Interview questions for peds oncology position?

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    Hi everyone.. I'm a new nursing school grad, and I have an interview in a couple days for a pediatric oncology position. It's at a hospital where I did many of my clinicals, including pediatrics, and think it would be a great place to start my nursing career. I absolutely love working with children and just know it's what I want to do. However, I don't have much oncology experience, besides the little that we covered it in school/clinicals.

    I'm wondering if anybody could give me some advice/ words of wisdom for the interview. Some questions I figure they could ask are:

    - why do you want to work in pediatric oncology?
    - how do you think you'll be able to handle the emotional aspect of a unit like this?
    - general q's (strengths/weaknesses/a time you went above and beyond in helping someone/evidence-based practice, etc.)

    If anyone has any other questions they think might pop up for a peds onc job, any help would be very much appreciated! Or ANY advice whatsoever. It's only my second interview Thanks in advance
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    They're going to ask you questions about prioritization. You're going to have more than one patient and some of the protocols are quite specific as to timing of meds. So you're going to need to be able to determine what takes priority... a central line dressing change, or starting the infusion of cyclophosphamide for example.

    They may also ask about organization. Children with oncologic or hematologic illnesses spend a lot of time in hospital and most children's hospitals have a classroom so that the kids don't get too far behind in school. You'll need to juggle treatments, ADLs, dressing changes, med admin AND seeing to it that your patients get to class.

    That's what I can think of off the top of my head.
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    Thank you Jan, this is really helpful. I think this fits into the whole model of the nurse as the case manager of the patient-- coordinating not just this childs meds but also education, etc.
    As you seem to know peds oncology well, are there any questions you'd recommend I ask about the unit? I'll definitely ask if they have a classroom. Are there other things specific to peds onc that are important to ask about?
    Thanks for your help!
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    I would want to know how long an orientation they provide to new staff and if it's longer for new grads. I'd ask how long the probation period is and how often you'd receive a formal evaluation of your progress. I'd want to know what kind of continuing education you could expect. I'd ask about the nurse-to-patient ratio, how often they see tumor lysis syndrome, what their central line infection rate is and whether they primarily use long-term tunneled lines or implanted ports, how often their patients require an ICU admission and what provisions are made for parents and siblings. Those are the big ones.
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    You are wonderful... thank you. I'm going to research tunneled lines vs. ports and familiarize myself better with tumor lysis syndrome so I understand the big issues. This is so helpful!
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    You're very welcome. The research will be helpful. Good luck! Let me know how it goes.
  9. 0
    Hi There!

    Some of the posts in this thread were deleted after the AN site re-do : (

    ...there was a member on here who wrote about having experience in Peds BMT. I contacted her via private message but her response to me was also deleted after the shut-down.

    Anyone by chance remember who that other poster was on here? She had "professor" or "prof" in her name...

    Long-shot, I know, but thanks!
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    Hi werkinit,
    i looked back at my emails from allnurses notifying me about replies to this post. i didn't see anything from Professor-anything... are you thinking of shanthern, or blackshinycar? i think they are the only other 2 who replied, besides the posts that you can still see above. Strange that so many posts just disappeared! I hope you find what you're looking for.
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    Nope, I just remember she was a professor from her profile and I thought it was reflected in her screen name somehow...

    Basically everything after December 14th was lost. What a bummer...HOWEVER, I bet I've still got my old email notification from her response! That may be a lead!

    How did your interview go??
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    Nope...erased the notification...of course!


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