8 Questions To Ask When Interviewing a Home Health Private Duty Nurse

By October 8, 2021 Article

These interviews are also referenced as “meet and greets”. We have had in-home private duty nursing in 2 different states dating back to 2013. My daughter was only 2 years old when her nurses started and this was all new to me at that time. As we are nearing the end of 2021 and with almost 10 years under my belt, I want to help any other family that will soon be starting the process of working with home health agencies to get the in-home care that you need for your loved one. I will preface most of these questions for a child, however, the same questions can be asked for an adult as well.

Before the Interview:

It is important for you to realize the nurse will usually only know very minimal about your child because they only see a case opening on their agency portal and/or received a “case announcement” email:

For example:

  • 9 year old girl, g-tube
  • 12 year old boy, tracheotomy
  • Adult Female –  Medication Administration and Concussion Monitoring

Before you give them the run down on your child (i.e. diagnosis, daily schedule, etc), ask these 8 questions first! This allows them to answer truthfully! After they answer, then give them the run down. There is also no need to introduce your child until you have asked these questions and feel comfortable to do so.

1. What made you interested in this case?

This opens up the meet and greet a bit more personable and allows the potential nurse to show her personality.

2. How long have you been with XYZ Agency?

This gives you an idea of how familiar they are with the agency side (documentation, shift expectations, etc).

3. Have you worked with pediatrics before and in what capacity?

This one is pretty obvious but will give you a good idea on their knowledge of younger clients.

4. What type of medical equipment/DME items have you used?

This will give you reassurance if the nurse says they’ve worked with equipment your child has (ie. MIC-KEY, trach, GJ, Oxygen tank, etc).

5. What do you do outside of working for XYZ Agency?

This will let you know if they have family duties that might interfere with their shift.

6. Do you work for any other agencies or facilities?

This will give you an idea on their commitment to other work obligations and also let you get an idea how often they are exposed to other potential illnesses (i.e. Facilities with high COVID cases, Hospital, etc).

7. If there were an emergency, how would you handle things?

This will assure you that the nurse has a solid plan if an emergency arises (i.e. won’t panic, will give emergency medicine, will notify parents if not home, etc).

8. Do you have experience with any other condition aside from what you saw on the case announcement posting?

Try not to say what your child has (e.g. epilepsy, cerebral palsy, total care, etc), because you want to hear from the nurse what they already know.

What’s Next

If you get a good vibe from the nurse, then move forward and give more details about your child. After the interview, the nurse will contact the agency and inform them if they want to start the case. This is also the time when you can contact the agency and advise them if you want to move forward or not. Please and I repeat PLEASE do not feel pressured to work with someone you are not comfortable with. Although you need the help, don’t make it harder on yourself because remember, these people will be in your house and you want to ensure all parties are comfortable, including you!

If you have experience with home health agencies, if you’re a home health nurse yourself, or if there’s something else you’d like to know about home health, leave me a comment below!