Interview a Nurse (school project)

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Hello everyone! I have a current project for a health education course where I need to interview a nurse working in a hospital or public health. It would just be few questions about the career and should only take a few minutes. If anyone could be my interviewee please respond.

1. Why did you decide to work in this field?

 2. Did you have another career before you went to school to become a nurse? What was it like to change from one career to another? 

 3. Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you? 

 4. What is a typical workday like? Do you have a lot of overtime? (If yes, How is overtime scheduled? Do you have enough notification so you can adjust your schedule at home, etc.?)

 5. Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?

 6. Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)

 7. What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person move up in this career?

 8. Do you see this field as growing and expanding? Can you give me examples of why you think this is happening?

 9. Is this a secure field? Can you give me reasons why you think this is true?

10. Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?

11. Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?

12. I am a person who needs a lot of support on a job. Does this career field provide that for a person like me?

Janet.konikow

Janet.konikow, ASN

Specializes in Adult Med/Surg, Pediatric RN HH. Has 3 years experience. 4 Posts

Hello Maria, I will more than happy to answer these questions for you! 

~Janet Konikow, RN~

1.  Why did you decide to work in this field?

After having stiches in my chin, from a fall when I was 6 years old, I decided at that time, that I absolutely wanted to be a nurse! I was very young, but held onto that aspiration to be a nurse for a very long time. 

 2. Did you have another career before you went to school to become a nurse? What was it like to change from one career to another? 

Yes! In fact, I was an accountant/bookkeeper for 28 years before I finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. 

Changing from one career to another was not difficult at all for me. Again, due to the fact that I had a lifelong desire to become a nurse, changing professions was pretty much a dream come true.  

3. Where did you go to school for this job? What was the hardest part of school for you? 

I began my nursing curriculum when I was 18 years old, a high school graduate. I attended UW-Milwaukee for a year and then "life" took over, I got married at 22, had child #1 at 23 and child #2 at 25. I spent two decades raising my children, when my "window of opportunity" opened and I was able to back to school, Rasmussen University, and obtained my ASN degree at the age of 50. Yes, 50 years old! I has worried that school would be difficult for me, due to the years that passed from my original college experience...however, I did VERY well in nursing school. My study habits from back in high school were still very much the same (I was a member of the National Honor Society all through high school). During my nursing education at Rasmussen, I made the Dean's List and the Honor Roll. The hardest part of school for me was hands down Chemistry-and that was when I was 18 years old at the UW-MIlwaukee. 

4. What is a typical workday like? Do you have a lot of overtime? (If yes, How is overtime scheduled? Do you have enough notification so you can adjust your schedule at home, etc.?)

A typical workday begins with being given "your" patient assignment list for the day. That is followed by bedside shift report, which entails the overnight nurse going with you from patient room to patient room, and performing what we call an SBAR report. 

I do not have a lot of overtime.
Notification does not apply. 

5. Do you work under a lot of pressure in this job? (If yes) Can you give me an example of a typical high-pressure situation?

Sometimes, yes. An example of a high-pressure situation is when one of your patients is in need of a blood transfusion (for example). The process of administering a blood transfusion involves a lot of time in the presence of the patient receiving said transfusion, because you need to watch them for any adverse complications, side effects, and so on. As you are taking the time with that patient, your other (usually 5 patients) are in their beds, wanting water, crackers, pudding, more blankets, PRN medications, and so on. That's where the high-pressure sets in, basically because you know your other patients need you, but you absolutely cannot leave the patient receiving the blood transfusion (especially during the first 15-30 minutes of the process). In a perfect world, another nurse could step in and try to help you out with your patients needing things, but, that nurse is usually very busy with her own patients and their issues. In any case, eventually everything gets done and all of the patients in your care get their needs met. It's just all part of being a nurse.  

6. Is there a lot of take-home work in this job? (If yes, Do you ever find it hard to turn-off work at home and enjoy a personal/family life?)

No. Thankfully, being in a hospital environment means that you "punch in and punch out". Occasionally, you may be assigned a special project by your director, such as making safety pamphlet to share with the staff, which is done at home, but otherwise, all other work is done and kept at the hospital. 

7. What kinds of professional development opportunities are there in this field? Can a person move up in this career?

Most hospitals offer additional training, seminars and the like to enrich your current position with them. For example, registered nurses can take on additional education and become "Certified RNs" in their current field. Or, and RN can take bridge programs (online) and bridge from and RN to a BSN and then to an MSN and so on. The possibilities are endless. 

YES! Most definitely a person can move up in nursing, as I explained above. There are also many other related fields of occupation that RNs can go into, such as: Insurance, Case Manager, Breast Feeding specialists, (just to name a few of very many) and with additional schooling and MSN can go on to teach at the college/university level. So, the possibilities are quite numerous. 

 8. Do you see this field as growing and expanding? Can you give me examples of why you think this is happening?

Most definitely. This field is growing and expanding at a fast rate. This is happening for many reasons. First off, people are living longer, generally speaking, so that aging population needs nursing care. Secondly, on the other end of the spectrum, there are many many sedentary YOUNG people, who are becoming sick with various maladies like diabetes and heart disease due to their habits of improper (unhealthy) diets of fast food, combined with hours and hours seated in front of a computer wither playing video games or binge-watching programs on TV. No movement plus poor diet, even in the younger population, equals disease. Those people need nursing eventually as well. 

9. Is this a secure field? Can you give me reasons why you think this is true?

Yes, nursing is a secure field. This is because nurses are currently needed and will always be needed in one way or another. People get sick, they need nurses. People need home health nursing if the insurance company dictates that they cannot stay at a hospital and recouperate (and this is truly becoming the way of the future). It is much less expensive for an insurance company to have a home health nurse care for someone, rather than to have them in the hospital. People are being discharged from the hospital after one day or even the same day with many many types of surgeries these days. Back in the old days, people would be hospitalized for 5-7 days for, say, a knee replacement surgery. In this day and age, those surgical patients are being discharged within 24 hours of having said surgeries done. 

10. Does this job give you the challenges you need to stay interested in this field?

Absolutely! No two days are ever the same. There are challenges everyday. 

11. Do you see yourself doing this job for the rest of your work life? Why (or why not)?

YES! Absolutely! In my case, with me having received my degree at a rather older age, I am definitely planning to work in my "dream job" until I can no longer do so. Now, there are many younger nurses (20-30-40-somethings) who are leaving or who have left the profession after having to work through the Covid-19 pandemic. It literally burned them out. The excessive stress, combined with people literally walking off the job, combined with relatively low pay for working with such ill people, plus having witnessed innumerable deaths (oftentimes multiple deaths in one shift), that they are running from this career. 

12. I am a person who needs a lot of support on a job. Does this career field provide that for a person like me?

Yes. When you get hired, especially at a hospital, not only do you receive thorough orientation, but you are normally in all cases, paired up with a preceptor (a well-seasoned nurse whos job is to train new nurses). The preceptorship usually lasts about 12 weeks. During that time, the preceptor trains you extensively as to the ins and outs of what is expected in your position. Additionally, you will have clinical rotations in school, which provide you with hands on opportunities, with real patients, at hospitals, nursing homes, and the like. When all is said and done, you eventually develop the expertise, confidence, and independence needed to perform your nursing duties all on your own. Just remember, you really are not truly alone, ever, in a hospital environment. Your fellow nurses will help, just as you will help them. That is part of being a nurse. That is called "teamwork". 

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I hope this information has helped you! Best of luck to you in nursing school!

Thank you so much, Janet!! You definitely helped me a lot! I appreciate your taking the time to answer the interview. 

Janet.konikow

Janet.konikow, ASN

Specializes in Adult Med/Surg, Pediatric RN HH. Has 3 years experience. 4 Posts

You are more than welcome, Maria! I, too, was a nursing student at one time as well!!