By Kaci Seals
As a recrui
ter with experience in many different healthcare specialties, I have seen no specialty that has changed as much as Emergency Services over the last 15 years. There was a time when your typical ER nurse was not only technically strong and knew it, but so did everyone they worked with…and took care of. You’ve seen it… the nurse who enters the room, doesn’t listen to anything you are saying and knows exactly what they think you need before they have even assessed your condition.
Well, I am here to tell you there is no longer a place for that type of nursing in healthcare. With the Emergency Room being one of the primary drivers of inpatient volume, that type of abrupt and rude behavior does not serve the larger goals of a facility. While still adrenaline junkies who master the technical skills, great ER nurses know that patients have a choice and that the patient’s interaction with that nurse sets the tone for the rest of the patient stay. That initial interaction can also impact the patient’s decision to choose the facility for emergency care for them or their family in the future.
So how has this changed my recruitment over the years? I used to focus almost solely on skills. Can they read telemetry? Do they have ACLS? Do they have previous ER experience in a similar sized environment? All of these things remain a priority today, but they are no longer my top priorities as a recruiter.
I am much more interested in a nurse who has a true passion for patient care, who wants to take care of patients and who knows that every patient has a choice. I'm interested in a nurse who understands that when a patient chooses our organization, it allows us the privilege of delivering exceptional care and the best experience possible for that patient and their family.
I would much rather send a slate of candidates who have the latter “softer” skills than a slate of strong technical candidates who just don’t get it. After all, you can teach skill. Compassion and caring are a bit more difficult to teach.
By Amanda Liimatainen
Are you a nurse?
I’ve been asked this question no less than three times in the last two weeks. “Are you a nurse? You sound like one and you actually understand what I’m saying.”
I am not a nurse. However, I’m extremely flattered when a nurse asks me this question. I am the daughter of a nurse. I grew up in healthcare. Thanks to Mom, it started when I was only ten. I often joke that once you get sucked in, it’s hard to leave. I have definitely been a patient. And there’s nowhere I’d rather be, professionally. I’m not physically impacting patients' lives, but I do have the ability to affect their quality of care. I feel that my work has a purpose.
I partner with the hiring manager. I work hard to understand the unit, its culture, and the patient’s needs. I translate that into the quest to find the best possible candidate for the unit. I pay attention to the nuances in communication with the people that I interview. I probably have more clinical knowledge than the average Joe, but I cannot extubate a patient, read an EKG, or dress a wound, unless you count wet to dry bandaging on my dog that was hit by a car or a Scooby Doo Band-Aid for my kids. There is so much that I don’t know. What I do know is that I only want to present a candidate that I would want to care for my mother, my father, or my child. There is a purpose and a passion for recruiting in healthcare, as much as there is purpose and passion in nursing as a profession.
By Jeff Jurinak
This is an account from one of my healthcare hiring managers that I thought was worth sharing…
Working in a hospital is an excellent journey full of challenges, fulfillment and excitement. Sometimes when I take a moment to look around I am filled with awe about the work around me. I am helping to create and advance the care we provide, and elevating the baseline of overall health and opportunities for care in our community.
I walked in early today, as usual. As I walked to my office, I saw a visitor looking around nervously, and she looked unsure of something. I was surprised to see someone there at that time and I asked if I could assist. She looked as if she was going to cry and she was clutching the classifieds. She said, “I saw the ad in the paper for work available in your department and thought I would come to introduce myself.” I invited her inside and we talked for a few minutes. I learned about her experiences, qualifications and interests. She was another interesting person ready to give her all, but with little relevant experience and work history.
Not sure how to proceed (I had met with two excellent candidates already), I called my recruiter in the morning to give him the heads up. He talked me through the next steps. Although this unplanned visitor was not right for my opening, my recruiter took her information and said he would explore other avenues or opportunities for bringing this motivated and promising job seeker into the hospital.
I felt relieved and prepared after talking to my recruiter. He was helpful and shared his knowledge, but we have a partnership, so we discussed how I could best handle the situation and what I can do if it happens again in the future. I want to help people, but I also have to bring the most qualified person into my department to provide the best care possible to the people we support. Now, after the discussion with my recruiter, I feel calm and assured that we will handle the situation in a positive way for me, for the visitor and for my newest addition, who I am excited to have join the team.
With our strong, prepared and unified healthcare team, I feel ready to serve the community with energy, passion and competence. I know the challenges will be nothing we can’t handle....