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Nursing

34 Interview Questions & Answers

Q&As WRITTEN BY
Heather Douglass
Heather has over 20 years experience recruiting and hiring candidates, specifically in the health care industry.
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Tell me about a time when you cared for a patient whose values or beliefs were different from your own. How did you handle the situation?
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Example #1
"I am very active in my church, and I consider myself a very devout Christian. At the hospital that I work at, I often care for patients who have much different religious belief than my own, as I work in a very culturally diverse area. While some people in my church family have asked me if it is 'weird' for me to care for these people, for me, it isn't weird at all. I enjoy taking care of all people, and feel like it is my calling, no matter who they are or what religion they practice. I strive to give the best care possible to all my patients, despite how different their beliefs, religious or otherwise, may be from mine."
Example #2
"This may be an atypical answer, but I once was in a very complex situation where I had to put my values and commitments as a nurse ahead of my personal feelings. A few years ago, while working in the ICU at the local hospital, a patient was admitted who had committed a horrific crime and had been critically injured while trying to escape the police. The crime was all over the news, and I was well aware of what the patient was accused of; but, when I walked into his room and assessed his needs, I did not see an accused criminal, I saw a human in need of care, love, and compassion, and I did everything I could to provide the best care I could. It was my job to provide care to the patient and not to judge the patient for the crimes he was being accused of."
Example #3
"Spending most of my career working in a rural medical office, in a town that is very homogenous, I have not encountered many patients who are much different from myself. However, a patient came in not too long ago with his partner and because the alternative lifestyle that the couple lead is not very common in our community, and several of the nurses refused to assist with the patient. But, since I am not uncomfortable with this type of lifestyle, I stepped up and helped the patient and provided him with the same quality of care that I provide all my patients."
Example #4
"I have been a nurse for many years, and I am aware that I have to constantly stay aware of my biases, both conscious and unconscious, in order to ensure I am providing the best care and customer service to my patients. The most applicable example that comes to mind is when I was working in an outpatient OB/GYN clinic, and a transgender woman came in to see the doctor for hormone treatment. The name and information on the schedule did not indicate that the patient was transgender, so I was a bit caught off guard when I went to the waiting room to call the patient back, as she very much still looked like the opposite gender. However, I immediately checked my biases and ensured that I was treating this woman with the care and respect that I give all my patients."
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