Home health nurses provide day-to-day services that allow patients to live comfortable, healthy lives with home-based care. While these healthcare professionals most often work with elderly patients, they also assist patients of all ages who have limited physical mobility. But what makes the job truly dynamic—and also challenging—is that no two days as a home health nurse are exactly alike. To excel in this unique environment requires focus, dedication, and compassion.
Individuals who wish to become a home health nurse will need a professional resume and an informative cover letter. In most cases, candidates who provide sufficient evidence of their skills and experience through these two documents will be asked to move on to the interview round.
Making Sense of the Home Health Interview
Nearly all home health care professionals stand to benefit from targeted interview preparation. When candidates enter their interview with an understanding of common home health interview questions, they are better prepared to provide their interviewers with robust responses and differentiate themselves from the rest of the applicant pool.
Because the interviewer will have likely seen a candidate’s academic and professional qualifications during the first round of application screening, interviewees should be prepared to discuss their strengths. By providing personalized answers and elaborating on how they handle stressful situations, connect with patients, and foster teamwork, candidates position themselves for a successful interview experience.
What Are the Qualifications of a Home Health Nurse?
To become a home health nurse, healthcare professionals must have a nursing degree and registered nurse (RN) license. Candidates who possess a significant level of experience in personal home care but are not licensed RNs should not apply for jobs that specifically call for a “home health nurse.”
The difference between a home health nurse and a home health aide is the level of medical services they provide. Home health nurses conduct wound management, draw blood, administer medication, and more. Home health aides primarily assist patients with activities of daily living, including bathing and preparing meals.
Many employers will also require home health nurses to have at least one year of experience working as an RN—preferably in critical care—before they become a home health care professional. This firsthand experience in a supportive, high-intensity environment will ensure new home health care nurses have the experience they need to thrive in their new setting.
What Do I Say in a Home Health Interview?
Home health employers look for personable, confident candidates who can competently answer their questions. Because the profession demands both medical expertise and a deep degree of interpersonal skills, home health care nurse interview questions will cover a wide range of topics, from bedside etiquette to repositioning techniques. Here are a few frequently asked live-in and home health care interview questions and their suggested answers:
Question 1: Why did you choose to become a home health care professional?
Answer 1: No employer wants to hire an employee who is only looking for a paycheck. The goal of this question is to ensure candidates are highly motivated and committed to a career in home health nursing. While their answers will vary, candidates should come prepared to communicate why they are passionate about home health care and their reason—perhaps a mentor or elderly relative inspired them—for joining the profession.
Question 2: How would you address a patient’s family member who is deeply unhappy with the care you are providing—even though you’re doing nothing wrong?
Answer 2: When a patient’s family is concerned about the quality of care that their loved one is receiving, a skilled home health nurse must diffuse the situation while maintaining the integrity of their medical services. To accomplish this, nurses are encouraged to organize a face-to-face meeting with the family and compassionately listen to their concerns. Home health nurses can also use these meetings to calmly explain that they are providing professional, industry-standard medical care.
Question 3: How would you handle a stressful situation in home health care?
Answer 3: This type of question aims to assess the candidate’s level of judgment as well as their ability to work under pressure. Applicants should come prepared with examples of the most difficult situations they have encountered on the job and how they addressed them. Candidates may find it helpful to write these crisis management examples down ahead of time so that they are top of mind during the interview process.
Prepare Yourself for a Home Health Nurse Interview
Home health care nurses must possess a high degree of emotional maturity, organizational adeptness, and good judgment on the job, while simultaneously providing patients with the comprehensive, high-quality medical support they need and deserve. Performing such a complex role can be challenging, making the need to hire high-quality talent an especially pertinent one.