1. Please explain why did you choose to pursue a career as a Psychiatric Aide?

I wanted to pursue a psychiatric aide because the basics are important. A foundation to anything will allow you to experience a field from all angles. Especially in psychology it is importnat that as those helping the mentally disabled, we approach their situation from all angles, observing body language, eyecontact, behavioral patterns, expressions etc. As an Aide I will be able to see firsthand how a professional in the field carries out therapy and how they approach different patients from different mental state of minds. This is invaluable for me, and will shed a new informational light in the psych field for myself.

2. Explain me why do you want to enter in this career?

I've always been interested in gaining experience in hospital setting due to its fast pace, it's a challenge for me. I feel I have a lot to offer in this type of setting, I have a lot of experience with co-occuring disorders which I would imagine a lot of clients here are co-occuring. I have experience being in a past paced busy environment and managing conflicts on a daily basis. I love running groups. I have a lot of experience with assessments and diagnosing. I'm a team player and majority of my clinical experience has relied heavily on integrated treatment services.

3. Please explain me example of a time when you dealt calmly and effectively in a volatile situation?

Terr- CL was actively manic and running lose in the building. I was called to get the client. Spoke to client calmly and brought him into an office. Allowed client to express what was happening and his feelings and he calmed down. Wil. Stil- upset because case manager wouldn't place him in housing immediately. Loud in lobby and homicidal and suicidal suggestions. Called to building. Brought client in office, expressed frustrations. Called psychiatrist whom has good relationship who spoke to him on speaker phone. Developed plan going forward.

4. Explain me what do you like about being a nurse?

Do tell them- How you enjoy caring for your patients and making a difference in a patient's life.

Don't tell them- You like making money. Don't keep going on about your profession either. Just keep it simple.

5. Tell us have you ever prevented a problem because you were able to anticipate one persons reaction to another person?

With placing clients in housing. Bi-polar CL who is vey erratic. I was able to anticipate which clients he would be less likely to conflict with this client and he managed to stay in our program for months without any issues./ Deal with this a lot with placing clients in housing.

6. Tell us do you have any specialties as Ward Nurse?

Yes I have lot of specialities . I am a good lisoner as well as a leaner. I never leave till tomorrow which I can do today. Another specialities of mine is self confidence and because I am always ready to meet challenges.

7. Explain me why are you the best candidate for us as Ward Nurse?

I have the compassion, empathy and have gained many skills (with still more to learn & acquire) since taking on the challenge of changing my career and commencing my Aged Care training. I have wanted to do this for so long and I just wanted to be able to make a difference to someone's life or day. It's like when I lived and breathed hairdressing it was a privilege to be able to enter someones home and do their hair and make them feel and look good.

8. Explain me what kinds of additional responsibilities or challenges have you taken on?

I started a psychoeducational group at the methadone clinic (colonial management group) I worked at, I noticed people coming to treatment but weren't fully informed on what methadone was. I designed and supervised a peer support program at CENTAUR I've assisted with supervising interns, met with them once a week, provided feedback on group facilitation, helped them with improving clinical skills I managed productivity tracking at CENTAUR and helped brainstorm ways to improve productivity.

9. Tell us how would you handle a situation where the patient complained about everything you did?

Do tell them- Tell them about a past experience you've had that you feel you handled with care and understanding, always focus on the positive

Don't tell them- About the time you got really mad at a patient because “he hit the call button too many times.” At times you can get frustrated but no one wants to hire a nurse that gets frustrated at their patients.

10. Tell us what have you done to further your own professional development in the past 5 years as Ward Nurse?

Completed graduate school. Trainings. Attend conferences. Seek guidance and support from those more experienced.

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11. Tell me about a specific time when you had to handle a tough problem which challenged fairness or ethical issues?

Often times disclosure of confidential information. I am very aware of HIPPA policy and patient doctor confidentiality. My parents have always taught me that information that is shared with you, is an honor and is to be treated as sacred. This rule, I always apply. However there was an instance where I had to report one of my peers I was mentoring becaus she displayed suicidal symptoms in her idioms and language. It was difficult for me to break the confidentiality but ethically I did the responsible thing and could have very well saved her life.

12. Tell me what is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it as Ward Nurse?

My greatest weakness is sometimes I overwork myself. I had a habit of coming to work 1.5 hours early and staying an hour late to get work done and it was draining me. I recognized this wasn't healthy or making me more effective. I had to learn that everything wasn't going to get done in one day in this field. I cut down the over time I was working and learned to be more comfortable with leaving work for the next day and I found everything would still get done when it needed to and I was more rested.

13. Tell us what experience do you have in this field?

I've worked in a methadone clinic for a year so I have experience working on a team with medical staff and psychiatric professionals. At CENTAUR I work in both outpatient and transitional housing so I have experience balancing two different treatment settings and with multiple mental health diagnosis. I have a lot of experience with substance abuse, I did my internship with residential program and volunteered my time running groups and and seeing client there for a year after. CENTAUR I have many client with severe mental disorders and experience working with psychiatric provider and helping clients with medication management.

14. Tell us how will you be able to tolerate being in a mental health facility for your career?

I myself carry a disability that I have had to grow up with. I have gone through what everyone knows is the "five stages of grief", but in the end it has empowered me and I adapt quickly to make the most of my situation and make it work for me. My persona, I believe is warm and invititing. After being exposed to a lot of mental health related issues during my undergrad years as a peer counselor, I have developed coping mechanisms and realized my true purpose in life is to help those that need help. I have grown up in a clinical medicinal environment and the one field that I just wanted to know more about was the mental health field. I believe my compassion and my strength to accept what I cant change and to always perservere, is what will allow me to tolerate being in a mental health facility.

15. Can you please tell us how your connections to coworkers or others help you to be successful in your work?

Having a positive relationship with my co-workers helps us work more collaboratively as a team. If I don't know something I can always reach out to a co-worker who in most cases does. I can reach out to them to help with tasks that need to be completed or to help put out fires in the community. If a client is having an issue or concern and I can't address it at the moment I can reach out to a coworker who has time to do it. Connection in the community- build those relationships for ease of referrals of collaborating on treatment.

16. Explain me about a difficult situation you've had in the past and how you dealt with it?

Do tell them- Your professional strengths and challenges you have overcome in a positive way. An experience you had a work or nursing college, or a volunteering experience you had.

Don't tell them- About your personal life or knock-down-drag-outs you've had with others, make it relevant to your work.

17. Please tell us what have you done in the past year to better yourself as a Psychiatric Aide?

Attended trainings (LGBT trainings, motivational interviewing, leadership training, etc), work with supervisor on assertiveness, make my own personal goals and challenge myself to achieve them. Role play.

18. Tell us how do you handle stressful situations as Ward Nurse?

I try to step back and calm myself down first, reach out to my peers/supervisor for support then think of a plan to address the problem. I make sure to react to situation and not to stress. EX: When we switched to new documentation system it was extremely stressful, there were aspects of the system we didn't understand, we had to transfer old notes/billing from older system while maintaining normal daily duties. We didn't fully understand how to do some things. It was insane and I felt extremely overwhelmed. I met with my supervisor and expressed how I was feeling, cried, and that made a huge difference. After getting past the emotions I was able to just accept what couldn't be done at the moment and accomplish would I could get done, ask right questions and got answers, etc.

19. Can you tell us what do you know about our organization?

Central Florida Behavioral Hospital is emergency receiving facility that opened in 2008. The company has a trauma informed philosophy that focuses on client learning to be self sufficient, providing hope, empowerment, connection, and hope. The mission of the company is to provide service that clients would recommend to their families and friends, physicians prefer to refer, and staff feel proud to represent. Serve from children to mature adults. There are 9 units serving children/adolescents, co-occuring disorders, affective disorders, mature adults, general adult, persistent mental illness, shock therapy, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient. Open 24 hours a day and accept referrals and walk-ins.

20. Explain me what experiences do you have dealing with mentally ill patients?

My mother has worked with special needs children at a high school for about eight years. I would hear her stories and see how some days it would be a challenge for her. Meeting them I was very careful but nice.

21. What are your career goals as Ward Nurse?

Obtain licensure by September 2016, obtain CAP certification, become Qualified supervisor. I'm interested in leadership/program development. I have an interest in hospital setting; this is usually the beginning point before a client transitions to further care so its critical that they receive proper referrals and become invested in their recovery to increase chances of ongoing stabilization.

22. Tell us what do you find difficult about being a nurse?

Do tell them- Nursing can be a little stressful at times but you feel you do a pretty good job of caring for your patients and balancing everything. If you can give an example of multi- tasking, that you find it stressful at times but you are used to it and you have a system in place that allows you to deal with stress. This lets the nursing manager know that you are aware of the difficulties with nursing but that you do everything you can to overcome them.

23. Tell us what is your greatest strength as Ward Nurse?

I'm detail oriented; Highly organized; punctual; good at creating and planning I'm dedicated- I become invested in the population and company I work for. I take the initiative to develop myself in whatever area I lack. When I started working at CENTAUR I didn't know a lot about HIV so I starting following social media sites on HIV, I attended events and forums on HIV, subscribed to HIV magazines. I even put on a HIV awareness event in my community. I wanted to fully understand my clients experience and what they face. I volunteered for events for my company.

24. Tell us would you consider yourself a patient person?

Absolutely. At CENTAUR my supervisor would typically assign clients who needed someone who is calm, patient, and understanding. I got a lot of the erratic clients who were easily angered or depressed clients who need a lot of care and support. My calm patient demeanor would pacify their anger or pain.

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25. Tell us why did you choose nursing as your career?

Don't tell them- “I like it” They know nursing is not easy and most nurses don't like it all the time , Give them a real explanation for what, or who inspired you to become a nurse.