Interviewing for the role of a school nurse is a bit different than filling any other position in either a healthcare or educational setting. There are a lot of special skills and personality traits that make up a good school nurse and you’ll want to ensure that you’re selecting a candidate that embodies these unique qualities. There are many questions to ask before hiring a school nurse, some of which will be customized to your own district’s needs and policies. Here are a few important questions to ask in a school nurse interview that will help you determine whether you have the right person for the job.
- What made you choose a career as or why do you think you would make a good school nurse? Understanding the motivations of a candidate can help you quickly assess their fit for the position.
- Describe what you envision as your typical day in the office as a school nurse. Those who are new to the field or who have come from a different school environment may have different ideas of what a school nurse’s day will look like.
- What certifications and credentials do you hold? Make sure that the candidate has the proper training and continuing education courses to be a licensed school nurse, per your Department of Education’s requirements.
- What would you do when confronted by an angry or irate parent? As this is a very likely scenario that a school nurse will face, knowing that they have a mental plan in place to diffuse a situation is important.
- As a mandatory reporter, will you be comfortable with reaching out to Child Protective Services to report suspicions of abuse or neglect? This is a situation that can cause great discomfort for many and you should ensure that your candidate is on board and ready to take on that responsibility should the need arise.
- What strengths do you have that you feel will come in handy in your duties as a school nurse? Understanding how their personal experiences and strongpoints can factor into their duties is helpful for you, as well as useful for them.
In addition to standard questions, you will want to develop some scenarios that your candidate is likely to face, along with some extreme and unlikely circumstances that will require them to think on their feet to answer. Use symptoms and emergency situations that fit with the medical needs of existing students to help develop the scenarios you present, such as diabetic blood sugar spikes or drops, seizures, allergic reactions, and other potential issues.
Every school and community has its own individual challenges, so you will want to include some questions and scenarios that are specific to the community. Ask about how they would manage the health of students in a low-income area with little outside healthcare or what they would do to overcome language barriers in a school with a high ESL population.
Finding the right set of questions to ask before hiring a school nurse can take some thought, but with careful planning, you will be able to make a determination about what candidate is the right fit for the job.
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