Avoid, “I wish I’d know that earlier” syndrome
The interview process is just as crucial for the nurse traveler as it is for the organization conducting the interview. Below are interview questions to ask during your interview with the hospital.
We’ve compiled a list of questions to help you adequately prepare for your interview. Your contract dictates everything from pay rate to time off. During the submittal process is when the traveler has the power to negotiate the terms of the contract. Ask the questions necessary to fully evaluate the contract and decide whether or not it’s a good fit.
Asking the necessary questions will give you the best understanding of the environment you will be traveling to, and hopefully avoid, “I wish I’d known earlier” syndrome.
It is essential to understand what the unit manager’s expectations from the very beginning. During the interview discuss expectations, and try to get a feel for the unit's culture, so you know more beyond the clinical aspects of the contract.
Understand unit expectations:
- What is the most important thing you look for in a travel nurse?
- What is the nurse to patient ratio?
- How many nurses will I be working with?
- How many beds are in the unit I will be working?
- Which EMR charting system do they use?
- What is the patient populations of this unit?
- What are the most common diagnoses?
- Do you require travel nurses to work Charge? If yes, what would be the patient load?
- How do you handle scheduling? a. If you have unavailable days, review them b. If you have requested any scheduling concessions discussion them
- Is there an opportunity to work overtime?
- What are the units I’ll be floated to?
Before you start working on the actual unit, you’ll most likely attend orientation. Set yourself up for success by asking about the orientation process. Always be sure to plan accordingly and arrive early. • What is the overall orientation process for a travel nurse? • What can I wear to orientation? Are scrubs okay? If yes, a specific color?
Dress for success!
Uniform regulations vary by hospital, sometimes by the unit. Be sure to ask for uniform details, so you present yourself in the best possible light. • What is the required uniform and/or scrub color(s)? • What color and type of shoes are allowed? • Any other uniform restrictions?
At the conclusion of the interview, if you haven’t already discussed your unavailable dates and/or any scheduling concessions included in your contract review them now. If there's anything, you're uneasy about or still need clarity on, ask! A good catchall to make sure the interviewer has everything they need from you to make a decision, is to ask “can you think of anything else that you might need that I can provide you?”
Thank the interviewer for their time and express your enthusiasm about the opportunity.