Children’s Nursing Questions and Model Answers

Advice & Insight From Nursing Interview Specialists

Choose one character trait that is crucial to Children’s Nursing and tell us about it

I believe that one of the most important character traits in a nurse is being a good team-player and communicator. A Children’s Nurse is expected to work in part of a team with a variety of other health professionals, so will need to be able to fit easily into this role – or they may lead teams further into their career. Explaining concepts to patients will always be part of the role, which also calls for good communication. I have shown my ability to work as part of a team sports – playing football and hockey to a county level. I have shown that I can communicate effectively through giving regular speeches at my school, through team working, and through my interest in drama.

What experiences have you had that have made you want to become a Children’s Nurse?

My grandmother was a nurse, which led to me being interested in the profession from a young age. During my early teens I started volunteering at a care home and found the experience of helping patients to be incredibly rewarding. I was able to secure work experience at my local hospital twice, and both times my desire to become a nurse developed further. I saw the challenging nature of the role reflected in the long hours and sometimes tough discussions with patients – but these challenges only motivated me further. Last summer I volunteered at a holiday centre for the disabled, where I was responsible for the care of one of the young guests. I helped him throughout his stay, and this experience made me completely certain that I want to be a nurse. It’s obviously hard to find work experience in Children’s Nursing specifically, but helping a teenager there was incredibly rewarding. I’ve volunteered with Save the Children and seen through them just how much impact a caring attitude can have on a child.

What is the role of a Children’s Nurse?

I understand the role of a Children’s Nurse to be using specialist skills and experience to care specifically for babies, children and teenagers. This may constitute anything from monitoring vital signs, to explaining their medication, performing clinical assessments, or giving injections. It will also involve supporting parents and carers throughout their child’s illness. As a Children’s Nurse, I’d expect to have to review information and be able to make informed decisions about patient care. I’d also have to work with a range of other health professionals, like doctors, healthcare support workers, physiotherapists and social workers. This role demands a range of competencies, like empathy, being a good team-worker, being a good listener, and being able to deal well with stress.

What is the difference between empathy and sympathy?

The difference between empathy and sympathy centres around sympathy meaning to share feelings with another person, whereas empathy involves understanding those feelings without necessarily sharing them. Both words stem from the Greek pathos, which means feelings. Sympathy is chiefly defined as, ‘the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another’ and normally involves emotional pain. Empathy revolves around the concept of projection – that is to say, one can have empathy for another through imagining how they might feel. You might base this imagination on an understanding of them, of their situation, or of similar situations in the past. The idiom ‘putting oneself in another’s shoes’ summarises empathy.

​Are you aware of the Nursing Code of Practice?

Yes, I am. The Nursing Code contains all the professional standards that nurses, midwives and nursing associates must uphold. It covers providing care to individuals, groups and communities, as well as bringing knowledge to bear on practice in other roles like leadership and education. The principles are not negotiable – that is to say, we must stick to them rigorously. They are what the public and patients tell us that they expect. When one joins the professional register, one commits to upholding the standards. This commitment to standards is a core part of being in a profession like Nursing. If one doesn’t uphold the standards, it can result in being removed from the register.

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