEN, a clinical question from the director, "How do you do a wedge reading?"

    Here's where I really hit my head over a 2x4...I had to pause and think about what to say and I wasn't as DETAILED as I wanted to be...mostly because again, I WAS SOOOOO NERVOUS. I basically just told her, well,
    "you take the syringe that's attached to the balloon port, unlock the stopcock, inject about 1.5 ccs of air slowly, watch the monitor for the waveform...and get your wedge reading."

    She then asked, can you put more air in? To which I said, well, you can, but it's not a good idea. She asked for some of the complications of it...to which I answered, well, you can "pop" the balloon, you can cause anuerysm of the PA, and when inserting the catheter, the tip can "tickle" the ventricle and cause arrythmias, and also cause the pt resp distress if the balloon is left inflated for a long time.

    THIS IS WHERE I FELT I FUMBLED!

    I know this stuff, and for some reason - maybe from being watched by all these clinicians, I failed to be SPECIFIC and DETAILED on my answer.

    After everyone left, I stayed behind and the director talked to me about the program...ie the requirements, study obligations, the organization, etc. She was actually very nice, eventhough she came across as being a "drill sargeant (did I spell it right?)".

    Overall, I think they liked me. I made sure that I didn't come across as someone who was "cocky" and a know it all. I'm NOT a know it all. I remained very humble during the interview...and hopefully, they saw that I have the DRIVE to do this.

    Well, I'll keep you guys posted.

  7. by   MaleAPRN
    Good luck to you too! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
  8. by   Ianv
    Vinny,
    Sounds like you did well. When I interviewed she asked me the same question and I felt the same way you did, I should've given more detail...been more specific...ect. It sounds like you know your stuff and they can see that through the fumbling... they know your nervous and just want to see how you react. did they ask you about a book that changed your life? Let me know how it turns out. Hope to see you there this fall.
    Ian
  9. by   MaleAPRN
    Hi Ian,

    Yes. Leslie asked me that question. I told her that my recent fav'rite book was The Hobbit. Coz, I related to Bilbo Baggins' character...adventurous and didn't want to be bogged down...etc.

    I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks for your support!

    Vinny.
  10. by   J.L.Seagal
    Sherpa...your post was great! I had a similiar experience during my interview at VCU. In my case, I woke up sick that morning and considered cancelling the morning interview and rescheduling for the next day. As fate would have it, I could not get a live person on the phone (too early in the morning for that) so I decided to take a chance and go to the interview anyway.

    I was breaking out in a cold sweat that morning...but so were the other candidates. And yes, I got asked the clinical questions too (ie. naming a vasoactive drug and discussing dosages, indications, contraindications, etc....then going on the the next drug). I managed to answer the questions in between bouts of nausea. Needless to say, I managed to finish my interviews and went back to my hotel room in a daze. I spiked a temp that night and developed severe joint pains. I honestly had no idea how I did on my interviews.

    I am happy to report that I was accepted to VCU's program for this fall. So don't lose hope Vinny! Stay positive and remember that there are many people out there who had similiar experiences to yours.

    Good Luck!
  11. by   Sherpa RN
    J L Seagal,

    Looking forward to meeting you in orientation class this August and sharing the pain with you that the program will bring upon us all!

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