"When was the last time I wow'ed a patient?" - page 3

I recently went to a job interview and one of the first questions I was asked is, "When was the last time you wow'ed a patient?" Up until this point I thought the interview was going pretty well. I... Read More

  1. Visit  lpnpgh123 profile page
    4
    I recently had a similar question on a phone interview. Except my question was, " When was the last time you went above and beyond for a patient?" I can't remember exactly how I answered, but she was not satisfied with my answer,stating that was too generalized and kept trying to coach me for a more specific answer. I elaborated a couple more times, and even mentioned how at one time I won an ACES awared ( Award for Commitment and Excelence in Service). She informed me that was still to general. At this point, all I could say was " Um, Um, um , um..." I was literally left stammering, and at that point, I just felt like any answer I gave would not be good enough. Finally , I said, " Maybe we should just conclude this interview, now."
    I spoke with some previous colleagues after this for some input. They all basically said the same thing... I may not have ever rushed into a burning building to save someone , but the many things that I did on a daily basis, contributed to an overall greater good.( troubleshooting, diffusing anger, friendly, always willing to help fellow staff members so that things run more smoothly for the patients!)
    I figured I would treat this question as a learning experience for the next interview.
    maelstrom143, chevyv, nursel56, and 1 other like this.
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  3. Visit  nursel56 profile page
    2
    "When was the last time you 'wow'ed a patient?" is not the same question as "when was the last time you went the extra mile for a patient?" Since the question itself makes so little sense in the nursing world I guess it would be fine to answer one that you think is sort of close to that - and does make sense, which is probably what I would do - but it seems as though the person asking the question wants to hear about a reaction of some sort from the patient, because how would you know they were 'wow'ed otherwise?

    It's the kind of question someone who is not a nurse or who hasn't been near a patient in decades would ask. It sounds like something someone in sales or marketing would ask so there is some risk in re-interpreting the question. It doesn't indicate a lack of imagination on the part of the interviewee if they are flustered by it.
    AZ_LPN_8_26_13 and Mully like this.
  4. Visit  WeepingAngel profile page
    5
    Quote from nursel56
    "When was the last time you 'wow'ed a patient?" is not the same question as "when was the last time you went the extra mile for a patient?" Since the question itself makes so little sense in the nursing world I guess it would be fine to answer one that you think is sort of close to that - and does make sense, which is probably what I would do - but it seems as though the person asking the question wants to hear about a reaction of some sort from the patient, because how would you know they were 'wow'ed otherwise?

    It's the kind of question someone who is not a nurse or who hasn't been near a patient in decades would ask. It sounds like something someone in sales or marketing would ask so there is some risk in re-interpreting the question. It doesn't indicate a lack of imagination on the part of the interviewee if they are flustered by it.
    This is true, you can go the extra mile all day long and never get a thank you or even as much as an acknowledgement.
    bcolon, R!XTER, NO50FRANNY, and 2 others like this.
  5. Visit  Mom To 4 profile page
    6
    Wowing patients as the standard is exactly why I am in graduate school. Our goal should not be to wow every patient. That isn't why any of us became nurses. We are there to provide the highest level of care we can but some folks will never be wowed. Some people will run us to death and use us as waitresses for 12 hours and not even a thank you. That is our reality
    libbyliberal, Sammie7, R!XTER, and 3 others like this.
  6. Visit  witch2eyescat profile page
    2
    What about the time I sent 200 volts pulsating through a man's body to bring him back from the dead? I think that probably wow'ed him! What about the time I stood silently in a room while a demented patient in restraints screamed about how much she hated me. What about the times that I've yelled at my patients to sit down because they were unsteady and medically unsafe to walk. Or the times when I've had to firmly remind my patients that while they are on my unit, I am the boss. Did these moments wow the patients? Maybe. Is that really our goal? To wow all the patients?
    I laughed so hard! What a stupid interview question to ask a nurse, or any health care provider I think. That sort of question is usually asked while interviewing a candidate for Clair's or Stitches clothing stores for teeny boppers, and it makes me angry and annoyed that I may be asked this sort of question after I graduate from my program. I am a casual PSW during the summer, and I wasn't asked this during my interview. I was asked questions that referred only to patient safety (thank goodness!) So if you don't mind, Mully, I'm going to print out your first post about this, and keep in handy for when my next interview comes. I may reword it somewhat lol, but that question has no place in an interview. Someone wrote that it's all about saving lives every day, keeping pt.s safe and helping them heal, and interviews for positions in the health care field should only be about pt. care and safety. Yes, doing extra little things for the pt. and family are important and should be done, but when a pt. complains about me checking their brief every hour or two during nites I just say, "it's my job and I would hate to leave you in a soiled brief, plus a soiled brief can cause skin breakdown". Thank you Mully, for posting and it's something I would have been totally unprepared for in giving an answer.
    anotherone and Mully like this.
  7. Visit  Zigadenus profile page
    4
    I 'WOW" my patients every day, because I tell them what I am doing and why I am doing it. I have found that my patients are better equipped to handle hospitalization when they know who-what-where-why-how we do what we do. We are just as much educators as anything else, and due to time constraints, education is sometimes rushed and haphazard. I think it would be helpful for us to take the time to explain why a patient is being awakened in the middle of the night, why they need another IV, why it takes so long to get into surgery, etc. I have been at the wrong end of the scalpel 9 times myself, so I might have a different view. I think that a lot of patient/staff difficulties come from fear. Perhaps the nurse doesn't feel it, but the patient certainly does, and as Maslow taught us, we can't learn while we are afraid. If we can lessen the fear, perhaps the education will stick and we will be able to relate to each other as patients and professionals in a better way.
    All patients have the potential to be difficult, and there are days when screaming in the bathroom is the only mental health available. It is those days that determine the length of our careers as nurses. On the day when I know that I have been pushed past the point of compassion, I will stop being a nurse. I pray that each of us has the mental and emotional strength to be there for each other, as well as for our patients, for a very long time.
    I think that most people see the political correctness as the folly that it truly is. A "client" is someone in for a manicure or haircut. Those that I assess, medicate, teach, intervente on behalf of, and care for in multiple ways are my patients. Renal failure is failure, and the kidney should have thought about the consequences earlier. As nurses we are dealing with the reality of situations, and that reality is what it is. The PC should be bagged up and left outside the door.
    R!XTER, CrazierThanYou, maelstrom143, and 1 other like this.
  8. Visit  royhanosn profile page
    4
    ****..talk about ego's. Your not there for entertainment, or to demonstrated your lack of vocabulary, your there to show your confidence. If your co-worker is there and tells the patient you did the same procedure without a hitch yesterday or whenever. You dont see doctors trying to WOW, or AMAZE, or AWESOME a patient. Leave those overworked adjectives to the internet mentality. Approach the patient with calm.
    R!XTER, anotherone, maelstrom143, and 1 other like this.
  9. Visit  jseitzinger profile page
    1
    Thank you for your honesty. The world is so changing and it expects us to remeber, "don't say that, don't do that, don't look like that. Wow, how about do your job and do it like you are working for God not the world.
    Mully likes this.
  10. Visit  decgrad profile page
    3
    I am afraid I would not get that position because I would probably repeat the question back in a sarcastic tone trying to understand what wowing meant. And I would probably start laughing because wowing a patient DOES sound like volts through the heart or a suppository. The most "wow" comments I get from patients are after I start an IV or give a shot and finish before they realize it is over. You know, "Wow! You're done already?"

    Somehow, I don't think that is the fodder of a good interview answer. And I would probably just ask for the interview to end because I was trying for a nursing position, not a clown college.
    sistasoul, R!XTER, and maelstrom143 like this.
  11. Visit  maelstrom143 profile page
    2
    Very excellent article. They are concentrating on the newest "fad" and in so doing losing sight of what is really important in our field.
    I am not there to "wow" my patient. If I do, during the course of my day, happen to accidentally "wow" him or her, I did not mean to do it. I just did it because it was the right thing to do.
    I may spend time with a patient after my shift is over, make an extra trip on occasion to let the patient know I thought of him/her, walk with them to ICU and stay until they are settled and feeling "safe." I do not do it because I want to "wow" a patient. I do it because they may need that extra mile more than I need to go home and rest. If they appreciate it, mention it, praise me, I am glad, but it is not necessary nor would I appreciate anyone telling me I "wowed" my patient.
    I did what was needed when it was needed because someone had to...I am someone.
    livefully and bcolon like this.
  12. Visit  maelstrom143 profile page
    5
    Quote from stiffler99
    I recently had a similar question on a phone interview. Except my question was, " When was the last time you went above and beyond for a patient?" I can't remember exactly how I answered, [...].
    Seriously??? What is considered "above and beyond" when dealing with a patient? I have done this for 8 years. I have held a lot of hands. I have cleaned a lot of backsides, started a lot of IVs, given shots that the patient swore he never felt...held family members as they cried and said goodbye, held the hand of a dying patient as she let go...stayed after work because I promised I would spend time with a patient and so I did...these are people just like us, there but for the Grace of God go we...what we do will come back to us and should not be viewed as "above and beyond" anything. Our actions are guided by our desire to help another fellow being. Shame on that interviewer for asking you such an asinine question.
    sistasoul, bcolon, Irish_Mist, and 2 others like this.
  13. Visit  AZ_LPN_8_26_13 profile page
    0
    Quote from nursel56
    "When was the last time you 'wow'ed a patient?" is not the same question as "when was the last time you went the extra mile for a patient?" Since the question itself makes so little sense in the nursing world I guess it would be fine to answer one that you think is sort of close to that - and does make sense, which is probably what I would do - but it seems as though the person asking the question wants to hear about a reaction of some sort from the patient, because how would you know they were 'wow'ed otherwise?

    It's the kind of question someone who is not a nurse or who hasn't been near a patient in decades would ask. It sounds like something someone in sales or marketing would ask so there is some risk in re-interpreting the question. It doesn't indicate a lack of imagination on the part of the interviewee if they are flustered by it.
    That was my first thought when I read the OP..... This is the type of question that would be asked by someone who has no experience as a nurse and has never had to care for patients in a hospital. Many of the patients I have had to help take care of have dementia or are zonked out on meds, and won't remember who you are or what you did for them the next day. As was mentioned earlier sometimes we have to do things that the patients don't like for their own good, but they don't see it as help or appreciate it. Someone with experience would understand that.
  14. Visit  Anonymous865 profile page
    6
    I'm not a nurse, but please don't flame me. Let me give you a different perspective on the question.

    As an interviewee you should be greatful for a question like this. The interviewer just lobbed you a softball. (S)He is giving you an opportunity to brag on yourself. They are trying to find out if you are the type of nurse who goes into work and just puts their time in and leaves or are you the type of nurse who cares about their patients, enjoys their job, and will go "above and beyond" for the patient.

    A lot of you are acting like (s)he asked when was the last time you "wow-ed" ALL of your patients. (S)He didn't. They asked for when you "wow-ed" ONE patient. Of course there are going to be people who you can never please. The majority of people are going to be neither thrilled nor angry. Occassionally you are going to impress one person.

    Many of you have described situations where you have "wow-ed" the patient, and you don't even realize it.

    One person mentioned putting lotion on a patient's feet, because they enjoyed it. You patient may not have said they were "wow-ed", but I bet they noticed that no other nurse did that for them and were greatful when you were on duty.

    Another person mentioned that the patient would say wow is it over after you started an IV. I guarantee that they noticed that you didn't hurt doing a procedure like some of the other nurses did.

    Here is an example of when an ENTIRE FLOOR OF NURSES "wow-ed" me enough as a patient that I wrote a letter to the CNO and copied my surgeon (who was chief of services at the hospital). I was in the hospital for 4 days following surgery. I can't stand to be still even if I HURT, so I "ambulate." The floor I was on had 4 wings extending from a central nurse's station. Three to four times each day I would walk 10-20 laps around the floor. EVERY SINGLE NURSE I passed gave me a warm smile and spoke to me. They said "You act like you want to leave us" or "You go girl" or "I can't keep up with you" or even acted like they were calling a race and I was in the lead. It was the warmest, friendliest group of nurses I have ever encountered. You could tell they all enjoyed their job. No one had to encourage me to keep walking, but a patient who was reluctant to walk would have continued walking just to enjoy the praise from the nurses on that floor.

    That's not the only thing that the nurses at that hospital did to "wow" me. The letter I wrote to the CNO was 3 pages long and mentioned something each of my RNs and CNAs had done "above and beyond" that made my recovery better.

    I compare that experience to when I spent 5 days in another hospital following surgery. Only 1 nurse spoke to me when I walked the hall those 5 days. The others didn't even smile.

    The nurses in both hospitals hung my IVs correctly, gave me the correct meds at the correct time, checked my vitals, etc. but the nurses at the first hospital made me feel safe and cared for.

    The next time you go on an interview think about all the little things you do without even thinking that make your patients more comfortable or feel safe and cared about. Actually even if you aren't interviewing, you should think about it. It just might surprise you at how much you do and give you a real sense of pride.
    libbyliberal, 3aremyjoy, bcolon, and 3 others like this.


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