Dear Caught Off Guard,
It really depends. If a manager is looking for a nurse with equivalent experience to jump right in with minimal orientation, they may ask about particular drugs, drips and device management. For example, a manager interviewing an ICU traveler may want to make sure they’ve had recent and like experience.
In your case, you are a Stepdown nurse and it’s expected that Stepdown has a different level of intensity and interventions than ICU. The questions sound more like quizzing than interviewing. You are right, you should expect to talk about your skills and experience and be evaluated for a good fit for the unit.
A good response would be “While those drips were not administered in Stepdown, I prioritize patient safety above all else. I always make sure I’m familiar with drugs and side effects before I administer them. I look forward to learning new skills and advancing my practice.”
I would say that either the manager was evaluating you for your learning needs, or perhaps was just an inexperienced interviewer. Sometimes new nurse managers, having just come from the bedside, focus overly much on clinical tasks and skills, because it’s all they know until they gain experience.
Managing a patient on an Amiodarone drip can easily be taught. Aptitude and teachability, not so much.