Applying for new psych job, what to say to interviewer?

  1. First of all, I used to work on the behavioral health floor at the hospital I'm at now as an aide for almost two years. They loved me there, they always thought I would be a great nurse. But I wanted to start out in med-surg and so med-surg I did. I've been at my current job for almost 10 months. Our floor is notorious for being how should I say, A VERY HARD FLOOR. This is mostly because of the acuity, the pt ratio, the number of admissions we get everynight, etc. etc. Needless to say that I hate the floor and honestly I want something... a little easier. I used to work on psych and I KNOW that it can GET CRAZY and be very stressful but its a different kind of stress. I found online that they have two positions open for first shift which would be GREAT and I jumped at the opportunity.

    I left a message for her overnight. She called me today to tell me that she was suprised to hear from me (sounded pleseantly so) and she would look for my application from the recruiter. She even told me about the position and the hours, etc.

    My question is -- how do I tell the interviewer (my old boss) that the floor I'm on now is just too hard and I want something different? I do not want anyone to think that I am giving up (I wanted to go into psych eventually after getting med-surg experience). I also work nights now and I would love to work days, so I guess that's a good reason. Again how should I tell her that the 5 Main med-surg scene was just now for me?
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    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 98; Likes: 36


  3. by   elkpark
    You don't have to say anything about your current med-surg position being "too hard," or even justify why you want to leave -- you can just explain that you wanted to start out with med-surg to get some good, solid clinical experience but your long-term interest is psych, and, since the two positions are open in the psych program, you figure this is a good time to make the change (since you don't know how long it will be until there are more openings in the psych programs once these are filled). Wanting to work days instead of nights is also very reasonable, and doesn't require much (any) explanation or justification.
  4. by   rn/writer

    There is no reason whatsoever for you to bare your soul and "confess" that you are struggling with your current position. What you may be perceiving as a failure is actually recognizing your limitations in a controlled manner. You're deciding to look elsewhere by making an active choice rather than allowing yourself to burn out or fall apart. Smart move.

    As for wanting to return to psych, what you're telling us is that you have found your niche, and you want to come home. Another smart move.

    As elkpark mentioned, saying that you wanted to become proficient in med/surg skills and gain that essential knowledge before returning to psych sounds responsible and wise.

    Do not go into your interview feeling bad about yourself or your nursing abilities. Instead, hold your head high and be confident that you will find a place on a unit you really like, AND you will be bringing good, solid med/surg experience with you. You have much to be proud of.

    Let us know what happens.
  5. by   pinksunRN
    It is never impressive for employer to hire someone who "bad-mouth" their current job. It is just not how you want them to see you. Instead, make it sound that you can be an asset to the facility and given your experience you can care for the patient holistically I'm sure you'll love psych though sometimes, it gets so crazy that it gets into you esp doing 12-hr shifts