Human Resources Blog

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dress for Success

Job interviews can be a stressful experience. Sometimes it can feel as if the process of landing a new job will never end. First you searched for the right opportunity, put your resume together, and went through a series of phone or other screenings that led up to the big day.

Interview day is here.

Being prepared for your interview is essential, and most of the time (including here on this blog) the focus is on your preparation both about the organization and the important questions you should be ready to ask and answer. But there is another key part of the interview that should not be overlooked.

Putting together an appropriate outfit is another part of the evaluation process. It is obviously not a black tie affair, but a job interview is a terrific opportunity for you to not only say that you are professional, but to prove it as well.

Wearing clean clothes that are consistent with the position you are interviewing for is a great way to demonstrate how serious you are about joining the organization. Not only will you look good, but you will feel more confident knowing that you not only are prepared to discuss the position, but that you look like you already have the job!

Good luck at your next interview, and make sure you are fully prepared.

-Jay

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You Wouldn't Believe This Resume!

Every once in a while we're going to share some of the funnier moments here at All Children's Hospital. This week we're highlighting a resume we received that was...well...let's just say it was different than what we normally see.

Technology Rules The World
Our team here uses electronic tools for just about everything from online applications that feed directly into our HR information system, to leveraging social media that helps us stay connected with all of you.

In a world driven by so much technology, including iPads, smart phones and Microsoft Office tools, it is safe to assume the resumes we receive would be done in a reasonably current format, right?

Wrong!

Cutting and Pasting...Literally!
Some time ago we received a resume that was, we think, typed as a sort of template many years ago. However, this shrewd candidate intentionally left spaces blank so that the job titles of future positions could by typed (with a different typewriter) into the old template.

No, I am not making this up.

Needless to say that resume looked so unprofessional, it clearly was not written to match the opening here at the hospital, and showed ultimately that this candidate was not excited about joining our team, that we were unable to seriously consider them as a legitimate candidate.

It's 2013
We don't expect you to have the latest and greatest software, nor do we expect your resume or cover letters to be worthy of winning a Pulitzer prize.

We do however, expect you to put the time in to demonstrate that not only do you know what position you are applying for, but you are genuinely excited about our mission to be the best children's hospital in the country.

-Jay



photo credit

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Interview Question Mystery Solved!

We see it over and over again. Candidates come in for their interviews  poorly prepared. It's not that they don't have a great list of questions to ask. That's really important to show us that you're genuinely excited about being part of our team. What we see all to often is that people are not prepared to answer questions about themselves.

Why is this the case?

It's All About You
Let's get the obvious part of the interview out of the way...you're here to talk about you and no one else. So why is it that the questions can be so challenging?

Here's our secret...we want you to answer our questions in three very specific ways. Let's walk through each one so you'll be ready when you come in for your interview.

S/T- Situation/Task
When we ask you various questions we want you to provide us with a specific situation or task that you were involved with that relates to the question. This way we know you have a real example to share, not a hypothetical one.

A - Action
Next, it will be important for you to provide specific actions that you took in the situation you described above. When we can hear about the choices you've made and the actions steps you took we will get a much better idea of how you will handle similar situations in our organization.

R - Result
Lastly, we need you to share the specific results that were achieved through your actions. This too, demonstrates the impact you've made in the past and what we can expect in the future as a member of our team.

Be A STAR
As you prepare for your upcoming interview, remember to not only have questions ready for us, but spend some time thinking about answering questions with specific examples from your past that will help us learn how terrific you will be here at All Children's!

-Jay



photo credit

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm A New Nurse - "No Ouchies!"

Our nurse blogger, Marianna Broz, RN is back again with another behind-the-scenes look into her journey as a new nurse in our complex and highly acute world of pediatric medicine.

It's no secret that kids have their own language. They don't simply "go to bed" or "go to the bathroom," they "go night-night" and "go potty." Telling a little one you have to "flush the IV" can get you some strange looks too; they become terrified you're going to give them some sort of  swirly.

So needless to say, it's a constant battle to make sure all lines of communication remain open. Unfortunately, most children are going to associate scrubs with “yucky” medicine and getting poked, so it's no wonder their automatic response when we walk through  the door is not typically pleasant.

The most immediate and effective de-escalation technique I've found thus far, is to literally hold both hands up and repeat "No ouchies!" until they calm down. Once that happens though, you've now entered into the no-ouchie contract, and so help you God if that trust is broken. They watch you diligently as you reach for your stethoscope, making sure there's no funny business.

After they realize no ouchies are intended, it is not uncommon for your patient to now willingly assist in your assessment by moving the stethoscope bell all around. Keep a watchful eye though, as you will end up listening to the bed, the chair, and almost always ending in their mouth. At that point, you just gotta roll with it and politely thank them for their help. At least they calmed down, right?

Though this may be true most of the time, believe it or not the "No ouchies" technique is not infallible (I know, I was shocked, too). One particularly inconsolable patient sticks out in my mind; a young boy who had just gotten a G-tube placed to help him gain weight. Imagine waking up from a very heavy nap one day and having a tube hanging from your belly that all the evil scrub-wearing people are trying to put stuff in. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper. In fact, he wouldn't let anyone go near it without all 4 extremities flailing about, along with an ear-piercing scream. It was horrible.

The day I was assigned to him, I found out  it was time to start using the tube for feeds. I'm pretty sure I remember the hand off nurse chuckling “good luck” to me as she waved goodbye. Awesome. With other patients to care for, I worried how I would manage the additional time necessary to deal with the patient’s active resistance.  So it was time to get creative… and time to ask for help. A vague memory from orientation popped into my head of a group of people trained specifically to help communicate with all types of kids. And so entered Child Life.

Within 10 minutes of just talking to him, our Child Life specialist had discovered my patient's idol and the trick to winning him over: Buzz Lightyear. She quickly returned with one of the biggest Buzz Lightyear stuffed toys I've ever seen, specially equipped with its own G-tube. She proceeded to explain to my patient, using his new favorite toy, how his own G-tube worked. How it would make him grow up to be big and strong, just like Buzz. He listened carefully, and slowly started to compare his tube with Buzz's.

I came in hesitantly after her, ready for the screaming to begin as it was time to start his first feed. To my surprise, he handed me his new toy. "Buzz goes first!" After watching Buzz get a squirt of saline, my patient then turned to me. "Okay, my turn now!" he said as he held  out his tube. I couldn't believe it.

The rest of the day, he was so happy and energetic he wouldn't stay in his room. He would walk around the floor, always dragging his surgery buddy Buzz with him. Sitting on different nurses' laps. Telling his story to anyone that would listen. About how he's going to grow up to be just like Buzz.

And since I have yet to see him back, I'd like to imagine he was right about that.

As you can tell from Marianna's latest post, the transition from student to professional often comes with unexpected challenges. We think she's doing a terrific job, don't you?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

She's Gone from Baltimore to Florida - Johns Hopkins All the Way!

Recently I had an opportunity to sit down with Melissa Macogay, RN, who is the Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Surgical Neuroscience unit here at All Children's Hospital. Her story is unique, in that not only is she responsible for one of the most complex pediatric units in the hospital, but she spent seven years in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins Hospital as a staff nurse in PICU before joining All Children's.
 
We discussed a variety of issues ranging from the huge emphasis she places on finding the right team to how that team thrives in the fast-paced PICU environment.

I asked Melissa about the natural stress level that undoubtedly comes with working in a critical care unit which she quickly acknowledged. "The PICU is forever changing, one day you have to care for a child with a neurological condition, and the next day you have a complex trauma patient. You never know what is coming next, which is what we thrive on here. It's non-stop."

This naturally brings up the challenge of finding the right people to work in such a hectic environment but Melissa just smiled and explained her philosophy. "I specifically hire professionals who embrace a true team environment. We know that when we look to our right and look to our left we have colleagues who have made a personal choice to work with our kids. We back each other up no matter what. Yes, we have some of the most advanced technology in the world here, but we have also built a team that is dedicated to the children and each other."

The ability to think critically is an essential part of being a member of our PICU team. Melissa explains it this way, "Lives are at stake, so the ability to think through your options quickly and effectively is a priority. Plus, the rewards of providing this level of care are truly amazing."
 
As I mentioned, Melissa worked in the PICU at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for seven years. "I left an organization that has so much pride and I wasn't sure if I could find that again. Florida was my destination, but the options to work in pediatric critical care are extremely limited here. When I interviewed at All Children's, I knew that I had found exactly what I was looking for."


Melissa is an excellent example of the type of leadership team we have here on the "South Campus" of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Feel free to reach out to her, or any member of our team to learn more.

-Jay