Published On : December 06, 2010
You have created a standout cover letter and exemplary resume to document your abilities and strengths, but you must still excel in the interview to land your dream job. A face-to-face is important because anyone can make themselves look good on paper, but not everyone will be a good fit in all environments. Hiring managers will use your answers to determine whether or not you will work well as a part of the already existing team, and see if you may have some additional strengths that they could add to the unit to make it even stronger. They will do this by asking a variety of general interview questions, but you should also expect to field some common labor and delivery nurse interview questions. Consider the following examples to help give you an idea of what you may be asked at your interviews.
5 Labor and Delivery Nurse Interview Questions & Answers
1. Birth plans are often very important to laboring mothers. How would you deal with a difficult patient who does not want to let go of her ideal birthing experience, even though it is not what is medically best for her and her baby?
Compassion goes a long way in any hospital room, and this is no exception. I would make sure the patient knew she was being heard and acknowledge that I understand her wishes. Then I would try to explain gently that situations change and the doctor feels that another plan may be better for her and the baby. If the patient remains unresponsive, I would ask the doctor how he or she would like me to proceed.
2. Teamwork is essential to the functioning of any labor and delivery unit. What do you do to maintain a teamwork mentality?
The most important part of teamwork is for all individuals to realize that they should not expect to be the star. While everyone would like to be recognized for doing their jobs well, this is often not the case. I have learned to just focus on the patients and ensure that they receive the care they need when they need it. If this means I pitch in and help another nurse place a difficult IV line, that's what it means. I maintain the mentality that every patient on the floor is potentially my patient, and that has done a world of good in helping me remember that we work as a team.
3. Mistakes happen. Please tell me about a time you made a mistake that had a negative impact on a patient and how you handled it.
I was on my first assignment just shortly after I finished clinicals when I had a patient come in who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. When the doctor prescribed his medications, I misread the chart and gave him the wrong dose of a medication. His vitals started to drop and we couldn't figure out why until I double-checked that everything had been administered properly. I immediately notified the doctor of the mistake and we were able to rectify the situation with little effect on the patient. It was a terrible situation, but I knew I had to be accountable for my mistake, or the patient would be the one to pay for it.
4. What are your long-term career goals?
Like many other nurses, labor and delivery is what initially got me passionate about nursing. It is where I would love to spend the rest of my career. If you offer me this position, I would hope to spend the next five to ten years increasing my experience and skills as an L&D nurse. After that, I hope to be ready to pursue a management position in the same department. I could easily see myself staying in this department for the rest of my career.
5. When nurses make mistakes, it can cost lives. How do you plan on minimizing mistakes?
Vigilance is the greatest tool any nurse can possess. I minimize mistakes by constantly checking and rechecking to ensure that medications are properly administered and that patients receive the preventative care they need, and by placing patient safety above all else. I also follow all hospital protocols and procedures at all times to minimize mistakes.