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Tough Interview Question Series - #3

"Why are you asking for that salary?"

Have you ever been asked that question during an interview? If so, were you prepared with an answer? Discussing salaries can be a complicated process, particularly if two factors come in to play:

1 - the interviewer is not clear on how the company handles compensation analysis
2 - the interviewee is not able to effectively articulate his/her experience

Now you may be thinking to yourself that these two issues should never be a problem during an interview; however, far too often candidates come to their interviews ill-prepared to discuss their experience and why that experience is so important to meeting the needs of the organization.

Have you ever answered with "I need the money" or "I am in a tight spot right now?" If so, you're doing yourself a major disservice!

Let's be clear, jobs are posted for one reason: the company has a specific need that must be filled, and it is willing to invest signficant dollars to hire, orient, train, and provide a comprehensive benefits package to the successful candidate. Your ability to speak directly to why your skills and experience will meet that need is essential.

Interviews are your opportunity to shine. Make sure you are prepared!


photo credit

This series is based on the terrific post from @RitikaTrikha over at

Transport Team Series! - What Would MacGyver Do?

Today we are beginning a new series from our Transport Team. They travel the world (literally!) to bring extremely sick children to our Hospital. Today's post is from Megan Monahan who is a highly skilled Respiratory Therapist and member of the team.

Walking into the room of a 9 month old with possible epiglottitis would make anyone cringe, much less knowing you’re going to be the lone airway resource for her ride back in a 5 foot by 10 foot enclosed environment 1500ft above the earth in a helicopter!  She was fast asleep on her Mom’s lap and had no IV access.  She also had a previous respiratory history that could explain away her stridor and hoarse cough.   
As we decided her plan of care for transport back to All Children's Hospital, we knew one thing; please don’t wake up and start crying! 
I decided to try a racemic epinephrine treatment while she was still sleeping in hopes of reducing her inflammation.  She didn’t exactly wake up, but kept moving her head side to side trying to get away from the blow-by mist.   I asked the bedside nurse for a styrofoam cup to hopefully help her tolerate the treatment.  Like a scene from MacGyver, I punched a hole in the bottom of the cup, creating a make-shift mask. 
This was working; she was sleeping right through the treatment or so we thought.  While discussing the necessity of an immediate surgical intubation if this was in fact epiglottitis, we ironically held our breath as the little girl woke up. Would she cry? Would she get worse? Would she stop breathing? No way! 
Instead she sat wide-eyed and happy on Mom’s lap.  She then grabbed the cup and moved it right in front of her face, just like a face mask should be.  She finished the treatment like a champ, and when I went to take the cup away, grabbed for it like her new favorite toy.  Smiles and giggles resulted because of this toy. They even replaced tears when we had to start an IV. This new "toy" accompanied us all the way to her bed at All Children’s Hospital. 
After 2,000 college hours and 22,000 clinical hours, who would think my most important tool would be a white styrofoam cup?

Keep watching for future posts from our Transport Team!
- Jay

Tough Interview Question Series - #2

Interviewer:  "Why do you want to work here?"

You:  "Um, I'm sorry. What was the question?"

Interviewer: "I was wondering why you were interested in joining our organization."

You: " see I really need a job..."

One of the things you should know about All Children's Hospital is that we really like candidates who are prepared for their job interviews. We like to think that the idea of drastically changing your life and coming to work in our organization is something you take very seriously.

Believe me...we take it seriously.

Preparation Is So Important
What separates candidates and makes them stand out, is if they present as if they know what they are doing. This may sound funny, but to be perfectly candid, the interviewee who understands what our organization does; the issues we are facing, and who has a clear idea of why he or she wants to join our team always look good in our eyes.

The only way to achieve this is to put time in prior to your interview thinking, learning, and organizing your thoughts. Preparation is so important!

Investing the time necessary to fully understand the company you are interviewing with, and making sure you are ready to ask questions will help you make a terrific impression. 

What are you waiting for? It's time to get ready!


photo credit

This series is based on the terrific post from @RitikaTrikha over at

I'm A New Nurse and I'm Looping!

So recently I've been completing my looping throughout the hospital and have had some pretty cool experiences.

Making The Rounds
In Radiology I learned some basics on how to read diagnostic tests and the differences between them. This loop was incredibly helpful to prepare me for all the questions families will undoubtedly ask. Now I’m able to give them a very good idea of what to expect with any of the different imaging tests!

In the post anaesthesia care unit (PACU), I got to see kids wake up from anesthesia and just how fast you need to act when complications start to arise. This made me much more comfortable about the recovery process, and now I can tell how the procedure went based on a few notations.

Looping to other units teaches you so much about their specialties. For instance on our Neurosurgical floor, I learned how to care for different post-operative kids and how all of the different orthotic braces and contraptions work. And on our Hematology/Oncology floor, I learned to administer all different kinds of blood products. Being able to assist during a stem cell transplant wasn't too shabby either!

In the Neurology outpatient clinic, before a patient would arrive we would review their video EEG footage and walk through all the differentials and testing done during the inpatient stay. Then we would walk into a room to see the patient looking happy and healthy! I think that loop was honestly my favorite, because there's nothing like seeing the end result of all that hard work.

Back Home...To The PICU
And then of course there's looping to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU.) Seeing all the different ways we're able to manipulate the human body is amazing… and the best part about looping is when things get crazy, the staff is great at grabbing me for everything; from emergency intubations to full blown codes.

I'm comfortable enough now where I no longer just wish myself skinny against a back wall; I've actually been able to jump in and assist. This is especially helpful since come June, my critical care class will be officially transitioned to our ICUs and this will be my home unit.

Putting It All Together
The looping opportunities serve as a great comprehensive tour of how the whole hospital works. One of the major advantages of going to so many places is that new nurses now have at least one friendly face on every floor...and for a new nurse that really means a lot!