By Lorraine Holton-Hughes – Medimatch Advisor
In my roles, I am often asked what I would look for in a good organisation, and there are some fundamental aspects which I think can give you an indication of this, which you can research yourself or ask directly during your screening call, interview or at any stage during the process. Remember it’s not just about the hospital selecting a suitable nurse, the hospital must be a fit for you too!
Ask at interview whether there is a defined career pathway they have for you to follow or whether is there a possibility for one being developed they could talk you through? How often staff are internally promoted is crucial too if career progression is an important aspect of the role for you, as well as what their opportunities may be in the future with the organisation either clinically or with leadership and managerial responsibilities. If you can find out from current employees what they feel the likelihood of career progression is, that’s an important aspect to consider, and there are ways to find this out too. Looking on websites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor can provide a valuable insight into the working environment within the organisation and prove to be an important resource for this reason. You can also look into whether there are more senior roles advertised currently for example as consultant nurses or clinical nurse specialists.
Education and development
Linked to career opportunities, what does their leadership training and clinical skills training look like? Do they actively encourage staff to progress educationally, and would this be something you can embark on after a period of time? Would they support you to access national programs, or do they have in house education teams to support you? Asking this within the interview is advised as it shows a curiosity and eagerness to develop and progress within their institution; a highly sought after characteristic.
Benefits and Pay
Is the salary defined by national pay scales (often the case in public sector roles) or is there an opportunity for bonus payments in senior roles? What other benefits are offered alongside the pension and annual leave entitlement? In the private sector there may be other benefits on offer, so make sure you ask or are aware of whether these extras are available wherever you are looking.
Complexity of Care and Appropriate Clinical Standards and Quality
Ask what a typical day and type of patients looks like in the area you are interested in. Read the latest CQC report, focussing on the whether it is a ‘safe and well’ led service overall. This will give you an understanding of what the inspectors saw when they dropped in on their inspection day. Ask what has been done to maintain the high standards they have or what has and is being implemented to address and improve any issues noted since the inspection.
Asking what the ratio is of trained nurses to patients and how often they manage to meet this ratio is a great query to have. Also, asking how many staff have left in the last 6 months and what the hospital are doing in order to manage to provide the care they want with the vacancies they have is another question to consider posing to them should they have multiple vacancies. Another question you may want to discuss is how long staff stay in the organisation and maybe even why the position is vacant in the first place.
Remember that you are interviewing the organisation just as much as they are interviewing you! Moving roles should be exciting, a little nervousness and trepidation is healthy but if you are worried about the environment or workplace don’t take the role, there are so many opportunities out there and matches to consider, so ultimately: be sure of you!