CNAs or certified nursing assistants are integral part of the healthcare industry. They are certified medical individuals who provide direct and indirect care to patients through assisting them with getting out of bed, bathing, grooming, dressing and eating. They also perform medical tasks like administering medication, enemas and douches. Moreover, they keep a lookout for patients’ condition and provide emergency services as and when directed and also maintain patients’ logs and records.
CNAs also take patient vitals and deal with medical equipment and tools to ensure compliance and maintenance at all times. They look after the general well being of patients and ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of the premises by keeping in constant contact with the cleaning staff.
People applying for a CNA job may need to keep many things in mind when going for an interview for this position. Since this is a sensitive position, interviewers take special care in assessing applicants. The following are some sample interview questions and their prospective answers that may help you acing that not very easy CNA interview!
Introduce yourself? OR Tell me about yourself?
I am a compassionate and empathetic nursing professional who has excellent communication and problem solving skills. I started my career as an elderly caregiver for ABC Care where I polished my personal care skills and also have 3 years of experience in a 24/7 setting at the North West Hospital.
Why did you decide to take up CNA as a profession?
I am passionate about providing individuals with exceptional healthcare services. I feel that nursing assistance profession suits me the best. I am a caregiver by nature and decided to take this further and make it a vocation. I took up nursing training and eventually got certification as a CNA.
What are your areas of expertise?
I am well versed in providing personal hygiene, IV medication, catheter and food pipe care, ventilation assistance, vital signs monitoring, wound dressing. I am also familiar with HIPPA regulations and infection control protocols.
How do you detach yourself emotionally from your patients?
I must say this is a difficult question. When one spends a certain period of time looking after a patient, one does get emotionally involved. And it hurts terribly especially in the event of separation. However, I have been trained to detach myself emotionally as it is the need of this position and we cannot work professionally if we cannot keep a lid on our emotions.
How do you deal with agitated patients?
I came across this many times when patients are irate in nature and also refuse care. It is indeed mind boggling as every tactic does not work on every patient. However, I have the capability to use cajoling methods and reverse psychology techniques that are almost always successful.
Tell us what you do when you have completed all your nursing tasks but still have a few minutes left until your shift ends.
While this hasn’t happened many times, at the end of the shift when I have some time left, I review my patients’ files so that their treatment plans are refreshed in my mind. This activity also helps me hand over my shift to the next CNA who comes to duty.
What do you do to ensure a smooth shift transition?
I keep all patient notes updated before shift transition and also verbally explain each case and patient status to my replacement before leaving. If needed, I also tell the nervous patients that my shift is over and introduce the person replacing me.
How do you manage priorities on patient care?
Patients in critical conditions are always top on my list. I make sure that I pay extra attention to patients who need it the most.
Where do you see yourself in next five years?
In the upcoming years, I would like to pursue an LPN degree and become a nursing supervisor as I believe that my supervision skills are almost as well tuned as my nursing skills are. Through a supervisory role. I would like to make a difference in your patients’ lives and grooming the new recruits to deliver high quality patient care as per standards of The Medici Hospital.
Tell us of two personality traits that help you in your job as a CNA.
I am passionate about healthcare provision and compassionate at the same time. I have discovered that passion and compassion both work extremely well when trying to get a job done.
In a situation where a dementia patient sees something in his room which is not there, how would you deal with it?
I would go along with it and then try to calm him down. I have seen that you cannot argue with dementia patients and expect to win the argument. The best way to deal with it is to go along with whatever they are saying and seek the help of a supervisor if a situation gets out of control.
What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to stay calm and focused in emergencies. No matter how bad the situation is, I make sure it does not affect my composure, reflexes or the quality of my nursing services.
What is your greatest weakness?
Being a highly courteous person, I tend to accept too much additional responsibility and go extra miles to facilitate others. Although it’s a good habit but it compromises my leisure at times.
Share an example of when you went above and beyond your duty to facilitate the hospital you worked for?
Nursing is a field where such instances are common since the care we deliver is crucial to human lives and is sometimes even lifesaving. Last month I had just done 6 hours extra duty to fill in for a colleague and when my hours were finally over and I was ready to leave, a bus accident case came in with more than 14 school children injured. I stayed back another 3 hours and attended them until the backup staff arrived.
What would you do if you suspected a colleague was mal-practicing?
I would immediately report that colleague to the management.
What have you done during the past year to keep your nursing knowledge updated?
I have attended various on the job workshops and have been reading the leading research journals on nursing issued by the American Nurse Association to keep my knowledge in the field updated.
How do you deal with a patient’s attendant who is being rude?
Being in the profession for 5+ years now, I fully understand how stressful it is for the attendants to see their loved ones in pain. If they are being rude, I try to calm them down, attempt to relieve them of sitting by the patient’s bedside when it’s not necessary and continue to deliver the required care to the patient to the best of my abilities.
How would you react if you were asked to do something by a supervisor that makes you uncomfortable?
I am not squeamish which is probably my best virtue. If I am given a task to do, I do it regardless of my feeling for it.