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Top 30 Addiction Nurse Interview Questions
Question 1 of 30
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
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List of Addiction Nurse Interview Questions
  1. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  2. Why do you want this job?
  3. What questions do you have for us?
  4. Tell me about your 12-step knowledge and application skills.
  5. What would you last boss say about you?
  6. How do you offer support to your patients?
  7. What makes you passionate about working with people with addictions?
  8. Tell me about a time you were unable to complete a task.
  9. Are you willing to travel for work?
  10. What is your example of teamwork?
  11. How do you handle a patient that is scared or uncomfortable?
  12. If you are stressed, what signs do you show and how do you deal with it?
  13. Why do you want to work for our company?
  14. How well do you work with people?
  15. How do you perform a detox assessment?
  16. Do you have experience facilitating a group therapy session?
  17. Walk me through how you do your initial assessment upon a patients arrival.
  18. Why should we hire you?
  19. What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?
  20. What made you choose a career as an addiction nurse?
  21. How would your co-workers describe you?
  22. What type of work environment do you prefer?
  23. Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision.
  24. Describe a situation where other people who you were working with did not agree with your ideas. What did you do?
  25. Tell me an example of a situation where you had difficulties with a team member.
  26. How do you deal with work stress?
  27. Tell me about a time when you were trusted with confidential information.
  28. What salary are you seeking?
  29. Why did you decide to pursue this area of nursing?
  30. Describe a workplace challenge and how you overcame it.
Author:
Contributing Author
Heather Douglass
HR Specialist/Recruiter
Addiction Nurse Information
April 8th, 2017

Addiction nurses specialize in pain management and help regulate treatment for patients addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Your job as an Addiction Nurse also involves teaching patients about the dangers of substance abuse and possible treatment options. You also administer medication and regulate patient treatment. Addiction Nurses provide physical and emotional support for patients and their families. As an Addiction Nurse you monitor and assess the detoxification process, participate in patient interventions and administer drugs to help patients manage their addiction. Your work settings including hospitals, methadone or substance abuse clinics, and psychiatric offices.

There are two different types of Addiction Nurses: Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) and a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse – Advanced Practice (CARN-AP). Experience ranges from one year of nursing experience related to addictions to 500 hours earned while in the master’s program. Clinical skills, pharmacotherapy knowledge and appropriate bedside manner are skills needed to be a successful Addiction Nurse. Since addiction is both a mental and physical disease, these nurses are trained in both general medicine and mental health.

To prepare for your interview you will want to find out what the center specializes in. Network with your colleagues and search their website. Be sure that your resume hits their center specialties hard and that you have specific work experience highlighted. To set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates, have some solid work experiences to talk about. Tell the interviewer about the groups you led, your strong nursing skills and holistic health knowledge and any best practices that you developed and implemented. Be familiar with protocols and States and Federal Laws.
Addiction Nurse User Submitted Interview Answers
Question 1 of 30
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
One accomplishment that I am proud of was when I needed to advocate for my patient during end of life care. This patient required a syringe driver to deliver multiple medication for pain, nausea and agitation during the latter part of her palliative care. However; the other nurses and I were not trained to use a syringe driver. I alerted the manager to this and pushed for fast track training. I completed the one day course and a few days later a syringe driver was put it place and I was able to provide the care the resident needed. This was an accomplishment for me as I was able to make this resident comfortable and reduce any anxiety she and her family may have felt through this difficult time. As an advocate for my patients, I felt it was very important to be able to highlight concerns and then be able to do something constructive about them. In the end, my goal was to give this resident the best care I could provide and I felt I accomplished that.
2.
The accomplishment am proud of is being a registered nurse.
3.
I am able to provide all the essential elements to assure my family feels safe.
4.
Something that I'm really proud of is being selected as a foreign exchange student.
5.
Using a reflective approach with a patient dealing with alcohol addiction. Patient was able to realize he can start detox rehab by himself.
Question 2 of 30
Why do you want this job?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I want to learn and grow in a different field of nursing than what I have been doing in the past.
2.
I believe it satisfies my need for variation and I this is a specialty area in which I can be influential.
3.
I want to be a part of people learning how to live lives that they can take pride in and need the daily reminder in my own life of the outcomes that are possible based on the actions we take or do no take.
Question 3 of 30
What questions do you have for us?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
An anxiolytic that has the potential for abuse.
2.
A drug like xanax given to treat anxiety, but often abused and when combined with alcohol impairs memory can be very dangerous, often used for date rape.
3.
An anti anxiety medication. Also known as a anxiolotic.
Question 4 of 30
Tell me about your 12-step knowledge and application skills.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Yes. When I was working at the nursing home, I walked with an elderly man using a walker and when we got to the end of the hall a nurse said, you have so much patience to walk side by side with hm.
Question 5 of 30
What would you last boss say about you?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Without judgement and with the frame of mind that addiction is a disease.
2.
Like family, they did what they needed to do by coming back, I would be upset if they didn't return.
Question 6 of 30
How do you offer support to your patients?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I enjoy seeing patient get well, hence I offer every medical support at my disposal.
2.
Absolutely, it's why I got a master's in dance therapy and licensure as a counselor.
3.
Yes, when I know I made them feel better, I feel better.
Question 7 of 30
What makes you passionate about working with people with addictions?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I believe the public has been prejudiced towards people with addition without having an insight of what these patient are going through.
2.
Because of my own family history of addiction, I recognize this is an area that could be my strength or weakness.
3.
I love many people who are addicted to many things, myself included and believe we are all human and capable of changing when given the needed tools.
Question 8 of 30
Tell me about a time you were unable to complete a task.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I companionate regarding individuals wiho are struggling with a drug or alcohol disease. I also feell they need a strong support system and to be monitored by medical professionals.
2.
I want to be able to help patients.
3.
I have a real passion in caring for others and putting their needs before mine.
4.
I know people with addiction problems and want to help patients.
5.
I want to help patient, as alcohol addiction causing so much troubles in the society.
Question 9 of 30
Are you willing to travel for work?
Question 10 of 30
What is your example of teamwork?
Question 11 of 30
How do you handle a patient that is scared or uncomfortable?
Question 12 of 30
If you are stressed, what signs do you show and how do you deal with it?
Question 13 of 30
Why do you want to work for our company?
Question 14 of 30
How well do you work with people?
Question 15 of 30
How do you perform a detox assessment?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Obtain information from patient about drug use both past and present.
2.
My assumption is that a physical assessment to include vs would be done, mood and ability to interact with others would be considered.
Question 16 of 30
Do you have experience facilitating a group therapy session?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I have attended AA an NA meetings.
Question 17 of 30
Walk me through how you do your initial assessment upon a patients arrival.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Gather past medical history, Substance abuse history and treatment, date and time of occurrence, current substance use.
2.
Observe mood while using motivational interviewing technique.
3.
Visually assess the way they walk and then welcome them and introduce myself an ask them to so the same while watching eyes and listening to speech. obtain vital signs ask them how they feel and if I can help.
4.
Visually assess the way they walk and then welcome them and introduce myself an ask them to so the same while watching eyes and listening to speech. obtain vital signs ask them how they feel and if I can help.
Question 18 of 30
Why should we hire you?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I believe am the best candidate, I have experience in this field, I am a team player and I like enjoy taking care of people.
2.
Because I'm interested in making this my clinical home where I will offer my full skillet in my home community.
3.
The patients need me to help them see we are all human and capable of more then expected.
4.
Addiction is an illness as any other one. As I'm compassionate, respectful and non-judgemental on top of the knowledge I have as a nurse. I'm the greatest candidate for this position.
Question 19 of 30
What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Convincing patient's family about a plan of treatment. I had too provide online resources explaining/showing success rate of treatment.
2.
My own insecurities one of which is not wanting to disappoint authority figures. I have come to the realization that I have to take care of me so that I can provide care to others.
3.
I was crying almost everyday in nursing school and I was told by a teacher in her office that she doubted my ability to be a nurse because I hands shook so much during clinicals, I didn't drop out and am still a rn today.
4.
Refused to provide any information about one of my patients to a person who was my leader.
Question 20 of 30
What made you choose a career as an addiction nurse?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
In regards to the addiction service, during my last year of university, I had the opportunity to do a placement at an inpatient addiction unit. This placement turned out to be one of my favorite placements. I learnt so much, both in theory and practical skills. And I also felt I had gained confidence in my mental health nursing skills. For example; my communication and leadership skills development well as well as prioritizing my work load effectively.
2.
I have seen addiction from many perspectives and want to share hope and tools with those needing it.
3.
I want to offer compassion and care to people who are suffering.
4.
I am in recovery and I also have a nursing background. It feels like the best fit for me to be of maximum use.
5.
My knowledge and personality that suits this job well.
Question 21 of 30
How would your co-workers describe you?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I believe I am a team player and I provide my team with appropriate support. For example, I currently have a carer in my team who finds it difficult to maintain the daily workload. This is shown through forgetfulness and having to be "carried" by other staff members. I provided this staff member with extra support through regular supervisions, and delegating tasks more suited to her abilities without deskilling her. Also, suggested training courses/refreshers that she could attend. This resulted in this individual appearing more confident in herself and she appeared to find it easier to approach me when she was having difficulty.
2.
Very well. Strangers become like long lost friends as soon as we interact.
3.
I work well with others, I meet people where they are and genuinely try to understand their point of view, to offer support or challenge as appropriate.
4.
Good team player love working as a team!
5.
I'm compassionate and non-judgemental. Patient and able to follow patients and family rhythm. They are usually satisfied and grateful to the care I provide.
Question 22 of 30
What type of work environment do you prefer?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I currently do bank shifts for the Priory hospital. At the priory, the client group is split into 2 wards. One is for eating disorders and the other is a general ward for mental health and addictions. As I am a bank nurse, I am required to work on either ward which means I need to be able to adapt my skills as the eating disorder ward is very different to the general ward. For example, on the general ward, I adapt my skills by monitoring treatment plans and withdrawal symptoms as well as risk assessing individuals for behaviours attributed to their mental health difficulties. I. E. One patient had been admitted who was severely depressed and had attempted suicide. I ensured one to one observations and used talking therapy to understand her emotions and current state of mind. Another example; a lady had been admitted for drug and alcohol misuse problems. This lady was suffering from PTSD, alcohol addiction and dependency on prescription drugs such as diazepam. I needed to adapt my skills to support her through symptoms of PTSD as well as withdrawals. I did this by providing one to one time to talk through her current mental state and her goals to get better. As well as discussing her treatment plan with her consultant to ensure her withdrawal symptoms were managed effectively. In contrast, on the eating disorder unit, I adapted my approach and communication skills to meet the needs of the client group. For example, a patient had been admitted under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act. This patient was suffering from anorexia and had refused to eat. This patient needed lots of encouragement and support. During my one to one time with her, I encouraged her to talk through her current thoughts and feelings, however; she would not respond. I realized that verbal communication did not seem to have an effect at this time, so I suggested she could express herself through a different medium such as art or writing. This appeared to work as the next one to one time I had with her, she had written a letter of how she felt.
2.
I companionate regarding individuals wiho are struggling with a drug or alcohol disease. I also feell they need a strong support system and to be monitored by medical professionals.
3.
Regardless of my own background, I truly want to help people who may not even believe they are worthy of help. I take into consideration biases that others may have of me in interacting with them. For example, I was able to get thorough answers for an admission of a man with paranoid schizophrenia because I was honest with him about the fact that I don't know what he has been through but I have questions about his situation so we could work through his issues together. I am an advocate, not here to judge but to align with the healthy parts of my patients, the part that wants recovery.
4.
I am heavily tattooed and occasionally judged on appearance, but am able to relate on some level to each of my patients. I always end up being referred to as being the cool nurse.
5.
I have had to do this many times in my life to survive. Now in recovery I use those same skills to get along with others to find the solution.
Question 23 of 30
Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
A situation where I had to make a quick decision was, again at the priory hospital. I had a young gentleman admitted for alcohol dependency and drug misuse. I proceeded to carry out initial observations and entered his room. Upon entering, I saw this patient holding his chest and appeared quite breathless. I immediately raised the alarm for staff support. I assessed the situation by observing the patient visually and asked him if he was having pain in his chest. I attempted to ask if he had taken anything other than alcohol that could be a cause of his pain. I provided reassurance throughout to reduce any anxiety he must have felt. The doctor appeared and I supported the doctor by providing relevant known information and emergency medication. I also delegated another member of staff to call an ambulance.
2.
A man in the day program fell and someone hollered for me. As I reached him I directed him to stay put rather stand up. I proceeded with assessing his orientation, as the other nurse arrived on the scene I shared my findings of disorientation. She went to call 911. Crisis management in the day program was everything from seizures, hypertensive crisis, drug overdoses, to suicidal ideation and aggression toward others.
3.
I had a few residents who were physically fighting and had to remove the one who couldn't roll his wheelchair by himself.
4.
I had to decide whether or not I wanted to go to rehab to save my life or to give up.
5.
Patient arrived in the alcohol withdrawal outpatient clinic with tremors and very emotional. I transferred the patient to ER, where they discover he was intoxicated and admitted him to ICU
Question 24 of 30
Describe a situation where other people who you were working with did not agree with your ideas. What did you do?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I explain my ideas analyzing the advantages and ask for them to give it a trial within a time frame and if it did not work for them that I am willing to try any other ideas they come up with.
2.
There have been a couple of situations where other people did not agree with my idea. One example was when I had suggested providing extra option at breakfast as currently the choice was too simple and to put it bluntly, quite boring (porridge, cereal and toast). This was met with hostility from the chef and manager who used financial strain as a reason for not being able to provide more choice. As an advocate for my residents, I reminded them that the residents pay a lot of money to be here and they are entitled to a wider choice for their meals. I also highlighted the physical and mental health benefits of a more nutritional diet. So I suggested other breakfast items which have now been put into place. Another example was again at the care home. I had a resident who had profound aphasia where he was only able to use sounds and non-verbal communication to communicate. If we were unable to understand what he was saying, this resident became quite frustrated and at times, socially excluded himself from other residents and staff. I did some research and spoke with the activity coordinator about other means of encouraging communication. I came across a Makaton board which uses signs and symbols to help individuals communicate. I took this idea to the manager to see if she could buy a Makaton board for this resident. The manager did not agree with my suggestion and said that she was able to communicate and understand this resident just fine. I am able to communicate with this resident through simple closed questions but at times, this can be difficult and the patient has walked away in frustration.
3.
I found a common idea related to the issue and agreed with the person on that.
4.
I would give snacks to the pregnant inmates, who had snacks ordered by the dr and coworkers thought I was being too friendly, I explained I was following dr orders and being nice to the baby not just mom.
5.
I was able to see and hear the needs of others in order to compromise.
Question 25 of 30
Tell me an example of a situation where you had difficulties with a team member.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I did not like what appeared to be a MHS taking advantage of clients, receiving food gifts from them. I approached her about in a nonchalant manner to determine her beliefs on accepting food gifts and then reminded of her of the policy at our workplace as well as identifying my own beliefs about it.
2.
I had coworkers that wouldn't give dr ordered vicoden to female inmates on the 3rd day after a c-section because they felt the patient was drug seeking and by day 3 ibuprofen was enough to fix the pain.
3.
One of my colleague use to be very judgemental. Talked to a patient so mean until he cried. I had to talk to her and reported the situation to the unit manager. And offered active listening and emotional support to the patient.
Question 26 of 30
How do you deal with work stress?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I step out for few minutes and get some air.
2.
I used to push it down but over the years I've learned to take a deep breath, even remove myself so I can feel it and breathe into it so the anger can be mobilized into something productive.
3.
I usually hold back at first, but eventually express it verbally. if too angry I sometime can't speak only cry.
4.
I'm very slow in anger. When I'm angry, I wait until I feel being in control of my speech and behaviour before talking to the person I'm facing.
5.
I take a deep breath, try and focus on the main issues that lead to feelings of anger, communicate with members of staff, and try and not leave issues unresolved.
Question 27 of 30
Tell me about a time when you were trusted with confidential information.
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
Every time am working on the floor all patient information are entrusted in my care for confidentiality.
2.
Peoples histories and medical records are often entrusted to me. I make every effort to only disclose info to other personnel on a need to know basis.
3.
A woman well known for being catholic but admitted that she had an abortion for medical reasons, but made me swear not to tell her kids, I kept her secret.
4.
I 'm originally from another country. I had a patient who passed away with AIDS. A friend of mine knew that I was the nurse and asked me the question " Can you tell me the diagnosis of Mrs. T" I supported my position with with confidentiality responsibility.
Question 28 of 30
What salary are you seeking?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I want to help and give people new hope for living a substance free life.
2.
I can align with the parts of my patients that want recovery and empower them with hope.
3.
I am an addict who has learned to live with my disease. I want the stigma removed so that help is easier to obtain. it is a global problem that gets worse when ignored, I want my kids grow up with less fear and more hope.
Question 29 of 30
Why did you decide to pursue this area of nursing?
User Submitted Interview Answers
1.
I want to have a diversified knowledge in nursing.
2.
It's stimulating new learning and application of skills I have developed.
3.
I have seen recovery work and seen people give up on trying to help people with addiction. I have seen people die after asking for help and not recieving it I want to advocate for them so help is offerred.
Question 30 of 30
Describe a workplace challenge and how you overcame it.
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