Western Carolina University CRNA Interview - Starting January 2015

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    Hey all,

    I was just offered an early interview for the CRNA program at Western Carolina University, to begin potentially in January 2015. I am extremely excited for this opportunity and was wondering if anyone knew about the interview process. I have heard it is a lot of clinical questions, but also the usual (i.e. what patients do you take care of, why CRNA, etc.).

    If anyone has any insight that would be great. I would also love to hear about any others interviewing. Ashville is a beautiful place, and from the looks of things, it sounds like WCU is a great program that gives SRNAs a lot of experience in areas where other programs may lack (central line placement, blocks).

    Good luck to all.

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  2. 7 Comments...

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    I realize that it's only me replying to this thread, but I just wanted to mention that the interview went well, and I was offered a slot in the program a few hours afterward. The interview was very pleasant, with mostly personal questions and some minor clinical questions. Despite some nervous moments, it went well, and I look forward to starting next year. If anyone has questions about the application/interview process, feel free to PM me. Thank you.
    kiszi, presta, and Spoiled1 like this.
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    Hoping to get an interview with Western next month. Would love to hear more about your experience. PM me if available.
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    I am also hoping for an interview at WCU! Looks competitive.
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    I have an interview at WCU June 20th. I would love to get a few more details from you about the interview!
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    MY interview experience was sort of a combination of personal and clinical questions. Overall, it was pretty easy-going. When I approached the campus at Western Carolina University, I was greeted by the secretary, who gave me a bottle of water and allowed me to sit as she went and notified the interviewers of my presence. I was soon greeted by the program director and assistant program director, and was escorted into a small conference room.

    The interview was fairly laid-back. I was asked many "personal" style questions, most of which were exactly the ones I mentioned in my examples:

    "Why do you want to be a CRNA?"
    "Why did you choose Western Carolina University?"
    "How do you handle conflict?"

    Then they moved into the clinical portion of the interview by asking me what kind of patients I work with on my floor. They then asked me to describe a specific patient scenario. This was the part in which I grew a little nervous. I discussed a septic patient whom I had taken care of that was on a number of vasopressors, a ventilator, and had a number of complex things going on, including an absurdly high temperature requiring an Arctic Sun, CRRT / dialysis (which made her even more hemodynamically unstable), and more.

    I had a few flubs, which I actually caught and corrected during my response. These include the amount of fluid I would resuscitate the patient with (I mistakenly said 5 ml per kg, which only amounted to 300 ml, which I caught and corrected to 50 ml per kg, so more like 3 liters), and what other receptor dobutamine works on besides beta1 (it has mild beta2 effects, which I admitted I did not know, but I did mention that I know it causes coronary artery dilation, which I think helped).

    Finally, they asked me why they I think they should pick me over the other candidates. I think this was the key thing that sold them on me. I emphasized that I am teachable, try to be humble and honest about all of my dealings, and that I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong about something. Also, I mentioned that the safety of the patient is my highest priority, and I don't let ego get in the way of that.

    If I could give any advice to anyone applying for a slot in a CRNA school or any kind of nursing school or job, it would be to be humble and honest in your responses, as well as in your interactions with your patients and colleagues. The scary nurse or doctor is the person who thinks they know everything and is afraid to admit when they don't know the answer. Don't be that nurse. Be willing to say "I don't know, and I'm going to find out", and then go find out the answer.

    All in all, just be yourself. That's the thing they want to see the most. Have some patients in your head that you could talk about, but don't come up with canned answers. Just try to relax and be yourself.
    presta likes this.
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    Got an email a little while ago saying today was the day to see if I'm going to get an interview or not, I've had my fingers crossed for a couple weeks now.

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