CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
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jason712
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CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by jason712 » Sun May 15, 2016 12:16 pm

Hi all, I have an interview as a HCA in the CAMHS eating disorder ward and would like advice in regards to questions they could possibly ask in the interview.

I'm thinking that they might ask about the challenges of working with ED patients. They can be very critical of staff and will push boundaries around food eg if they think they can leave a bit on their plate without being pulled up on it they will, and they will question the portion size and say they've been given too much etc.

Obviously you want to get on well with them but you can't make friends with their anorexia and will have to challenge it (which means they are not going to like you at times).

RhubarbCrumble
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by RhubarbCrumble » Sun May 15, 2016 4:47 pm

I did a similar post when I first graduated. There were mainly scenario questions. E.g. if you were on obs. and you came across a child self-harming what would you do? Or if a patient told you something and asked you not to tell anyone else including staff, what would you do?

But also a lot of what challenges do you expect? A bit of knowledge on how eating disorders present and co-morbidities? Maybe, some questions on how you identify and deal with stress within yourself?

lingua_franca
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by lingua_franca » Mon May 16, 2016 2:10 am

My main piece of advice would be to remember that even in a specialist eating disorder service, not every interaction with a child is going to revolve round food. ;) Don't make all your answers about mealtimes, and try to think about how children with eating disorders might be affected away from the dining room - for example, the impact on their education, their relationships with peers, etc - and how a HCA might support them in these areas of life.

You also mention anorexia. While it's true that the vast majority of inpatients in ED services will be at a very low BMI, this is not always the case, and presentation can vary a lot even among people with anorexia. I would try to show some awareness of that.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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miriam
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by miriam » Tue May 17, 2016 12:46 am

jason712 wrote:Hi all, I have an interview as a HCA in the CAMHS eating disorder ward and would like advice in regards to questions they could possibly ask in the interview.
Just a reminder that we don't allow people to ask for or provide interview questions or information that would undermine a fair selection process for any post or course.

But happy for people to discuss the challenges of not colluding with clients whilst also trying to be friendly and working alliance with them. Its certainly an interesting question!
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Liv
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by Liv » Mon May 23, 2016 7:49 pm

miriam wrote:But happy for people to discuss the challenges of not colluding with clients whilst also trying to be friendly and working alliance with them. Its certainly an interesting question!
From the other side as well (having spent 5 months as a inpatient in an EDU a couple of years ago) this is definitely one of the most important things I can think of with the staff. From my own experience, it was the staff who we knew would be 'stricter' with us, who would challenge behaviours and who would not let people get away with things, who were seen as most helpful and supportive, who made the most difference.

And not just that, but also the manner of communicating - challenging behaviours and supporting patients without being patronising or speaking like they are doing it just to be 'naughty'. And then on the other side of things, spending time with patients in communal areas (rather than just sitting in the staff office) and actually interacting with them, treating them as individuals, as adults, as 'equals', talking about normal things, sport, TV, social lives, acknowledging positives.

(Sorry for veering off topic a bit).

Some other things you could think about prior to your interview could be:

The importance of family in adolescent ED treatment (family therapy, support, etc)
Resistance to treatment
Creative tasks - one of the best things an HCA did with me was to help me to develop a mindmap of my eating disorder - reasons for it, important things in my life, goals, thoughts, all sorts. Another HCA made us silly certificates, another used to watch horror films with us (adult unit, but yes). All those sorts of things really helped to develop the working alliance, and are worth thinking about for working in an inpatient unit I think.

Misfit
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by Misfit » Sat May 28, 2016 7:09 pm

Hi,

I remember having an interview for a HCA role on a ED ward - both CAMHS and Adult, but I was leaning more towards CAMHS. My nerves were an absolute mess, I kept stumbling over my words. 2 out of 3 interviewers found this amusing, which was absolutely mortifying. Anyway, if I hadn't been so nervous, I'd have answered the questions well as a lot seemed to require common sense. I even forgot to mention the fact that I studied Psychology as part of my degree until quite a long way into the interview. Oh well, live and learn.
Some of the interview included how I deal with stress, challenges related to the client group, supervision. There was a scenario question too. Anyway, at the end, they asked me if I would relocate to London as I was stupid enough to explain that I'd like to commute from where I was living. They were having none of it though, so my voice rose in pitch and slightly in volume, and I'm pretty sure I was close to welling up, so I ended up just having to leave the interview after a couple of the interviewers said it was "nice meeting me" and told me to have a "safe journey home". All BS though, as it was those 2 who had laughed at me, right in my face. One of them had the courtesy to (very patronisingly) tell me that he thought commuting might me stressful.

Anyway, the point is, I have a feeling they may try to see how you react under pressure in some way. It would be nice to think they laughed at me to put intense pressure on me, but I think they were just incredibly nasty and the power had gone to their heads.

Does the interview include an Assessment Day too?
Have you had your interview? If so, how was it? Also, if you don't mind me asking, where was it? x

jason712
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by jason712 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:42 pm

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I had my interview today. Unfortunately I've been told that I didn't get it because the other candidate had experience with Eating disorders. It comes down to that frustrating cycle of needing experience to get experience.

Misfit
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by Misfit » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:06 pm

jason712 wrote:Thanks for all the advice everyone. I had my interview today. Unfortunately I've been told that I didn't get it because the other candidate had experience with Eating disorders. It comes down to that frustrating cycle of needing experience to get experience.
Sorry to hear that. That has to be one of the most frustrating things in the world! Have you thought about joining a staff bank/agency and looking out for shifts on ED wards?

jason712
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by jason712 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:40 pm

Misfit wrote:
Sorry to hear that. That has to be one of the most frustrating things in the world! Have you thought about joining a staff bank/agency and looking out for shifts on ED wards?
Funny enough they called me back the next day to ask if I'd be interested in becoming a bank staff with the opportunity of becoming a permanent staff member should there be a vacancy in the future. Alongside my full-time job in SLaM and my volunteering as a research assistant, it'll be a tight fit but I'll make it work somehow.

Misfit
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by Misfit » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:57 pm

jason712 wrote:
Misfit wrote:
Sorry to hear that. That has to be one of the most frustrating things in the world! Have you thought about joining a staff bank/agency and looking out for shifts on ED wards?
Funny enough they called me back the next day to ask if I'd be interested in becoming a bank staff with the opportunity of becoming a permanent staff member should there be a vacancy in the future. Alongside my full-time job in SLaM and my volunteering as a research assistant, it'll be a tight fit but I'll make it work somehow.
That's great! Yeah I suppose you could just pick up the odd shift here and there. Where is the ED job if you don't mind me asking?

jason712
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by jason712 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:27 pm

Misfit wrote:
That's great! Yeah I suppose you could just pick up the odd shift here and there. Where is the ED job if you don't mind me asking?
Thanks! That's the idea, it's at Royal Free hospital. I'm thinking of leaving my current job altogether and just becoming a bank worker. I'm NHSP registered too so I can work in SLaM and some other trusts as well. Don't want to rush into the idea since I'm quite settled in PICU.

Misfit
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Re: CAMHS eating disorder HCA interview

Post by Misfit » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:36 pm

jason712 wrote:
Misfit wrote:
That's great! Yeah I suppose you could just pick up the odd shift here and there. Where is the ED job if you don't mind me asking?
Thanks! That's the idea, it's at Royal Free hospital. I'm thinking of leaving my current job altogether and just becoming a bank worker. I'm NHSP registered too so I can work in SLaM and some other trusts as well. Don't want to rush into the idea since I'm quite settled in PICU.
Oh was that the Band 4 one at Royal Free? I really wanted to apply for that but couldn't as I'm commited to other things until next year due to my work contract etc. I phoned them and the lady I spoke to suggested I apply to join the Bank as those Band 4 vacancies do arise sometimes. She also told me not to give up as the vacancy may come up again when I need it to. I would join the Bank but I worry that I wouldn't be able to attend the Induction due to work commitments in my current role, and I worry about tax too (Paying more tax as I have picked up a new role, which I need to read into more).

Yeah, I see what you mean, I get attached to places and become so sad when it comes to leaving. Also, that's the good thing about NHSP - there's a wide range of places you can work.

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