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First nursing interview in Psych!!

Psychiatric   (426 Views 6 Comments)
by bobannna bobannna (New Member) New Member Nurse

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I am a new grad nurse that got the opportunity to have a second interview (in-person). I was able to get a phone interview and the recruiter said the hiring manager would like to schedule a second interview, in person. It is at a hospital but for their new psych campus.

The recruiter asked if I would like to stay an additional 2-3 hours to shadow the unit and meet the nurses after the interview, to which I said of course! The recruiter also told me who I will be interviewing with (2 people) and that it will be an HOUR long! That makes me nervous. I already have general anxiety disorder/social anxiety but certain situations--such as this interview--triggers my anxiety. I just got put on lexapro a month ago, but I am not sure if it will help. I have done excellent in my clinicals and around patients, as well as working with nurses. So I hope I don't ruin this interview and give them the wrong impression.

She asked me only about 5 or 6 questions such as why psych nursing, do I have my license yet, have I worked since graduating, what pay rate do I expect to start out at, and I can't remember what else. Very nice lady, and I made her laugh a few times. She told me that I will be with all of the other new grads in the nurse residency program if I get hired. She said all of the new grads from this spring are studying for the NCLEX. So I think I am basically the only one already with my license (got it last fall) so far.

I am extremely excited but VERY nervous! This is basically my first ACTUAL interview I've ever had, (my other jobs just hired me on the spot) I feel like I am putting my big girl pants on lol. 

What questions can I expect them to ask me as a new grad nurse? The recruiter knows the only experience I've had in psych was my 8 weeks on their psych unit, and that I have not worked as an RN after graduating.

Edited by bobannna

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887 Visitors; 315 Posts

I do not have any insight into what they might ask you, but as someone that gets to be on interview panels, I recommend you do the following:

1. Have some thoughtful questions to ask them to show your interest.

2. Research what you can about the employer, such as what services they offer.  Again, just to show you're really interested. 

Good luck!  It sounds exciting to do a residency program in psych!

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,860 Visitors; 6,121 Posts

Congratulations, bobannna! We have something in common: My first hospital job as a nurse was in a brand new wing, which partially house the psych unit, over 35 years ago! 

Questions such as how you might respond  in a certain situation with a patient. Remember to pause, take a couple of deep breaths, answer with the patient's best interests at heart, knowing that safety is a priority, and act accordingly.

Check out this forum if you haven't already done so:

https://allnurses.com/psychiatric-c34/

Good luck, bobannna! And keep us posted!

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 75,860 Visitors; 6,121 Posts

The Double Post Ghost strikes again!

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Congrats on landing a second interview! That is a big step and you should be very proud of yourself! There is no sure answer as to what you will be asked, but always prepare as best as you can! Think of a few key situations that you can utilize and tweak for different questions (such as one story that covers “how you went above and beyond for a patient” but also would cover the answer for “name a time you dealt with a difficult patient”). I would not let the time frame of the interview scare you... when I interviewed/shadowed the HR rep told me just to be prepared for an hour long interview and 4 hour shadowing but the interview ended up being less than 10 minutes! I believe they just want you to be prepared “just in case” it ends up being that long. So, don’t panic. They may just want to make sure you won’t have any other commitments and have to end up leaving early. 

Here are some go-to interview topic that interviews like to ask about...

1. “Tell me about yourself.” (Include here about your interest for psych... make sure to sell yourself!”)

2. “What are you strengths/weaknesses”

3. “Why do you want to work here? Why psych nursing? Why this particular floor?”

4. “Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a patient”

5. “Name a time you worked with a difficult coworker (or difficult patient)”

6. “Name a time when you used critical thinking”

7. “How do you individualize your patients care/ how do you practice culturally competent care”

8. “What type of psych patients do you have experience working with?”

9. “Name a time where you made a mistake”

Now for psych specific questions I would prepare for answering things such as...

1. What patient would you see first (bipolar patient in need of medication, schizophrenic patient saying they are being told to harm someone, or a MDD patient with suicidal ideation a that is with a tech)

2. How would you protect yourself if a patient attempts to hurt you?

3. How would you assist a schizophrenic patient get back to baseline?

4. What is your definition of mental health?

5. What would you do if you needed to help another patient but a manic patient would not stop talking to you?

6. Name a time when you felt a patient’s wellbeing was declining and what did you do about it?

 

My advice for you in the shadowing portion is to ASK QUESTIONS! Show your interest! The nurse is going to most likely fill out a feedback sheet that will be a part in deciding if you should be hired. Ask questions about patient care, nursing ratios, specific equipment they use, how documenting is/what system they utilize, resources for nurses, how that nurse grew professionally, ask the nurse about why they chose nursing or where they went to school or how they ended up here. I would prepare of list of questions and write them down on a sheet that you can also use to take notes (you’ll want to remember some of the things the nurse tells you that wasn’t disclosed in the interview) However, don’t be too “aggressive” by asking a question every other second. Shadowing is usually a very “chill” experience and an opportunity to see how the floor works. It’s time to show off how you would be an awesome coworker! Best of luck with everything!

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

2 Followers; 4 Articles; 59,231 Visitors; 7,879 Posts

Besides all of the above, clarify what your role will be should a behavioral code occur while you're shadowing.  

Since you're not an employee (yet), you'd be a liability during a code.  More than likely, they'll tell you to stay back or possibly have you do some hands-off thing such as crowd control.  But better you be sure of your role up-front...and if necessary, remind the code leader of it.

Best of luck!

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