Psych interview coming up!

  1. 0
    Hello,

    I just passed my boards as an RN and I had 3 job interviews for nurse residency programs and didn't land a job . So I'm feeling a bit discouraged. I only have my ADN and I realize I'm going up against a lot of BSNs out there. However, I'm excited to at least have an opportunity to interview for a psych position later this week. I was wondering if anyone knows what to expect during an interview for this position and if anyone had any pointers to help me prep for my interview. Thanks in advance!
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Contrary to what you might have been told, there is really no difference in job preparedness between AD and BSN nurses, and actually some bsn's get less clinical experience in school. I am a diploma nurse from almost 30 years ago, although I have another science degree. I have yet to meet any fresh BSN who is better prepared for actual work than any AD nurse or diploma nurse. You just don't get "real world" experience in school, especially in how to deal with management and coworkers. As for psych, I have 25 years experience, and the best advice I can give is that most of psych is using common sense--you'd be surprised how many people don't have any, or that too much "theory" has sucked it out of them! Be yourself in your interviews. Stress your flexibility, compassion, and willingness to learn. Give yourself several months, at least, to feel minimally adjusted. I have always found psych to be very rewarding, because you meet a wide variety of people, and you can use all of your knowledge and experiences to help them. Good luck! Dave Dunn, RN
  4. 1
    I'm a new grad with an ADN, and I just scored a full-time psych nurse gig/residency program. For the interview, be prepared to talk about why you are interested in the specialty, as well as to describe the RN's role in psych nursing, and also be ready to explain your understanding of boundaries and the importance of them. Try to think of any examples before you go of times you've dealt with pts with mental illness or just difficult or combatative pts, and think of what strengths you will bring to the unit/facility. Think of a weakness, too. And before you go, try to be sure you left them with an idea of why YOU are the right candidate for this job (even if it's just passion for this pt population and determination to start your career off right and learn as much as you can).

    Good luck! Tell us how it went!
    uRN4it likes this.
  5. 0
    So when they ask me to tell them about myself, do you think it would be appropriate to mention that I moved in with my grandmother at the age of 13 and noticed that she had issues with her memory within a couple years she was diagnosed with dementia. After I married at age 23, my husband and I continued living with her due to her inability to perform ADLs, pay bills,etc. ect. We took care of her until she passed away a couple years ago. Is that TMI or does that show that I have experience dealing with mental illness? I have a lot of personal experiences with psych pts. but I don't want them to question my mental health...LOLz. I also had a crisis situation were my brother threatened suicide over the phone and I handled that situation also. I do have patients from med/surg floors I could use in sm. examples but I don't know if they'll make a big enough impression. I want to be honest in my interview but how much should I tell them? Of course the grandma thing wouldn't be the only thing, I'd include normal things about myself also such as my manager job before nursing school and all that jazz. Thanks!
  6. 1
    Quote from uRN4it
    Hello,

    I just passed my boards as an RN and I had 3 job interviews for nurse residency programs and didn't land a job . So I'm feeling a bit discouraged. I only have my ADN and I realize I'm going up against a lot of BSNs out there. However, I'm excited to at least have an opportunity to interview for a psych position later this week. I was wondering if anyone knows what to expect during an interview for this position and if anyone had any pointers to help me prep for my interview. Thanks in advance!
    I always was told to prepare for anything. I realize this doesn't help much, but knowing to much can never hurt you.

    I would also start looking into current events in the specific field as an interesting conversation piece. All in all I would say just to make sure whatever answer you give, you look confident, I think confidence is key!

    Also if you are looking for any programs I found nurseresidencyprograms.com it has every program in the United States
    uRN4it likes this.
  7. 1
    I had an interview at a psych facility today
    As someone else mentioned, I was asked about the psych nurse's role
    How do I handle stressful situations.
    Why Psych and this was a child/adolescent facility so why child psych?
    What do you think is important for a team to function well and how would you contribute to that team

    Can't remember anything else off the top of my head right now. Keeping my fingers crossed that I got this job.
    uRN4it likes this.
  8. 2
    In addition to the above excellent advice:

    Brush up on some common psych conditions and medications...no, you don't need to know them all in detail, but just the basics.

    Know the serious adverse effects/syndromes of medication (e.g., EPS: tremors, involuntary tics, rigidity; NMS: high fever; SJS: rash; note that this is not a complete list of either effects or syndromes) and how you would treat them (stop the med, notify MD, administer anticholinergic or other medication; again, not a complete list of what to do for what. Giving you some homework to do )

    Remember that psych patients, even involuntary ones, have the same rights as a medical patient. That does include the right to refuse treatment and medications (unless they are court-ordered).

    Also remember that patient safety is ALWAYS the priority...and can trump patient rights if it has to. If you're presented with a scenario, choose the response that puts safety first.

    And if you don't know the answer to something, don't try to fake it because guessing wrong will make you look worse. State that you don't know know the answer but that you would find out from a coworker, supervisor, reference manual, etc.

    Good luck with your interview!
    hakunamatataRN and uRN4it like this.
  9. 1
    I would talk about the grandmother with dementia and even the suicidal brother, as long as your examples show experience with psych issues and not co-dependence. I did mention family experiences in my interview, and I think it showed that I had a familiarity with how psych issues affect the whole family structure, and because it explained my interest and my belief that the right intervention and treatment can really help with some patients. Just be sure your examples show that you are educated about it, and that your experiences will make you a better psych nurse. (I knew a women in nursing school whose stories really made her seem codependent and overly enmeshed with her friends and family and seemed to indicate some personality disorder stuff of her own, and her stories would have hurt her in an interview. Use your judgement.)
    uRN4it likes this.
  10. 0
    Well, I had my interview today and after a week of prepping, they didn't ask me much of what I prepped for but I took your advice and mentioned my Grandmother and brother and how I help counsel them in crisis etc. etc. There was just alot of common sense questions about how I handled difficult customers (at my old job) or patients at clinical. They asked me to explain a time when I was asked to do something out of my scope of practice and I told her that I declined doing an IV push because as a student we were not authorized to do such a thing. Then she called the Behavior Health Center and asked if she could send me over. I interviewed with the nurse supervisor and another nurse manager and got a tour of the floor I'd be working on if hired. As I was leaving she told me she'd be calling me. I hope she offers me the job
  11. 0
    Did you get an offer??


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top