County Health Department Interview***

  1. Hello Allnurses,

    I have an interview coming up with my local health department as a Public Health Nurse. The job description and hours sound ideal. As a nurse with almost 1 year of experience can anyone give me any insight as to what the work environment and job consists of in the health department. I have other potential job offers lines up, but I'm very interested in this area. Anyone know of the type of interview questions they ask?? Any information, comments, and advice are all encouraged and welcomed.

    Thanks in advance
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    About wife&mommyRN

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 239; Likes: 157


  3. by   BrewerRN
    I have been a PHN II for almost 4 years now and LOVED IT! The job descrpition and duties will be different of course for each position. I started out in case managment (highly recommend) and now I am in a position where I can use my skills as a lactation consultant 100% of the time and I am currently working on my Lamaze certification and hope to srat offering childbirth classes later in the year. good luck.
  4. by   wife&mommyRN
    BrewerRN thanks for the information, I actually just interviewed for a position as a case manager, but I did not know @ the time that it was not a general nursing position. I felt like I was under qualified, what exactly does a case manager do???

    I've read some excellent reviews for PHN, but cutbacks kind of concern me. I'm willing to take a pay cut because I could always stay contingent @ the hospital. Do you know if working for the health department has more job security???

    Thanks again for the information
  5. by   BrewerRN
    Well, it depends on what type. I was hired as CSC (Child Services Coordinator). So, my job was to ensure my parents/guardians were compliant with any meds, appointments, etc. I also would make sure they had proper living arrangements, food, electric as weel as conduct frequent developmental assessments when necessary and A LOT of teaching/education.

    I am not sure if a health department job is any more secure. We have has cut backs and job losses where I am employed and we have not had a pay raise in 3 years, but our health director is a RN and she does her best to keep all the staff she can.

    My biggest issues was going from private to government. EVERYTHING has to be done by committee. There are meetings for everthing and if you need supplies, you have to request them.

    I work for a fantastic agency with fantastic staff (mostly anyway ;O) ). I wish I would have found public health a long time ago. It is very nice to actually "see" the whole picture when it comes to patient care. I now understand why little johnny's mom could not afford to get his asthma meds. It is because she is all but homeless and is using every penny she makes on food and shelter for her children. Public health will give you a new prespective on nursing and overall health care. It's not just treating the patient for their issue currently. It's helping them not have the same issue again.
  6. by   letitbe_lindsay
    I'm a new grad but I just got a job as a PHN with my county health department. The interview questions they asked were mostly about my understanding of the differences between acute care nursing and community health nursing. I just talked about how the biggest things were education about health promotion and prevention of illness.

    From what I gather in the first two weeks...this is an awesome job. I've done a few home visits and I'm working on learning immunization schedules for the vaccination clinics my county provides. Other nurses in my department have varying responsibilities...some are Child Health Care Consultants, some are Lactation Consultants, others work on grants. Still others are carseat techs, some specialize in fall prevention for seniors and some focus on literacy in children. After I learn the "basics" of my job (charting, assessment, vaccinations, home visits, etc.) I get to sort of pick a specialty. It seems like there is a lot of freedom and the hours are awesome and I have LOADED benefits. Even though I'm new, I'm really glad I decided to start in this area of nursing.
  7. by   wife&mommyRN
    letitbe lindsay,

    Thank you soooooooo much for the information. My interview is coming up in the next couple of days and I was pretty surprised as to how quickly they called me.How long after your interview did they offer you the job??? I think this would be a good fit bc one of the reasons I went into nursing is because of the education part. My 1st degree is in education so I can point highlights into that area easily. I'm just a little worried about my overall skills. Did you ever work for a hospital before this job??? Did you take a paycut??? Does your job offer overtime???? I'm really not worried about taking a minor paycut in order to be in a least stressful atmosphere and doing something I love while @ the same time putting my degree to good use How long was your orientation???

    Thank you so much for the information, its good to hear that I'm not the only newbie with this dilemma. Best of Luck to you on your new & awesome career path
  8. by   mookyjoe
    Just wondering what state you're in and what salary new grads start at? I'm in the Mid-West, and interviewing today so I guess I'll find out soon enough! I too LOVE PH in general. The health dept may not pay much like hospitals from what others have stated, but after doing my rotations at county health, it just seemed like the right fit.