What's your opinion on people using personal experience vs professional/clinical exp?

  1. Hi!

    I wanted to know what the managers' thoughts are on applicants who use personal experience (i.e. family member illness, maybe a pet's illness--very serious, many illnesses in animals are treated the same way as a person) when they do not have much professional experience in an interview.

    Don't laugh. But I have had some experience with some common disease processes with family and my pets. I had a dog that had CHF and I took care of him until he passed (he was prescribed Lasix and other common meds for CHF and he also had the same symptoms as a person does with left sided CHF; that is actually how I learned about CHF and the pathophysiology and care of a pt with it). I currently have a cat who originally had hyperthyroidism (and I was able to pick up on s+s thanks to my nursing education; if I never get a job, at least it gave me that) and I went through looking at the treatments and it is the same for a cat as it is for a human (including radioactive iodine tx. That's what I decided that I wanted her to receive. She ultimately ended up with hypothyroidism after tx and currently is taking thyroid meds).

    In addition, I have a brother who has a hx of Hodgkin's Disease. I got to see first hand care of a pt with it and I also get to see the lasting effects.One of the adverse effects that you need to keep in mind with Bleomycin is lung toxicity/pulmonary fibrosis. My brother ended up with that, so that sticks out to me whenever I think of Bleomycin.

    I have other examples but I don't want to bore you guys with them. But, yeah, would you look at an applicant as a fruit loop if they told you other than clinical experience, they didn't have professional experience but they do have personal experience that they learned from and also, participated in care? Or do you consider this just as valuable as professional experience?

    Last edit by wish_me_luck on Sep 1, '12 : Reason: grammar correction
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  3. by   Teacher Sue
    I would think it more appropriate to talk about these experiences as why you became a nurse. They really do not relate to clinical experience, especially in a hospital where you are required to take care of a group of patients.
  4. by   not.done.yet
    There is a vast difference between caring for a loved one by following directions learned from a licensed professional and being the licensed professional providing the directions. I agree with Teacher Sue - great reasons to become a nurse, but without the license and the critical thinking, those are not nursing actions, they are caregiver actions.
  5. by   nursel56
    I was employed by the same hospital my brother was undergoing treatment for ALL, but I didn't mention that while I was in the process of being hired. For some reason ailing baby birds keep appearing in my life, usually requiring feeding every two hours around the clock with an eyedropper full of a vile substance that had been dry kibble at one time.

    I'd try to work those things into the conversation if such an open door appears. It can give your interviewer some insight as to what kind of person you are. And you sound pretty terrific.