Write a helpful critique for two (2) of your colleagues. Comment on three (3) of the questions answered. Be certain that your comments are constructive and non-judgmental. Focus on helping your classmates provide a “better” answer to the question..
Situational Behavioral Interview Techniques
1) Describe a difficult problem you’ve encountered and how you dealt with it.
One of the most difficult problems I’ve encountered in my carrier occurred about eight years ago when I was recently hired as a night shift Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Despite being a new grad, I was given the responsibility of providing accurate laboratory results, in a reasonable amount of time, to a 450-bed community hospital. To consistently accomplish my goals, I designed a workflow that prioritized stat over routine orders as well as linked all my instruments to one computer to avoid wasting time walking from one side of the lab to the other. The results of such changes in workflow improved turnaround time and created a more pleasant environment to work in.
2) From time to time, everyone has to bend the rules a bit. Tell me about an example when you had to bend or break the rules to achieve the right results. What happened?
An example of a time I had to bend the rules a bit was about two years ago when the phlebotomy department I used to supervise was suffering a lot with mislabeled specimens. The root of the problem lay on the heavy workload, and the computer system phlebotomists were using to review orders and draw blood. The solution was to test and implement a new handheld device that was not only was more practical but also included security features, such as scanning patient armbands, before labeling a specimen. To expedite the process, and immediately stop jeopardizing patient care, I broke the rule by not asking for a test or demo device before purchasing ten devices from the vendor. Instead, I did a literature researched on the device and asked for other customers’ reviews. Despite the risky 40 thousand dollar purchase, the devices worked well. They were implemented in just two weeks, as compared to about three months had I followed every step of the process.
3) Give an example of a tough goal you reached and how you achieved it.
An example of a tough goal I reached was about two years ago when the hospital I still work at was facing financial constraints, and almost every department was over budget as compared to the previous year. The goal set by administration to every department was to cut expenses by at least 20 percent in as little as six months. After reviewing and analyzing all of our department expenses, I identified the most expensive services we provided and figured whether they could be ceased, outsourced, or altered with a cheaper alternative. Within just one month, I met with vendors, distributors, and physicians and managed to reduce our monthly expenditure by over 35 percent.
4) Think of a time when you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. What did you do and why?
I’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty was during last year's flu season. The laboratory department was experiencing eight people who were either on medical leave or modified duty. Despite having a skeleton crew and having plans to provide coverage for the weekend, the department did not account for last-minute, night shift, sick calls. As a department manager, my goal was always to provide exceptional service and accurate results in a reasonable amount of time. Hence, I volunteered to cover the workbench during the Friday and Saturday night shifts and ultimately provide little to no interruption in laboratory services. Coming into work Monday morning, there were no complaints about our services as well as lifted and joined team spirit in the department.
5) Tell me about a time when you failed at a task. What happened, and what did you learn from it?
When I failed at a task, I was a new grad, working at the night shift of a 450-bed community hospital. I was assigned to cover the whole clinical lab, including the blood bank department. A physician in the labor and delivery department scheduled a placenta previa surgery for a patient with multiple underlying, and clinically significant antibodies. The afternoon blood bank technologist ordered ten units of compatible packed red blood cells and had them all on stand by and ready for surgery. As I got to work for the night shift, the patient was taken for emergency surgery. As expected, the patient started to lose lots of blood, and one unit of packed cells was being ordered every 10 minutes. I had no compatible and cross-matched units of blood for the patient in less than 2 hours from the moment surgery started. I explained the situation to the operating room, and we decided to transfuse uncross-matched blood while new compatible units were being delivered to the hospital. The baby born without complications, and despite a mild transfusion reaction, the mom recovered without major complications. The lesson I learned from it was that in situations like this, I must communicate with the operating room and issue compatible units only when the patient is not profusely bleeding.
6) Provide an example of when you used your verbal communication skills to influence your boss or other leaders to “do it your way?” How did things turn out?
An example of when I used my verbal communication skills to influence my boss and other leaders to “do it my way” was about five years ago, when I used to work a hospital with an outdated computer system. The computer system needed to be maintained and / or upgraded at least once a week. That created a downtime period of about 4 to 5 hours each time. All tests done during this period needed an instrument print out to be faxed to the floor. Once the system was back up and operational, all results needed to be manually entered into the computer. My goal was to automate the faxing process and reduce clerical errors when manually entering the results on the computer. Therefore, I designed a workflow that involved a dummy barcode and alternate instrument configurations that allowed results to be auto-faxed to the floor, and results to be auto-transmitted to the computer system. I persuaded my boss to experiment with the new downtime procedure with one instrument and, if successful, to try it and implement it on the remaining instruments. To this day, the organization continues to use the outdated computer system, as well as my downtime procedure on most of its laboratory instruments.
7) Give an example of a situation in which you had to acquire a new skill or use a new technology to accomplish a task?
An example of a situation in which I had to acquire new technology to accomplish a task was about seven years ago when I had returned from vacation, and the hospital which I was working at had just acquired and gone live with a new platelet function testing device. Since there was little to no demand for the test during the night shift, the department did not think it was necessary to train me immediately. Mid-point through my shift, a physician calls the lab asking for a stat platelet function test. My goal was to learn and do what was necessary by reading the policy, instrument manual, and package inserts as soon as possible. I successfully operated the device, including calibration and quality control, with no issues, and reported the results in less than one hour. Overall, I was not only able to meet the physicians' request, maintain the high standards of the department and educate myself, I was also asked to train the remaining technologist who were not trained up to that point.
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