As a home health nurse, you can do a little of everything or a lot of one thing, for example, specializing in patients who have dementia or those need wound care. Regardless, you have put in considerable effort to find job openings and to customize your cover letter and resume for each opening. Since your application materials look so good, chances are high that hiring managers will be in touch soon. Start today to prepare for your first in-person interviews.
First interviews are typically face-to-face. They are an opportunity for you to get a better feel of the company you want to work with; they are also a chance for the company to get a better idea of how you could fit into the business. There is no doubt first interviews are important, so use general job interview best practices and the following home health nurse interview tips to help you excel.
Home Health Nurse Interview Tips
Provide Your Educational Credentials: Nursing is one field in which credentials such as licensure matter a lot. The home health nurse job may be for a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN), or for a registered nurse (RN). RNs are generally required to have more education and skills than LPNs and LVNs. In any case, it is important to talk about your background in a context that matches what the job description asked for. Provide information such as the nursing licenses you have and continuing education classes you have taken. Continuing education is a requirement for license renewal, and showing you have taken special classes in home health can be an asset. If you don't yet have professional certification but would like to earn it, express that you're interested in licensure to show you're committed to advancing in the industry.
Talk About Your Experience and the Job: In many cases, your job interview is with an agency that provides in-home nursing care. In a few cases, though, you may be interviewing directly with the family of the person who needs in-home care. Whatever the situation is, be sure you have read the job description several times and are able to match your experience to the job. For instance, an agency job description may ask for an LPN or LVN to perform general tasks such as bedside care, recording patients' vital signs, bathing and grooming assistance, and wound dressing. Give numbers whenever possible; for example, you could say that you have five years of experience in providing care and have worked with 50 patients who were dealing with issues such as Alzheimer's and limb amputations. Focus and highlight your skills for the specific position to show just how well-qualified you truly are.
Discuss Your Collaboration Skills: Nurses must have excellent collaboration skills, and home health is no exception. If the job opening is for an RN, you will likely provide higher-level care: establishing care schedules, tutoring families on how to administer care and so on. As a LPN or LVN, you will likely provide the day-to-day care that an RN may have set up. In either scenario, you work with families, other medical professionals such as physicians and nurses, and, most importantly, patients. Give examples of situations in which you have multi-tasked well and used collaboration skills to solve a difficult problem.
Provide Insight into How You Work with Patients: Among home health nurse interview tips, this one is perhaps the most important. How do you talk with patients? How do you try to allow them as much independence as possible? Use your background and relevant experience to convey your care philosophy and how you'll apply it on the job.
Ask About the Agency/Employer: It is critical to ask about the agency or employer in home health. For instance, how are shifts covered? Is the agency accredited? How does the agency educate families? Some of these questions may be on the agency website, so do not ask anything that a few minutes of research would have turned up. Not only does this give you a better idea about your job, it shows you're already envisioning yourself in the role.
With the above home health nurse interview tips, you are set to make a good impression during interviews. Start today to further your career in nursing!