Illustration of a doctor in an exam room working on a computer

Why this matters:

Nurse anesthetists play a vital role in ensuring that patients remain safe during medical procedures. By monitoring a patient’s heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature, fluid balance, and oxygenation, they are able to control pain level and unconsciousness.

What to listen for:

  • Relevant work experience, education, and training in administering anesthesia
  • Specific specialty knowledge and expertise currently needed for this role
  • A clear understanding of how anesthesia works in the body and its risks

Why this matters:

No matter how experienced a medical provider is, unforeseen issues can happen during medical procedures that cause a patient to enter into cardiac arrest. It is essential for a nurse anesthetist to be able to handle these tense situations with a clear head in order to provide the best care possible.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Strong teamwork skills
  • A firm understanding of how to clear cardiac arrest

Why this matters:

Nurse anesthetists are responsible for providing patients with the proper dose of anesthesia before, during, and after surgery to help with pain management. The candidate should have a solid understanding of the information needed to determine the correct dose of pain medication that a patient will need after a medical procedure, such as weight, age, and duration of the surgery.

What to listen for:

  • Up-to-date knowledge of post-surgery pain management
  • A clear understanding of how to determine the correct dose of anesthesia during each step of the surgical process
  • Ability to explain their reasoning with correct medical information

 

Why this matters:

Undergoing surgery can feel scary for many patients. It’s important for a nurse anesthetist to be able to comfort their patients and ease their nerves, as they are often the liaison between a patient and their leading care provider. This can involve talking with the patient to further explain the anesthesia process, or guiding them through some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.

What to listen for:

  • An inherent desire to help people
  • Strong communication skills
  • Empathy and compassion toward patients

Why this matters:

Nurse anesthetists undergo years of scientific education and training. Qualified candidates will be able to provide a detailed example of a time they applied scientific knowledge to solve a problem, such as an undesired anesthesia response or an unforeseen issue arising during surgery.

What to listen for:

  • Scientific aptitude
  • Ability to clearly communicate the problem and solution
  • Strong problem-solving skills

Why this matters:

Nurse anesthetists are part of a team of medical professionals, including nurses and physicians. It’s important for the candidate to be able to work well with others in order to provide the best care for their patients. Qualified candidates will show signs of being a good team player, and the ability to work with different personalities.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to work well with others
  • Strong collaboration skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Why this matters:

This question gives the candidate a chance to talk about what qualities they see as valuable in their career, and may shed light into their own attributes that they can bring to your organization. Good candidates will not only be able to name specific qualities such as compassion and a sense of responsibility, but to also explain their importance.

What to listen for:

  • A strong understanding of what makes a good nurse anesthetist
  • Ability to articulate their ideas clearly
  • Examples to back up their opinions

Why this matters:

As the field of medicine continues to advance and evolve, it’s important for nurse anesthetists to keep up with the latest developments in anesthesia. Qualified candidates will show interest in keeping up with the latest relevant medical information and be dedicated to ongoing professional development.

What to listen for:

  • Examples of materials they read, such as scientific journals and articles
  • The desire to keep learning and growing professionally
  • An understanding of the importance of keeping up to date with medical news and advancements

Why this matters:

Nurse anesthetists often have a rigorous and demanding schedule, and must be able to function appropriately at any hour of the day, as well as when on-call for patients dealing with urgent issues. This question allows the candidate the opportunity to discuss interests and leisure activities, explain how they manage stress, all while demonstrating problem-solving and coping skills.

What to listen for:

  • The ability to prioritize, set goals, multitask, and cope with the demands of the job
  • Examples of interests, hobbies, or activities they partake in outside of work
  • A positive outlook and the ability to find fulfillment in their work, no matter how stressful 
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