Interview on an Inpatient Oncology Unit of Tuesday!

  1. Cross your fingers for me!

    Questions: She knows I am newly licensed as an RN. Will I be asked any chemo-specific kinds of questions?

    I'm planning to go over calculating drip rates. Is it likely they'll go straight to the med test and pee-in-a-cup? She asked me to bring my license and BLS card.

    Any suggestions as to how I should dress? What I should ask?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Visit SuesquatchRN profile page

    About SuesquatchRN

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 13,193; Likes: 17,909
    0from US

    27 Comments

  3. by   pagandeva2000
    Ask if they will pay for you to become chemo certified (or at least how can you go about it). I am not sure, but it is either that you have to accumulate a number of hours in oncology or med-surg or maybe it really doesn't matter. I have friends who took the cert class and said that it is a two day course with an open book exam at the end of the second day. I hear that it was still somewhat of a difficult exam, but they didn't seem to mind that people worked together to answer the questions.

    Not sure if they would have you answer a great deal of chemo-Rx questions if they know you are a new RN, but they should have a medication test which will probably consist of questions on diabetic meds (especially drawing insulin), HTN, heparin/coumadin questions, some cardiac drugs (like digoxin) and certainly IV drug calculations.

    I'd say to dress to impress for an interview...some do come in uniform (hasn't seemed to be a problem at my job, but not sure about others). Way to go, Sue, and call me when you get a chance!
  4. by   loricatus
    How long is the orientation with a preceptor?

    What will the nurse to patient ratio be?

    What traits do you look for in an oncology nurse?

    Is there a nurse educator for the unit?

    What do you feel the greatest challenge will be for me on this unit?

    How is the nurse-doctor rapport?

    Do you have a 24 hour pharmacy?

    How many average admit/discharges are there during a shift?

    Now that we have had time to talk a bit, do you think I would be an asset to the unit?

    When can I start?


    And some 'stuff' to help you research for the interview (get to know the terminilogy and issues & work them into your interview)
    http://www.ons.org/
    http://www.apon.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
    http://www.oncc.org/publications/certification.shtml
    http://www.highbeam.com/Oncology+Nur...lications.aspx
    http://www.worldoncology.net/oncology_nurses.htm
    http://www.oncologynursingnews.com/Links/section/878/

    Oh, and get a little familiar with the different type of ports (eg: powerport, mediport...) and look up some of the issues that occur from chemo and radiation (eg, neutropenic precautions, dietary, n/v, skin and mucous membranes, etc

    Good Luck to you Sues. Will be with you Tuesday in spirit.
    Last edit by loricatus on Jun 5, '09
  5. by   SuesquatchRN
    Deva, I'm certain getting me chemo-cert is in the works should I be hired. They require a lot of continuing ed.

    Interesting - the job never showed up on the website. I just called HR a ew weeks ago and told them to submit my resume anywhere they thought it might be valuable and she told me today that the job only opened yesterday! I'm hoping she just liked the resume and me and doesn't plan to meet a lot of people.
  6. by   WittleOnesRN
    I work in Oncology.
    Look up neutropenia and how to calculate it.
    I usually have a patient daily that needs a blood transfusion so you could look that up. wbc, hemoglobin and platelets are critical in Onc.
    Ask if you will have a nursing assistant. It would be hard without as the patients can be very weak and blood transfusion require vitals frequently.
    Pain management is important in Oncology. Maybe look up fentynal patches, dilaudid verses Morphine.
    Find out how soon they want you to start giving chemo and how they train you.
    I would also want to know how long the nurses have been in Onc. They will be there to support you and assist you in learning chemo.
  7. by   blondy2061h
    Will I be asked any chemo-specific kinds of questions?
    Doubt it. We got sent to the ONS Chemo class when we first started. I really knew very little about chemo before then, and still find myself needing to look them up if I'm hanging chemo other than that usually used for Leukemia or BMT prep.
  8. by   blondy2061h
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    I have friends who took the cert class and said that it is a two day course with an open book exam at the end of the second day. I hear that it was still somewhat of a difficult exam, but they didn't seem to mind that people worked together to answer the questions.
    That's exactly what mine was.
  9. by   TakeTwoAspirin
    I have never worked in oncology, but I just wanted to wish you luck and let you know that everything is crossed for you. Go get 'um!
  10. by   coffee4metech
    Good luck finally you will get out of informatics if thats how you spell it ???? Anyways good luck to you keep us posted !!!!!
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from Mrs.NurseAssistant
    Good luck finally you will get out of informatics if thats how you spell it ???? Anyways good luck to you keep us posted !!!!!
    That's how it's spelled.

    It isn't informatics I mind. But my boss doesn't use me for that because she can't bear to part with anything so she gets mad at me for not being a Windows help desk tech.

  12. by   coffee4metech
    Well either way its a great oppurtunity !!!!!!
  13. by   athena55
    Sue:
    I've worked oncology critical care for 18 years.
    Tough speciality....How long is the orientation?
    Maybe go over the different types of leukemia (ALL, CML, AML), refresh your memory on pain meds available
    I would suggest you go over the CBC and know the values and what the diff really means (neutrophils, basophils, esinophils that kind of stuff....just review it)
    Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you!
    athena
  14. by   mzjennx
    good luck. i hope your interview went well.

    i also had an interview for a med-surg oncology floor. she said i wont be doing chemo if i get hired, but if i put in a lot of hours in the oncology side of the unit, then they will train me to be chemo-certified. so it will depend on the need of the unit.

    i hope you brushed up on some oncology questions. i almost forgot neutropenic precaution and chemo side effects! but lucky thing i had a good recall. i was offered the job 2 weeks later!
    Last edit by mzjennx on Jun 6, '09

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