"When was the last time I wow'ed a patient?" - page 2

by Mully 20,667 Views | 75 Comments

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 had worn my nicest suit, shaken... Read More


  1. 1
    While I can certainly sympathize with being annoyed over the constant emphasis on customer service in healthcare, as if we were working the counter at Starbucks, I have to say these type of questions are pretty much standard on job interviews, especially in a job market that seems to be flooded at the moment.

    I always interpret these questions as are you willing to go the extra mile with your patients. Are you willing to do the things that aren't really necessary, but might help somebody or improve their situation. Some people have an innate desire to help others in need, and others not so much. You'd think anyone getting into nursing falls into the former category, but these days that isn't always the case. Obviously how you answer these question has less to do with whether or not you do go the extra mile, and more to do with how good at humble bragging you are, but as I said, it seems to be a standard question.

    I'm not an RN, I work as a PCT and have worked as a CNA, so we get this customer service emphasis a lot more than RNs, but I've even been asked this question when I applied for my current EMT job. The notion that were there to save your a$$ not kiss it is no longer valid in todays job market.
    Vespertinas likes this.
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    Quote from Pudnluv
    It all goes back to the annoying and ever present, ever lurking Press Ganey. I hate those things. It is my opinion that the majority of people will find something to complain about, and ignore the good things that are done for them. People expect their nurse to be kind, compassionate, skilled and attentive. They are not impressed when those things happen, because they take for granted that it will happen but heaven forbid they get the wrong order on their food tray. Then they want to complain to anyone who will listen, about how poor their care was.

    Have I wowed anyone? For years I worked nights, and many of my patients couldn't remember who I was. I counted this as a good thing. I rounded every hour and made sure they were breathing, dry and didn't need anything. The slept through the night and woke in the morning with only the vague memory of the "night nurse" checking on me. Many times I heard "Oh good, you're here tonight", and then the patient would sleep the night away. Is that wowing the patient?

    Now I work evening shift in the ED. Did I wow anyone? How about the homeless girl who hadn't eaten in three days and I gave her my sandwich, which was so much better than the dry turkey ones we have on the unit. Or the homeless man who I gave new socks to and new pants from the box of donated clothes that some of us brought in. Unfortunately, these people will never receive a hospital survey to fill out.

    Did I wow anyone recently? The answer is yes. I wow myself everyday I go to work and am able to perform my job to the best of my ability. I wow myself when I go home at night and know that somehow I made a difference, even if the patient didn't realize it. Wowing myself means more to wowing the patient because I know that I have provided excellent nursing care.
    86toronado and nursel56 like this.
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    Quote from Tina, RN
    "Wowing" a patient isn't nearly as important as providing excellent, appropriate nursing care. What did you end up replying??

    I literally couldn't think of any specific story or anything, so I crappily pieced together some fluff answer about how I try to wow all my patients. It was not good.
    libbyliberal, anotherone, prnqday, and 2 others like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from Mully
    I literally couldn't think of any specific story or anything, so I crappily pieced together some fluff answer about how I try to wow all my patients. It was not good.
    I was recently asked this type of question, though thankfully it was worded (a bit) better- "tell me about a time you went above and beyond for your patient".
    My answer was probably very similar to yours...and it was true, I DO try to provide excellent care for all my patients, but as a lot of nurses certainly feel, you can't please everyone.
  5. 3
    I really thought about the last time I wowed anybody for anything.
    I'm still thinking.

    I think I'm a "Hide my light under a bushel" kind of gal.
    Last edit by imintrouble on May 31, '13
  6. 3
    I see things everyday that make me want to shout. I see pts asking a nurse if they can heat up some prune juice for them and the nurse replies "no, I don't have time" and then heads behind the nurses' station to text on her phone. I see pts asking for a home visit pass and the nurse replies "you have to talk to the doc", even though pt and family left several messages.

    Is it a Wow kind of thing when you go out and heat up prune juice, or grab a chart and head into the docs hidey holes to get the order written? I just try to make my pts life a little better while I'm there. Is that a Wow moment? Because sometimes, it really means a lot to them. It hasn't killed me yet either.
    libbyliberal, calivianya, and RNitis like this.
  7. 22
    The last time I 'wowed' someone was many years ago: I accidentally flushed a line that I just just taken a dopamine gtt. off of. The patient actually said, "Wow! My heart is racing all of the sudden!" to which I stammered, "Oh, really?"
  8. 6
    I love this topic!!! I just had to meet with not one, but two managers of a unit I floated to after working a 12 hour shift, to answer about a patient complaint regarding my nursing the night before!!
    The patient, who waved me away when I attempted an assessment, said that I failed to assess her and her roommate. Said roommate, whom I got no report on, was very unstable, and I actually spent the entire night following up on her lab values, vitals, blood sugars, etc. The other patient (ie: the complainer) was the most stable of my 7-patient assignment, so excuse me if I didn't get in to assess her until 2145. So, unfortunately, the patient I "wowed" that night was unable to speak for herself, so instead I had to answer to the management regarding the alert, oriented and independent complainer.
    libbyliberal, R!XTER, anotherone, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from 86toronado
    I love this topic!!! I just had to meet with not one, but two managers of a unit I floated to after working a 12 hour shift, to answer about a patient complaint regarding my nursing the night before!!
    The patient, who waved me away when I attempted an assessment, said that I failed to assess her and her roommate. Said roommate, whom I got no report on, was very unstable, and I actually spent the entire night following up on her lab values, vitals, blood sugars, etc. The other patient (ie: the complainer) was the most stable of my 7-patient assignment, so excuse me if I didn't get in to assess her until 2145. So, unfortunately, the patient I "wowed" that night was unable to speak for herself, so instead I had to answer to the management regarding the alert, oriented and independent complainer.
    That was the point I was going to make. The question uses a word more common to your average infomercial actor when they look at the miraculous change in their complexion or whatever from the product being hawked, lol. "Oh my gosh I can't believe what a freaking awesome nurse you are!!! I'm going to call everyone I know and tell them about it! Give me that phone and another round of chilled sodas for my friends!"

    We take care of babies, children, vented and sedated, post-op, dementia, people who don't converse well in our first language, and many more other readers can add to that - but I thank the OP for posting this so if I am ever asked the question I won't give out an involuntary eyeroll and have something coherent to say.
  10. 10
    Hit the nail on the head! In my ER, whenever we get someone "important" the charge will rush him back and say "be nice,". I'm instantly offended, because if you are my homeless patient or Bill Gates you get the best of me.
    libbyliberal, Sammie7, R!XTER, and 7 others like this.


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