Hello! I am scheduled to go in for an interview for a full time pre-op position as an internal applicant at the hospital I work for now. I wanted to see if anyone had any advice for me or any questions they believe are likely to be asked (pre-op specific) that I should be ready for.
A little background on me: I have been a nurse for. 2.5 years, working mostly on med-surg and orthopedics units during that time. I spent a short stint with a pediatrics medical unit as well. Because I work on an ortho unit, I do interact with pre-op nurses on the phone giving report before they come to take the patient. Other than that I haven't gotten much experience with pre-op nurses and it is not as easy as you might think to find summaries of their normal day online either!
So anything any one can share would be wonderful for me. I am really excited about the interview and want to make sure I prepare myself as much as I can.
If the pre-op unit also does out patient procedures find out if the nurses start the IV's. If so they may ask if you are reasonably good at starting IV's. Do you need, or have, ACLS and PALS?
Will you prepare a woman for a therapeutic abortion?
Would you also work PACU/recovery? Find out, that would lead to a lot of other suggestions.
Pre-op needs to be quick and efficient. The OR wants their patients ready to go, even if the case was moved up an hour. Can you tell an annoyed OR crew to wait, the patient is not ready to be signed off to OR?
The pre-op check list is like commandments from God. If you follow it quickly but without missing anything. It will cover all the critical information the patient needs to be ready and safe to go to OR. However be prepared to say what would you do if the patient answers no when it should be a yes. Who would you tell, what would you do?
You have to stop and think, not everything can be on the check list. If the patient is taking an anti-coagulant, does the chart have a recent PTT/PT? Does the patient have or need a recent EKG due to their age or medical history? The patient is of child bearing age, do we have a recent pregnancy test? Does the patient have a power of attorney, who did, or can, sign the consent? Is the patient over 18 or a legally emancipated minor? Standard that all diabetics get a finger stick glucose prior to OR.
You need to be good at IV starts, and good at listening to surgeons shout at you to hurry up. Patients are very anxious on the day or surgery so it helps if you are a talker and good at helping people relax.
Wow thank you!! Super helpful. I really appreciate the time you took to respond
definitely going to go over all of these topics
When I interviewed for a pre-op position, starting IVs, time management, organization and the ability to be calm and pleasant (ie: patient satisfaction scores maintained) while under pressure were all areas of focus. The ability to cope calmly with a cranky doctor was also mentioned more than once.
My PACU interview (with pre-op crosstraining) focused more on teamwork, communication & customer service. I was literally asked if I was recognized during discharge callbacks. At that time, staff mentioned during a call back were listed in our weekly hospital newsletter; happily, I had 3 mentions posted in the current newsletter that I could claim.
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