7 Common Med-Surg Nurse Interview Questions

Med-surg nurse interview questions

A medical-surgical nurse (also known as a med-surg nurse) has a wide range of responsibilities, including providing patient care to almost every kind of patient in a hospital setting.

They treat patients who are acutely ill or injured, those preparing for or recovering from surgery, or those who are struggling with a chronic illness.

Because of the wide spectrum of duties, medical-surgical nurses require a broad range of knowledge and understanding of the human body.

It’s impossible to know exactly what med-surg interview questions you will be asked, but some of the most common medical-surgical nurse interview questions are:

  1. Why did you pursue a career in nursing? 
  2. What is your greatest strength as a medical-surgical nurse? 
  3. Do you work well as part of a team?
  4. How do you handle a difficult patient? 
  5. What is the most difficult part of working as a medical-surgical nurse? 

This article will help you answer each of these questions in a way that will showcase your strengths as a nurse.

Also, to demonstrate your commitment to providing each of your patients quality care.

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Med-Surg Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

1. Why did you pursue a career in nursing?

This question allows you to share what motivates you.

Your employer wants a med-surg nurse to whom the work is personal instead of someone who is just in it for the pay and job stability.

Example answer:

My baby sister was in and out of the hospital when I was younger.

She was born with multiple health issues that required her to be frequently hospitalized.

I remember being struck by how compassionate and comforting her nurses were, not only to her but to her whole family.

I remember wanting to provide that same compassionate care to others who were in the same frightening situation.

I’ve always had a natural drive to help others, and I felt that nursing was the best fit for my skills and passions.

2. What is your greatest strength as a medical-surgical nurse?

In your answer to this medical-surgical nurse interview question, make sure to demonstrate your strengths in a way that still sounds humble.

Example answer:

I believe my ability to communicate and connect with patients is my greatest strength as a nurse.

I have an extroverted nature, and I strive always to be warm and approachable toward the patients in my care.

This helps them feel more relaxed in what can otherwise be a frightening situation.

I always take the time to explain their treatment and diagnosis in ways that they’ll understand, without using medical jargon.

See also: Plastic Surgery Nurse Interview Questions

3. Do you work well as part of a team?

As a nurse, you will be working with doctors and various other staff, all of whom are working together to do what is best for each patient.

Your interviewer is testing how well you understand how crucial teamwork is in a hospital setting.

Example answer:

I enjoy working as a member of a team, as it provides me with new perspectives on how to solve complex problems.

Team members are there to support each other and back each other up during difficult situations.

If I’m unsure about a procedure or have a medical question, I know I can rely on my fellow nurses and other staff to back me up and provide a second opinion.

4. How do you handle a difficult patient?

In your answer to this question, express empathy, patient care, and your problem-solving skills.

Example answer:

I find that most patient complaints are due to a lack of communication.

This is why I strive to communicate with each patient and explain their treatment plan in ways that they’ll understand.

When patients are acting out, I try to always see the underlying issue behind their behavior.

See also: Behavioral Nursing Interview Questions

Most patients are frightened in a strange setting, away from their homes and loved ones, and often face uncertainty.

This can greatly influence their behavior.

I find that treating every patient with compassion and empathy, and taking time to listen to their concerns, helps calm even the most distressed patients.

5. What is the most difficult part of working as a med-surg nurse?

With this question, your potential employer is testing your compassion and humility.

Nurses face many stressful situations, including emergencies and patient death.

See also: How Do You Handle Stress Nursing Interview Question

Make sure to communicate compassion and empathy in your answer, but don’t make light of serious situations, such as losing a patient.

Example answer:

The most difficult part of being a nurse, I feel, is when there is nothing I or anyone on my team can do to save a patient.

Watching someone in our care pass away is never easy and breaking the news to a deceased patient’s loved ones is especially difficult.

I make sure to show compassion and empathy to grieving families.

Whenever I lose a patient, I that it helps to channel my feelings into providing quality care to my other patients.

I am also an active member of a local nurse support group, where I gain perspective and support from my fellow nurses.

I am always sure to tell any new nurses on my team about the support group so they can also find strength and support within the nursing community.

See also: Interview Questions for New Grad Nurses

How to Prepare for Medical-Surgical Nurse Interview Questions?

Nursing interview questions are designed to gauge your proficiency in the following areas: 

  • interpersonal communication skills,
  • patient care,
  • motivation,
  • teamwork,
  • and adaptability.

Make sure that each of your answers demonstrates your strengths in one or more of these areas.

If possible, draw upon past relevant experience (school, volunteer work, a previous job, etc.) in your answers.

See also: School Nurse Interview Questions

In interview questions where your interviewer asks you to describe a situation, make sure to focus on your role in solving the situation to highlight your unique strengths and problem-solving skills.

Conclusion: Interview Questions for Med-Surg Nurses

Answer each med-surg nurse interview question honestly and transparently.

Be sure to express your passion for nursing and your eagerness to provide your patients with high-quality care.

Good luck with your upcoming interview!

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