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My Interview: Are my answers even remotely correct?


Hello everyone,

So today I had an interview for a med/surg/tele unit. The first clinical question I was asked was this:

"You receive report from the night shift that a pt was very agitated very restless throughout her shift, she administered morphine and Ativan to relieve the agitation. You check on your patient and they are unresponsive with shallow, rapid respirations. What actions do you immediately take?"

I answered as follows:

"I would assess the pt color, sats and determine if I can leave the patient, if the patient is maintaining O2 sats and can be left alone I would immediately contact the physician and try to obtain a order for narcan. If I determine the patient can not be left alone and is not maintaining O2 sats I would call for rapid response team and grab my crash cart and bag the pt,"

The second question they asked was this:

"The family comes on and is very upset that their family member was overdosed and they are threatening to sue, what do you do?"

I said:

"I would try to educate the family that the dis eye patient was given was prescribed based on his age,weight, etc., however this ptay not be able to tolerate morphine as the average pt can. This has been noted and the physician is informed as well as all the nurses will be notified and this is not something that will happen in the future."

Are these answers even close? Truly, I don't ever feel like I know what to do and I'm frustrated with nursing in general. I just don't feel like I get it and don't feel like I have the critical thinking skills to be able to determine the appropriate actions in these situations. Help! Thank you in advance!

This sounds right to me...But do they get threatened a lot about lawsuits at this hospital? Do they have a history of making med errors? The lawsuit question sounds kind of funky to me, as if it is a common occurrence there.

Eek! That's a good point and not something that occurred to me. I will definitely have to look into it! Thanks for your insight!!

You are welcome! I am kind of a pessimistic person so I always assume the worst. The first question made a lot of sense (assessing your management of emergency situations) but the second was a little strange. But don't be quick to judge without looking at a bunch of other factors!!!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I think your answer to the first item was very good! However, the second situation calls for a 'customer service' response. The first step in any service recovery situation is to let the person(s) vent and find out exactly what the problem is. They may have just misinterpreted something they saw or heard. It's always a bad idea to try to convince them that they are wrong via "education" or quoting policy & procedures. That will just make them more angry & upset with you as well as the original situation.

Instead, listen carefully to make sure you clearly understand what they are telling you and acknowledge the validity of their concerns. Then focus on your common interest.. the welfare of your patient/their family member - "I understand your concern and want to let you know what I am going to do to make sure it does not happen again" It's important to take ownership of finding a solution that satisfies them while not throwing any other staff or physicians under the bus.

Most organizations also want you to fill out some sort of documentation for any complaints.. so that a patient representative or Risk Manager can follow up if needed. You could mention this also.

Thank you! I will definitely remember this off I am asked again! And thanks for taking time to read my post, even with all the typos...😊

psu_213, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 6 years experience.

I think your response to the first question was great. Some people look at the second question as a red flag about the facility. I know our ER (and I'm guessing some of the med surg units in our hospital) has patients all the time who threaten to sue over the stupidest things. In this world of "hyper-customerserviceism" there needs to an appropriate response. The question is a bit strange, but I don't think it says anything negative about the unit.