17 LTAC Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a LTAC nurse, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Long-term acute care (LTAC) nurses provide care for patients with serious, complex medical needs who require extended hospital stays. These patients often have multiple chronic conditions that require close monitoring and constant nursing care.

If you’re a registered nurse (RN) with experience in intensive care, medical-surgical, or another acute care setting, you may be ready to take on the challenges of an LTAC nurse role. But before you can start caring for LTAC patients, you’ll need to impress a hiring manager during your job interview.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of the most common LTAC nurse interview questions and answers. Reviewing these questions and answers will give you a better idea of what to expect during your interview and help you formulate your own responses.

Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced environment?

LTAC nurses often work in a fast-paced environment, and the interviewer wants to make sure you can handle this. Your answer should show that you are comfortable working under pressure and have experience doing so.

Example: “I am very comfortable working in a fast-paced environment because I’ve done it for many years. In my last position, we had a lot of patients who needed our help at all times, which meant we were always busy. This made me learn how to prioritize tasks and manage my time effectively. I also learned how to communicate with other team members when I was swamped.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a LTAC nurse to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities they look for in a LTAC nurse. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention some of the skills and traits that are listed on the job description. This can show the interviewer that you understand what is expected of you as an employee.

Example: “I believe one of the most important qualities for a LTAC nurse is patience. Working with patients who are often in pain or uncomfortable can be challenging at times. Having patience can allow you to better communicate with your patient and provide them with the care they need. Another quality I think is important is compassion. Patients may be going through difficult situations, so having empathy can make it easier to connect with them and provide them with the support they need.”

How would you deal with a patient who is hostile or uncooperative?

This question can help interviewers assess your interpersonal skills and ability to handle challenging situations. In your answer, try to demonstrate that you have the patience and communication skills necessary to work with patients who are upset or difficult.

Example: “I would first try to understand why they’re acting this way. Sometimes a patient’s behavior is due to their illness or pain, so I would try to address those issues as best I could. If it seems like their behavior is more about them than their health, I would calmly explain to them that I’m only trying to help them get better. I would also ask for help from my colleagues if needed.”

What is your process for handling a high volume of patients?

LTAC nurses often have to manage a high volume of patients. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the job’s demands and responsibilities. In your answer, explain how you plan your day and prioritize tasks. Share some strategies that help you stay organized and focused on your work.

Example: “I always start my day by making a list of all the things I need to do. Then, I group them into categories like patient care, administrative tasks and professional development. This helps me organize my time so I can complete everything I need to each day. When I’m working with a high volume of patients, I also try to be as efficient as possible when performing assessments and procedures. For example, if I know I’ll be checking vital signs for multiple patients, I will take those measurements first before moving onto other tasks.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to provide compassionate care to a patient who was suffering from a serious injury or illness.

LTAC nurses often work with patients who are in a lot of pain or suffering from serious illnesses. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the emotional intelligence and compassion necessary to handle these situations well. In your answer, try to show that you can be empathetic while also being professional.

Example: “When I was working as an LTAC nurse at a hospital, we had a patient who was recovering from a car accident. This patient was in a lot of pain, but they were trying their best to stay positive. One day, when I was checking on them, they told me how much they missed their dog. They asked if they could bring their dog into the hospital so they could see it. I talked to my manager about this situation, and together we decided that it would be okay for the patient to bring their dog into the hospital under certain conditions.”

If a patient was experiencing severe pain, how would you manage their discomfort?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your pain management skills. Use examples from previous experience in which you helped patients manage their discomfort and achieve comfort levels that allowed them to rest and recover.

Example: “I would first try to determine the cause of the patient’s pain, whether it be a result of an injury or illness. If I determined that the pain was due to an injury, I would administer medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. If I determined that the pain was due to an illness, I would monitor the patient for any changes in symptoms and administer medication based on those changes.”

What would you do if you noticed that a patient’s medical records were missing information?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your ability to handle challenging situations. In your answer, demonstrate that you can use critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities to resolve issues in a timely manner.

Example: “If I noticed that a patient’s medical records were missing information, I would first speak with the patient about what they remember from their previous visit. If the patient cannot recall any details, I would contact the physician who treated them to request additional information. If the physician is unavailable, I would call other healthcare professionals who have worked with the patient to see if they could provide me with any relevant information.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

LTAC nurses often work in high-pressure situations. They must be able to remain calm and focused when their patients are experiencing pain or distress. An interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to perform well under pressure. In your answer, try to show that you can stay calm and focused even when the situation is challenging.

Example: “I have worked as a LTAC nurse for five years now, so I am used to working in high-pressure situations. When I first started my career, I was nervous about working with critically ill patients. However, over time, I learned how to manage my nerves and focus on providing quality care to my patients. Now, I feel confident in my abilities and know that I can provide excellent care no matter what challenges we face.”

Do you have any experience working with military personnel who have mental health issues?

LTAC nurses often work with patients who have mental health issues. The interviewer wants to know if you have experience working with this population and how you handled it. Use examples from your previous job that show you can handle these situations effectively.

Example: “I worked at a hospital where I was the only LTAC nurse on staff. One day, we had two military veterans come in for treatment. Both of them were experiencing PTSD symptoms. I talked to both of them about their experiences and what they were feeling. They told me about some of the things they experienced while serving overseas. After talking with them, I realized that one of them needed more intensive care than our facility could provide. So, I called around until I found a veteran’s hospital nearby that could help him.”

When is it appropriate to seek outside help for a patient?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of independence and ability to make decisions. It’s important to show that you’re capable of making independent decisions, but also know when it’s appropriate to ask for help from a supervisor or other healthcare professional.

Example: “I would only seek outside help if I felt my patient was at risk. For example, if they were experiencing severe pain and I wasn’t sure how to treat them, I would call my supervisor or another nurse for advice. If I didn’t feel comfortable treating the patient on my own, I would rather have someone else take over than put the patient in danger.”

We want to improve our infection control procedures. Tell me about a strategy you would use to improve our current practices.

Infection control is a vital part of the LTAC nurse’s job. The interviewer wants to know that you understand how important infection control is and that you have strategies for improving current practices.

Example: “I would first assess our current procedures, including what we do well and where we can improve. I would then develop an action plan with specific steps on how to implement new policies and procedures. For example, I would make sure all staff members are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to infection control. I would also ensure that there are enough supplies available so that everyone has access to them.”

Describe your process for documenting a patient’s medical history.

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your organizational skills and attention to detail. This is an important skill for LTAC nurses because they often work with patients who have complex medical histories. In your answer, describe how you organize patient information in a way that makes it easy to find later.

Example: “I use electronic health records to document my patients’ medical history. I start by creating a folder for each patient where I can store all of their medical records, including lab results, doctor notes and discharge summaries. Then, I create subfolders within the main folder based on the type of information I am storing. For example, I might separate the documents into folders for medications, allergies and family members. This helps me keep track of which documents are stored where so I can access them quickly when needed.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You may also want to mention something that is relevant to the job description.

Example: “I am passionate about helping others, which is why I became a nurse in the first place. In my previous role as an LTAC nurse, I helped patients recover from serious illnesses and injuries. One of my patients was recovering from a stroke when they came into the hospital. After working with them for several weeks, they were able to walk again. It was rewarding to see them make such progress.”

Which medical software programs are you familiar with using?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your level of experience with specific software programs. If you have previous experience using a program that the facility uses, share it and explain how it helped you in your job.

Example: “I am familiar with several medical software programs including Meditech, Cerner and Epic. I used these programs when working at my last facility because we had an electronic health record system. These systems allowed me to access patient information quickly and efficiently, which was especially helpful during emergencies. For example, if I needed to check on a patient’s vital signs or lab results, I could easily find them by searching for their name.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of patient care?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your priorities as a nurse. It also allows you to show how you can prioritize your work and make decisions that benefit patients. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about what you enjoy most about being an LTAC nurse.

Example: “I believe the most important aspect of patient care is communication. I find that when nurses communicate with each other and their patients effectively, they are able to provide better care. In my last role, I was part of a team that developed a system where we would write down our assessments and plans for each patient on a whiteboard in the hallway. This allowed us to share information quickly and efficiently, which helped us provide excellent care.”

How often do you perform physical exams on your patients?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your physical exam skills and how often you perform them. If the facility where you’re interviewing has a specific policy regarding when patients should receive physical exams, be sure to mention that in your answer.

Example: “I perform physical exams on my patients at least once every shift. I find that performing regular physical exams helps me monitor their progress and identify any issues before they become serious. In my last role, we had a protocol for when patients should receive physical exams. For example, if a patient was recovering from surgery, they would receive a physical exam after each of their first three post-operative visits.”

There is a patient who needs urgent care, but you already have a full schedule. What would you do?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you prioritize your patients and manage your time. In your answer, try to show that you would make sure this patient received care as soon as possible while also ensuring other patients did not have to wait too long for their appointments.

Example: “If I had a full schedule but knew one of my patients needed urgent care, I would find another nurse who could cover my appointments so I could see the patient right away. If no one was available to cover me, I would reschedule all of my appointments until after I saw the urgent care patient.”


17 Sales Training Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

17 Human Resources Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers