Questions to ask when orienting a new nurse

We are orienting a new nurse.  We’ve done this before.  Several times actually.  Through this process we have secured some excellent nurses, such as Parker’s current nurse, Chris.  We’ve also met with potential employees that simply weren’t a good fit.  Then there were those nurses who make you wonder what educational institution ever awarded them a diploma.  Seriously, folks.  The stories I could tell.

When working with our nursing agency, I am adamant that any hopeful nurse MUST be trach trained.  I’m not just talking about being able to put the trach tube through the hole in Parker’s throat either.  I’m talking clear headed, quick thinking, emergency problem solving skills.   Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about a kid who died because their nurse didn’t have enough experience with trachs.

Questions to ask when orienting a new nurse

I got to thinking about the questions nursing agencies ask new hires.  Then I got to thinking about the questions *I’d* ask before I’d ever hire a new nurse to work with a trach dependent kid.

  Here are my questions to ask when orienting a new nurse:

  • How many trach changes have you preformed?  How many of those changes were on actual living, breathing bodies?
  • How many of those trach changes were successful?
  • Describe your worse trach change experience.  Tell me how you successfully worked through it.
  • How long would you wait before you called 911?  Performed CPR?  When was your last Trach CPR class?

There are other questions too. 

  • Would you ever take my child out of my home to run and get lunch without my permission?
  • Would you ever invite your boyfriend over for a  make out session while I was gone?
  • Have you ever given extra meds to a child in your care simply to make your life easier?

What are some of the questions you wish you could ask newly hired nurses before they were actually hired?

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