Nurse Job Interview Questions About Patients' Families

Demonstrating Communication Skills and Critical Thinking

nurse presenting resume at job fair
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You may certainly have your pick of a nursing position as job growth is expected to rise 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the average rate of job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The surge is driven by aging population along with advancements in health care. However, interviews for the job are still rigorous. Here are some nursing skills to highlight when facing questions about how you deal with patients' families on the job.

Nursing Skills to Highlight During an Interview

Stellar communication skills: A nurse is often playing the middleman between doctors, patients and families. You'll need to be able to create open dialogue with patients and their loved ones so everyone has the information they need to make decisions, handle medication and address other healthcare concerns.

Critical thinking: A person is who sharp and strategic makes for a great nurse. You need to analyze situations and make critical decisions in a moment's notice, thinking on your feet to find the best solution in a high pressure situation.

Attention to detail: Nurses are juggling and multitasking all the time. You might be documenting a detail in a chart, helping a patient and listening to a family member all at once.  Paying attention to every small detail is crucial as even one small mistake amidst the hubbub can have serious medical consequences.

Interview Questions About Patients' Families

Describe a situation with a family where you issues with poor communication. How did you resolve it?

How would you deal with a family member who isn't happy with your care of the patient?

How do you deal with a family that isn't following care instructions?

What's your approach for communicating with a family that doesn't speak your language well?

How do you handle a family's questions that are outside of your purview?

What's your approach for dealing with families who want to talk about death?

Families sometimes want to know a timeline for a sick person. How do you handle that?

How do you deal with a family member that wants to blame you?

Family members want to make sure their loved one is getting the best quality care. How do you reassure them?

What are the HIPAA regulations in regards to phone calls from family members asking for patient information?

How do you handle personal gifts from a family member?

What kinds of questions from a family member do you refer to the patient's doctor?

How do you help family members deal with death?

Sometimes a patient might not want medical information given to family members. How do handle that with them?

How do you handle family members that are disruptive on the unit? (eg, loud, arguing)

How do you respond when family members ask for your personal diagnosis?

What do you do when family members usurp time you need to allocate to other patients?

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