Thanks for the info CRNA29. Where are you working now? The interview went very well. I actually got the acceptance letter today. They had called me last week and wanted me to come to school this fall for 2004. Originally, they had me slated for fall of 2005, but had an opening so wanted me to come this year. I certainly wanted to, but have been forced by family and personal circumstances to wait until 2005. I am hoping I can take the St. Joe's classes over the next year, and get them all in. How much time did it require of you for MSN classes? Did you take 1-2 classes a semester? I think it would be better off for me if I could get them out of the way before clinical and CRNA classes start.
Anyway, the interview went like this:
I am from about 3.5 hours away, so I arrived 3 hours early, and spent some time wandering around checking out the hospital (on a side note, the yahoo directions took me through central philly, and I got stuck behind multiple trolleys). I went to the cafeteria, and had the hardest pancake I ever had for breakfast. I had to eat it with my hands. It was kind of funny really because it was a tyical hospital cafeteria. because I got there at the end of breakfast, everything laid out was old or hard. It just so happen to be anesthesia week though, and the CRNA dept. had a bunch of presentations set up in the cafe, so I got to check out all the classes over the last several years. I was surprised by how small they were. In the interview, they told me they are now starting to take more students. they take like 18 a year now.
The secretary came and got me when I paged( about 45 min. early), and took me on a short tour of the OR suite, and told me a little about the place. She brought me up to meet the two directors of the program, then I went on a more extensive tour of the OR facilities w/ a junior student. I tried to ask as many questions as I could think of. We saw another student along the way about to do a case, and I asked her lots of questions too. Then I came up and interviewed with the director, and asst. dir. of the program. I was extremely impressed with the interview. It was more like a discussion about anesthesia, and they made me feel extremely comfortable. They did not ask me any real clinical questions, but I interjected some of what I knew about hemodynamics in the interview, which seem to impress them.
A word of advice to all. If they don't ask you any specific clinical questions, make sure you are telling them what you know. Talk about hemodynamics and what drips you have experience with, the difficulties you've had with them, and the positive experiences you've had as well. I was honest about my strengths and my weeknesses, and most of all I said I wanted to become a CRNA. Believe it or not, that phrase goes a long way even though they've heard it before. My current supervisor had told me to talk myself up, tell them what I know, and advertise myself to them. That is what candidates should do during the interview process. I'm not saying come off as over confident, because that is a turn off. That is why I was honest to admit my weaknesses, but I also suggested ways in which I have been trying to get better at those weaknesses.
They laid out the entire program for me during the interview. I am not entirely sure, but I get the feeling they do a lot of interviewing over time, and select the best candidates in the spring. They seem to care about their students and operate as a family. from what they told me, they have a 100 percent grad. and board passing rate. This impressed me. He also talked a lot about the new fiberoptics they had available. I had a cartoon with me at that moment that showed a rather harsh nasal fiberoptic intubation.
The only confusing part in the interview is where I would be all the time. They said I would be stationed mostly at one facility, but there were a bunch of satellite hospitals that I may have to attend to get speciality experience, like Regional, Cardiothoracic, etc. It would require a bit of travelling, but I expected this to happen no matter where I went. I will have to sell my gas guzzling Jimmy, and find something more economical though.
All and all, it was a good interview, and after the interview I decided if I got in, it was where I wanted to go.
Let me know if anybody has any questions. Pete495