A pediatric nurse cares for children at all stages of development. She needs to provide care that is compassionate and effective.
She also needs to handle stressful situations and provide quality care for children and their families.
If that describes you, then here is a list of ten questions to help you prepare for the interview to land your dream job.
Pediatric Nursing Interview Questions and Answers
Below are examples of pediatric nursing interview questions with sample answers.
1. Tell me about yourself.
This icebreaker question is an open canvas for you to paint a picture of yourself for an interviewer.
There are absolutely no wrong answers here, but it’s very important to have a prepared answer to this question to avoid rambling and giving a concise answer.
My name is Jane; I am from California and worked as a pediatric RN for two years.
Working with children has allowed me to work with unique patients, and I love helping kids feel better.
I am inspired by my sister, who is battling a chronic condition, and I am helping her navigate treatment plans and learn more about chronic pain management.”
2. What draws you to work with children?
The interviewer will ask this question to assess whether you fit their position.
Your answer should include mentioning that you love working with children and why you are passionate about pediatric nursing.
“I love nursing children because they are so innocent and fun. When working with toddlers and preschoolers, you need to be innovative when doing routine things.
So it keeps things challenging and interesting. I also love pediatric nursing because I play around and make children smile.”
3. How Would You Identify Symptoms in a Child Who Is Crying and Uncommunicative?
During an interview, expect several questions to assess your clinical skills.
They are not there to “catch you out,” but the interviewer is looking to assess your skills that will be critical to fulfilling your duties.
Provide the most appropriate answer according to how you always approach the task.
The interviewer will allow for differences in practice unique to each healthcare facility.
“Usually, an actively crying child will be anything from a baby to a toddler.
These little guys usually need a lot of patience and distracting techniques to make the physical examination less traumatic.
Firstly, there is no use in examining an actively crying child. The vital signs will not represent the true state of the child’s health status.
First, they need to be comforted. If they are babies, I will check that they have a dry nappy and are not hungry or cuddle them first to stop crying before starting the examination.
With toddlers, I would get the parent to comfort the child, use distractions like toys or a peek-a-boo game to make them settle, and carry out most of the examination with the parent holding the child sitting or standing on their lap.”
4. Do You Have a Pediatric Nursing Certification?
Pediatric nursing is a specialty within the nursing profession, so the certification would be advantageous to show the employer that you have the necessary skills and knowledge.
It’s not a deal breaker when you don’t have the pediatric certification, but you can explain and show the steps you took to prepare yourself for this role.
“I completed an online certification course offered by the American Nurses Association (ANA).
I chose to study with them because their program was challenging and provided a lot of information about caring for children of all ages.”
5. How would you approach a child who refuses their medication?
Many times pediatric patients make simple tasks challenging.
The interviewer wants to see if you know how to solve common challenges of working with children and assess how you retain a positive relationship with them.
“I have nursed a child who refused to take medication because it made ‘her tongue tingly.’
If there is a problem with taking medication, I would first ask the parents if they know why the child is refusing medication.
If they don’t know, I would ask the child and work with them directly to see if we can do anything to make taking medication more enjoyable for them.
Some children need more creative approaches to providing care. Like changing from a tablet form to a syrup or perhaps different preparation.”
6. How would you assess the level of pain a child is experiencing?
Here the interviewer is looking to assess how you interact with your patients and your pain assessment skills.
You can include an anecdote of an instance when you attended to a child in pain.
“I would ask them to show me how bad their pain is on a picture scale to help them communicate how severe their pain levels are.
I would also ask them if anything made their pain worse.
Besides verbal cues, I would look for other signs of pain like facial expressions, sweating, pale skin, and changes in behavior.”
7. How would you comfort and care for a dying child?
This is a difficult question, and the interviewer wants to see how you handle stressful situations.
Your answer should show how you will pay attention to details to make the child feel comfortable and support the family.
”When nursing a dying child, it is important to keep the lines of communication open with the child.
They may want to know things, like what is going to happen to them.
They may be scared and need to be reassured that they will not be dying alone.
The family must also feel that they are being supported by giving them information about what they can expect to see happen during this time.
Answering their questions and so on.”
8. What type of qualities should a pediatric nurse have?
The interviewer is testing whether you know what it takes to advance in this role besides paper qualifications.
When answering, speak from your heart to show your sincerity and mention the skills you have that make you a great pediatric nurse.
“I think that to be a successful pediatric nurse, you must genuinely love kids and love spending time with kids.
You need to take yourself less seriously and always make time for play because that is what children understand.
Making children at ease will get you further with administering treatment and getting observations done, rather than trying to do everything the proper way.
As a child’s nurse, you need to relate to how they see the world and adapt your way of working to suit the situation.”
9. What would you do when a parent complains about the care you provided for their child?
Pediatric nurses do not only have to take care of their child patients.
They also have to communicate with the parents of those children. Parents can overreact when their children are ill and vent their anger and frustration on a nurse.
A nurse needs to know how to react and diffuse these conflict situations.
So, tell your interviewer you have what it takes to diffuse such a potentially difficult situation.
“If a parent complained about the care I provide for their child, I would listen to them and let them speak their mind.
Then I would evaluate the care I provided to the child to assess whether I have made a mistake or are the parents overreacting.
I would try to apologize to them, even if I didn’t do anything wrong because being confrontational with very emotional parents would only escalate the situation.
If I did make a mistake in my care, I would rectify it, but if the child received good care, I would just let it go.”
10. Where would you like to be careerwise in five years’ time?
Interviewers view candidates who are positive, set goals, and make plans on how to achieve those goals very positively.
Having a good idea of what your career path will look like is a sign of maturity and commitment to the profession.
So, when answering, let them know your plans for the future.
“I would like to work as a pediatric nurse for the next five years to gain valuable experience and knowledge to enable me to get a managerial position if it becomes available at that time.
But mostly, I want to be the best nurse I can be .”
Now that you know what questions are more likely to come up in a pediatric nursing interview, you can now prepare for it.
These example answers will help you respond to all the difficult questions that the interviewer will ask you.