What’s it like to work at Christus Health according to real employees?

Susanna Kahr

If your faith is an important consideration when looking for a healthcare job, then Christus Health could be a great employer for you. Christus Health is an international Catholic, faith-based, not-for-profit health system which consists of almost 350 services and facilities in 60 cities in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, and New Mexico in the U.S.; also, in the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Health Network in Santiago, Chile, and Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, and Tamaulipas in Mexico. 

Christus Health operates more than 60 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 175 clinics and outpatient centers and dozens of other health ministries and ventures for which the healthcare system employs approximately 30,000 people! 

Christus Health: Offering faith-based care since 1866

It all began in 1866, when the first three Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word left Lyon, France for their mission in Galveston, Texas, from Lyon, France. Once they arrived in Texas, Bishop Claude Dubuis encouraged the sisters to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and serve a “multitude of sick and infirm of every kind.” Over the decades that followed, their ministry expanded, split to better serve distinct geographical areas, and then re-united in 1999 to form Christus Health.

Today, Christus Health, which is headquartered in Irving, Texas, ranks among the ten largest Catholic health systems in the United States. Christus Health is still sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and San Antonio, and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and their mission continues to be to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to every individual they serve.

What do employees say?

Well this all sounds great if you’re a healthcare professional based in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, New Mexico, Santiago, Chile or Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, and Tamaulipas, looking for a new job in which you can concentrate on your faith too. But, what do current and former employees have to say about working here? 

On our site, Christus Health has been awarded a kununu score of 3.51 which is above the industry average of 3.43. The health system also has a recommendation rate of 79% which employees say is because “this is a great company with a great mission and everyone I meet is so nice and helpful,” and because it’s, “ an awesome place to work with well rounded individuals!” A number of employees also say that it’s a great place to work with great benefits” and that Christus Health “value their employees.” One employee even says that working at Christus Health is “like having a second family” and another says that her team threw her a baby shower and visited her in the hospital when she had her baby.” So, if you’re looking for a supportive place to work that also strives to be family-friendly and inclusive, Christus Health could be a great choice. 

Here’s how employees ranked Christus Health across the board, on kununu

Compensation & Benefits

According to Christus Health’s website, they strive to offer a supportive environment where quality of work and quality of life are in balance. So what do employees have to say about their pay, their schedules and their benefits? 

Most employees say that Christus Health offers “good benefits and pay compared to other companies.” Christus Health also offers a Matched Savings Plan (403b) to boost employees’ savings and flexible spending accounts, along with a number of different types of insurance like health, dental, short term disability, long term disability, life and accidental death. They also offer paid time off, discounted on-site fitness club memberships and wellness programs. 

Further training

Christus Health also takes professional development very seriously and offers a number of leadership and mentorship programs along with tuition reimbursement for those who want to undertake further training.

Nursing Careers

In response to the current shortage of Registered Nurses in the U.S. Christus Health is offering a number of sign on bonuses for nurses who apply to work at their sites, along with residency and training programs. 

Diversity and Inclusion

Christus Health ranks well for diversity and inclusion and this is echoed by employees who say that it is “very diverse and accepts all cultures.” Christus Health also featured on our list of healthcare companies that score highly for gender equality, as it has a score of 3.9 out of 5 for this on kununu! 

Faith based culture

Of course, one of the biggest attractions of working for Christus Health is the fact that it’s a faith based company and many colleagues tell us they really appreciate this. One colleague says “I am able to openly discuss my faith and pray with coworkers/customers without repercussions” and another says it’s a “Christ centered company, with daily prayers to meditate on.” 

You could do any one of these nursing jobs at Christus Health

Registered Nurse (RN)

Number of jobs: 3,059,800*

Education needed: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all other occupations! So, if you’re thinking of training to become an RN, now’s your chance.  Working as a registered nurse means assisting physicians in hospitals and a variety of other medical settings like hospices or clinics. RNs perform lots of different tasks related to patient care, case management and treatment planning. It’s no surprise then that RNs are the most in demand because RNs specialize in several areas! 

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Number of jobs (2018): 728,900

Education needed: Practical Nursing Diploma

The employment of licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses is expected to grow 11% by 2028! Licensed Practical Nurses provide basic nursing care and perform a variety of tasks, but under the supervision of an RN or doctor. LPNs and LVNs work in many different healthcare settings including nursing homes and extended care facilities, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and private homes mostly full time. Among the tasks that LPNs and LVNs do are: administering medicine, checking vital signs and giving injections. If you want to make your first step into world of nursing, becoming an LPN or LVN is a great way to start.

Travel Nurse

Number of jobs: 25,000

Education needed: ADN or BSN

If you want to travel, then travel nursing could be the perfect career for you! There are over 340 U.S. travel nurse companies (110 are Joint Commission Certified) and worldwide, there are more than 480 companies, so there are a lot of opportunities available. Travel nurses work temporary jobs around the US and abroad, either for a few weeks at a time or even for a few years. To become a travel nurse you need to qualify and work as an RN first, so you can expect to carry out many of the same duties as a standard RN, often working for an agency that supplements staff to facilities in need. This could be a great gig for you if you enjoy travel and change. Find out more about travel nursing, here

Nurse practitioner (NP)

Number of job postings: 166,280

Education needed: Graduate degree

Relevant certifications: Dependent on specialty

Nurse Practitioner jobs (which includes general) are expected to experience a 34 percent growth through 2022. As a Nurse Practitioner you can also work independently, which means that the number of NPs needed is very likely to continue to increase. While some nurse practitioners work under the supervision of a physician, many become autonomous and take on a lot of the roles a physician would normally perform. NPs can diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. They can also order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays, and prescribe medication. If you’re looking for a nursing role which you can do independently and even learn to take on jobs performed by physicians, this is a great place to start. 

Intensive care unit (ICU) registered nurse

Number of job postings: 68,548

Education needed: BSN preferred

Relevant certifications: CCRN Certification 

ICU RNs otherwise known as critical care nurses work in the intensive care unit (ICU) of hospitals, which means that they’re responsible for providing complex care to those with serious illnesses or injuries. ICU nurses work in specialty hospitals or with children in the pediatric ICU or older people in hospices. Most hospitals require training or continued education before employing an RN in the ICU, but if you’re up for a challenge, you should go for it!

Interview questions

And, if you’re interviewing for any of these nursing jobs then here are some questions that you can prepare. 

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

Example answer: “I was inspired to build my career in nursing because I come from a long line of nurses. Growing up in my family and seeing how much my parents loved what they did every day was both inspiring and motivating to me. I am interested in this job because I feel that I have learned a lot from them about what it means to solve problems, care for patients and make a difference in people’s lives.”

What is the most rewarding aspect of this job for you?

Example answer: “The most rewarding aspect of being a nurse is the feeling that you can really do something to make someone’s life better. Whether it be supporting your patient to process a difficult diagnosis, or making a patient more comfortable, or interacting with a patient’s family and friends. It’s an amazing feeling to think that you can really make a difference every day.”

Explain to us how you would deal with someone who is not satisfied with your level of care

Example answer: “I once had a patient who had googled their symptoms and thought that the care I was giving them was inadequate. There were adamant that my team should be treating their infection with a different drug and even convinced their family that they weren’t being looked after. In the end, I googled the symptoms too and found a different article in which our treatment was recommended and shared this with the patient. I then spent some time explaining to the patient and their family why we’d chosen this specific drug over the other. They were still skeptical but we managed to persuade them that we were giving them the best level of care.” 

Tell us what you think is your greatest skill as a nurse

Example answer: “I think that my greatest strength as a nurse is my ability to really listen to what a patient is telling me. I’m able to listen and record everything, from the severity of their symptoms to their worries and fears, which means that I am very empathetic and able to treat them on their level, as a confidant and friend.” 

How do you handle the stress of this job?

Example answer: “I know how stressful this job can be so I take self-care very seriously. In previous job I felt like I had to bottle up my emotions and I felt like I didn’t have enough emotional support so I reached out to other team members and told them that I was available whenever they needed to talk. This small thing changed my team’s dynamic and it meant that we grew closer and felt more able to share our emotions when we felt stressed or upset. I have a great support network and my partner is also working in healthcare so they really get it when I explain why I feel stressed out. I also make time during the week to go to the gym and I try to respect my free time by not taking my work home with me.” 

Are you a team player? Tell us about a time that you worked well with a team.

Example answer: “I would say that I’m a good team player. As I said, I like to make sure that my team knows that I’m there for them and I make sure to support all of my colleague’s decisions. One great example of this is when we lost a patient in my last job. It was really sad and unexpected, but I supported the physician I was working with and ensured her that she’d made the right call in terms of the medication and I made sure that my colleagues could share their feelings with me. We also talked about it later on to work out if there was anything we could have done differently so we turned a difficult situation into an opportunity to grow.” 

What’s the hardest thing about being a nurse?

Example answer: “Definitely losing patients. This is something that is difficult to deal with especially when it’s unexpected. But I try to get through it by telling myself that I still made a difference and that for the time that they were in the hospital I did my very best for them.” 

What makes you the best candidate for this nursing position?

Example answer: “Well, after looking at the requirements for this position, I would say that I tick all of the boxes. I have more than 5 years worth of experience, I have knowledge of all of the procedures and responsibilities and I bring a lot of passion to this role. I believe that I would be an asset for your team.”

Pro Tip: This is your opportunity to bring out your research and really make your case. Make sure to back up everything you say with lots of evidence, and if you don’t fulfil the criteria 100% then be honest and explain that you’re willing to learn.  

Why are you leaving your current position?

Example answer: “After a number of years, I feel like I was getting too comfortable. I am now looking for new challenges and opportunities to grow as a nurse.” 

Pro Tip: Whatever you do, don’t badmouth your current or former employer, chances are that anything you say will make it back to them, one way or another. Also, the employer you’re interviewing with doesn’t want to think that you’re somehow disloyal. 

What do you find most appealing about working with us?

Example answer: “After doing a lot of research, I feel that your values as a healthcare provider match mine the best. (Insert their values here and explain why they mean a lot to you). 

Pro Tip: This is your chance to bring up all of the research you’ve done about the employer. You could even mention comments that you’ve found on our platform to explain why the work environment at this employer appeals to you. 

What are you passionate about?

Example answer: “I’m passionate about giving the absolute best possible care to all of my patients. I take pride in my work and I am passionate about making a difference to people’s lives.” 

Pro Tip: Check out our article about how to answer this question and formulate the perfect answer for your interview. 

Do you have any questions for us?

Example answer: “Yes, absolutely…”

Job interviews are always a two-way street, so make sure that you use this opportunity to find out everything you need to know about your potential employer. Whether you need to know how family friendly the job is, what the shifts are like or even what the company culture is like, this is your chance to show genuine interest in the company and work out if it’s the right place for you. Here are some questions that you should ask in the job interview, to get you started.

 

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