There are a lot of questions regarding older nurses getting back into the hospital so I thought I'd start a thread about my experience. I used to work on med/surg and also a tele unit many years ago. I've been working at a desk job. I realized if I didn't get my skills back I was never going to be able to and so I applied for some positions.
I interviewed on a tele floor with three very young nurses asking me the questions and I really did poorly. Things like me saying, "I love to work alone" - which is true but not what to say in a job interview
on a unit where "teamwork" is "the thing". I could tell by their faces. Then, since they were working short- a code was called in the middle of the interview and the managers ran out of the room and left me to find my own way out of the large medical center. So, I had reviewed all my old tele strips, meds etc, and was definitely qualified but was not hired. Sigh
Evidently the nurse recruiter likes me and so she contacted me about another unit and miraculously, this unit was way more laid back in the way they interviewed. They didn't appear to be writing down a number based on my answers. I had asked HR "what kind of metrics are they using to score the candidates?" and of course I couldn't get any info. I have no idea how I was scored, but no one was writing down anything and so I said, "I love to teach young nurses" at which point all their faces lit up and they told me their unit had 40% new grads and pretty much, when do I want to start.
So, I am pretty much terrified. In fact, I realized how out of the loop I am when I took one of my kids this week to the ER and they hooked up an IV and I exclaimed loudly, "That IV pump is so small"... Like, totally uncool! I should not have said a word but the IV pump was only about a third of the size of the ones I used to use... It also had words scrolling, and the nurse had a pager thing on her shirt and all kinds of stuff I had never seen before. All things I will be careful NOT to exclaim about when I actually start at my new job. Don't want to date myself or anything!
I will try to update this post as I go, but it appears I passed the employee physical yesterday. The physical was 3.5 hours long. It was unbelievably involved and I will not comment from a negative view since I could somehow be identified and loose my new job that I am very excited about, but this is what I had to do in order to pass (keep in mind I am a 50 year old female)
- hearing and vision test
-pulmonary function test
-mandatory flu shot and titers taken by a student who I had to instruct
-exam where I was in gown and I had to excercise and measurements were taken of my back, neck, arms, legs, hips etc.
- lifting 100 pounds in a milkcrate off the floor up to my waist and back down (and they wouldn't tell me what the minimum was and I ran over and went through my papers for my job description to read the 100 pounds)(confirmed later)
-moving a 200 pound dummy off of a bed onto another bed and back- with someone minimally helping with the transfer
-lifting a 100 pound dummy up off a bed and into a chair and then back up onto the bed-alone ( I was not allowed to put the bed in lowest position)
I really have no idea how this is all going to go, but I will try to write as candidly as possible without jepordizing my new job. Thanks for any supportive words and we are about to find out if you can in fact "teach an old dog new tricks".