A nurse practitioner (NP) writes:
"My collaborative MD believes that I should not need more liability insurance than his rider. My FNP liability insurance costs $1200 -- more than either PNP or ANP. My colleague in the same practice has separate credentials for ANP and PNP but as most of our patients are adult she only carries her insurance for adult -- $800. What do you think about the actual liability needs?"
This question exemplifies the dilemmas NPs are facing when attempting to cover themselves for professional liability. Inherent in this NP's questions are the following questions:
Do I need my own policy, if I am employed and my employer covers me?
How much malpractice insurance do I need?
Do I need coverage for all of my areas of certification, even if my practice is limited to one area?
Why do policies for some areas of certification cost more than others?
If I don't sign up for the appropriate type of policy, can the insurer refuse to cover me if I am sued?
This article addresses those questions.
The questions that need to be answered to answer this question are:
Will my employer's coverage be enough?
Is my employer's coverage dependable?
Do I perform any services that aren't covered by my employer's policy?
If I leave the employer, will my employer's policy cover me for an incident that occurred while I was still employed?
If I have 2 policies, will the policy terms allow the insurers to argue about who pays?
Will my employer's coverage be enough? It is difficult to get reliable data to use to predict what settlements, judgments, and defense costs might run. However, according to 2 sources, defense costs are running between $20,000 and $40,000, depending upon whether the claim resulted in a payment.[1,2] Data from the insurance industry places the average payout for serious injuries as now exceeding $1.5 million. Another source puts the average payout at just under $200,000. A third source puts the average at $320,000.
Average payouts mean little if the verdict or settlement against you is for an amount that exceeds the limits of your policy. Damage awards provide clinicians clues that at least $1 million in malpractice insurance is necessary. Here are some latest cases against NPs. All involve diagnostic errors, which is the most common reason for malpractice lawsuits against NPs and physicians in office practice.
A 15-year-old female, complaining of a severe headache, left school early. Her mother gave her Tylenol and took her to see an NP that evening. The teenager also complained of very stiff joints, aches, and fever. The NP noted a temperature of 103.7 degrees, no cough, no chest congestion, no rhinitis, and no abdominal complaints. A complete blood count showed a white cell count of 16,600. The NP performed tests for meningeal irritation but found none. A pediatrician working in the practice conducted a cursory observation of the patient at the end of the visit. The NP diagnosed probable flu, told the patient's mother to call if the girl vomited or showed other changes in symptoms, and sent the patient home. Later that evening, the mother phoned the office to say her daughter had vomited several times. The NP advised the mother to keep the girl at home for the night, and bring her to the office in the morning. By morning, the girl was lethargic to the point of being only marginally responsive. On her arrival at the clinic, staff called 911. At the hospital, the girl was diagnosed with meningitis, put on antibiotics, intubated, and admitted to intensive care. She continued to deteriorate, endured brain herniation, and died 1 week after the initial visit. The plaintiff's attorney alleged that the NP must have performed improperly the tests to elicit signs of meningeal irritation, as it was certain that the patient had unusual neck stiffness. The NP denied any negligence, arguing that the girl had influenza that quickly progressed overnight into meningitis. The parties settled the case for $500,000.
A 44-year-old woman whose mother had taken diethylstilbestrol (DES) while pregnant visited a women's health center for evaluation for hormone replacement therapy. An NP performed the evaluation, including a pelvic examination. The patient had some symptoms of pregnancy, but the staff reportedly attributed those symptoms to menopause. The patient said she had been told by doctors at the center that she was incapable of becoming pregnant and did not need to use contraception. The NP did not note an enlarged uterus. Six weeks later, the patient had a CAT scan of the abdomen to rule out tumor. There was no tumor, but there was a 6.5-month fetus. The woman gave birth to a daughter with asymmetrical dwarfism, also known as Russell Silver Syndrome. The child was expected to have to undergo a series of surgeries and use hormonal and physical therapies. The woman sued the women's health center, the larger institution of which the health center was a part, and the NP, who is an expert on DES daughters. The woman argued that her daughter's syndrome was caused by in-utero exposure to hormonal replacement therapy, CAT scans, prescription drugs, and lack of proper prenatal care. The plaintiff argued that the late diagnosis caused her to lose the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy. The parties settled for damages of $1.7 million.
A 29-year-old female nurse testified that she visited an NP in December 1992 for a physical exam. The NP pointed out a firm lump in the right breast. The NP diagnosed the lump as "fibrocystic breast formation." In April 1994, the patient saw the NP for an unrelated problem. She asked the NP about the breast lump. Later in 1994, the patient saw a coworker NP who examined the breast lump, which had increased in size and had become tender. That NP ordered a biopsy, which was positive for breast cancer with lymph node involvement. In March of 1998, the patient filed lawsuit against the first NP for failure to timely diagnose breast cancer. The NP's side of the story is that in December 1992 she performed a breast exam but made no note of a breast complaint or abnormal findings regarding the patient's breast. Had the patient reported a lump or if there was a lump on exam, the NP would have recorded that in the record. In April 1994, the patient did not complain of breast lump, and no breast exam was performed. There was no record of a complaint of breast lump or breast exam. In March 1998, the NP defended with the arguments that: (a) the statute of limitations had expired; (b) the patient never complained of a breast lump; and( c) the December 1992 breast exam was normal. The patient died in 1999, leaving a husband and 3 children. A judge denied the NP's motion for summary judgment based on expiration of the statute of limitations. After mediation, the parties settled the case for $600,000.
Successful plaintiffs can enforce judgments or settlements by garnishing wages, putting a lien on the defendant's house, and exercising a levy on the defendant's bank accounts. There are various ways to try to shelter one's income from successful plaintiffs, but they have their own risks and costs.
The ethics of "going bare" (not having insurance) or not having enough insurance weigh heavily on many clinicians. If you make a mistake and someone is injured, are you going to feel ethically responsible for compensating the patient? If you try to get out of this obligation, is it going to weigh heavily on your conscience? If you elect not to purchase insurance or go with a policy with low limits, are you going to worry constantly about having the cash to pay off an injured patient? Will you save money in an account just for that purpose? Are you thinking that your employer's policy won't cover you? Or are you unable to get information on your employer's policy? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," it is probably worth the cost of your own policy to maintain your integrity and have peace of mind.
Every NP is going to encounter different risks and different premiums. Do a risk-benefit analysis. Get as much coverage as you can afford, but no less than $1 million per occurrence. If an employer's policy has limits below $1 million, strongly consider purchasing your own policy for additional coverage.
Is my employer's coverage dependable? An insurance purchaser needs to feel secure that the insurance company is financially secure enough to pay out if necessary. To research the financial stability of an insurance company, find out which company underwrites the policy. This information should be provided on the insurer's Web site. Go to A.M. Best's Web site, or another of the several companies that rate the financial stability of insurance companies, to find the insurer's financial stability rating. You'll want to see a rating of A- or higher.
Do I perform any services that aren't covered by my employer's policy? Each insurer has different terms and conditions. If an NP relies on an employer's policy, the NP will need to be sure he or she can meet the conditions of the policy. Read the policy to determine whether the procedures and services you provide are covered.
If I leave my employer, will my employer's policy cover me for an incident that occurred while I was still employed? Most insurance policies for physician practices are "claims made." With a claims made policy, an NP must purchase a "tail" -- coverage extension -- when the NP leaves the employer. The prices for tails vary greatly and can, for a pediatric NP (PNP), be in excess of $5000. Some employers agree, as part of an employment agreement, to pay for the NP's tail policy. If the employer will not pay for the tail, the NP is going to have to do it when he or she leaves the employer, or the NP will be "bare."
Additional important advantages of having one's own policy are:
The NP will have her/his own legal counsel with expenses covered.
The NP may be covered for incidents that occur out of the employment setting (depending on the terms of the policy).
The NP can purchase limits that may be higher than the employer's.
If the NP purchases an occurrence policy, the NP will be covered if he/she leaves the employer's practice, and need not purchase a tail.
The disadvantages of having one's own policy are:
The plaintiff may draw the NP into the lawsuit, or attempt to keep the NP in a lawsuit longer than justified, in hopes of drawing on the NP's insurance. However, this may happen whether or not an NP has his or her own policy, as a plaintiff will not know until the "discovery" part of the litigation process whether or not the NP has an individual policy.
It is a significant expenditure.
Before electing to go solely with an employer's policy, ask the following questions of the employer:
Who is the insurer?
What are the limits?
What is the company's financial stability rating?
Am I a named insured? If not, what policy language assures that I will be covered?
Are there any requirements on NP practice, such as level of supervision, that must be met under the terms of the policy?
Does the policy state any conditions that I must meet in order to stay covered?
Is it an occurrence policy or claims made? If claims made, ask: Who will pay the premium for the tail? If the employer refuses to promise to pay the tail premium, ask: How much will the tail cost?
Purchase your own policy if:
Your employer's policy is claims made, the employer won't pay for the tail policy, and you can't afford to pay for the tail.
You are not clearly one of the additional insured individuals on the employer's policy.
You perform NP services outside of your employment.
Your employer covers you only under certain conditions, and you can't meet all of those conditions.
The employer's insurance company has a rating lower than A-.
The employer's policy limits are below $1 million per incident.
If working for a government agency, the considerations are:
Am I protected under a Tort Claims Act?
If so, are there are any conditions under which I could be sued as an individual?
If working for a hospital or large organization, the considerations are:
Does the organization purchase a commercial policy?
Is the organization self-insured?
If the organization has a commercial policy, what are the exclusions (ie, what are the circumstances under which I would not have coverage)?
If the organization self-insures, are there are limits to what the organization would pay in the way of damages, attorney fees, and expert witness fees?
Are any of my activities as an NP excluded from coverage?
How much coverage should I purchase? Rates vary, based on the company, length of time in practice, type of certification, state where practicing, and number of hours practicing per week. For an employed adult NP working full time in Maryland, latest rates varied as follows:
$590 a year for a $2 million per incident/$4 million aggregate occurrence policy
$504 per year for a $1 million/$6 million occurrence policy
$566 per year for a $1 million/$6 million occurrence policy
$663.32 per year for a $1 million/$6 million claims made policy
Rates may be lower or higher in other states or for other NP specialties. Purchase as much insurance as you can afford, but not less than $1 million per occurrence.
Why do policies for some areas of certification cost more than others? Premium rates are determined by actuaries who analyze the risk for each category of clinician. If a policy for a family NP (FNP) costs more than a policy for an adult NP (ANP), that means the company's actuaries determined that it is more likely that the payout for an FNP will be more than for an ANP. One reason why the payout might be higher for an FNP would be the extended statute of limitations when the injured party is a child.
Do I need coverage for all of my areas of certification, even if my practice is limited to one area? Maybe. First, if you are an ANP and PNP but practice only with adults, are you committed to never providing services for a child? Second, have you been honest on your insurance application, stating that you are an ANP and PNP but are purchasing only ANP insurance? Third, have you checked with the company to see whether they have any term or condition that would require you to be insured as both ANP and PNP? Insurers may make their own terms and conditions and may deny coverage if their terms and conditions are not met.
If I don't sign up for the appropriate type of policy, can the insurer refuse to cover me if I am sued? Yes.
If I have 2 policies, will the policy terms allow the insurers to argue about who pays? Some policies state that if there is any other insurance policy that applies to the amounts covered under the policy, the other insurance must pay first. In that case, if an NP is insured through an employer as well as his or her own policy, the NP's insurance may be secondary (ie, would pay only if the other insurance has reached its limits). If an employer's policy had a similar condition, the NP might find him or herself involved in litigation about which insurer must pay first. Read and understand each policy's terms regarding other insurance. Ask insurers for terms that will suit your situation.
Q: Who is allowed to submit or enter final grades?
A: Final grades must be entered or submitted online via myPurdue Faculty Self Service or BrightSpace by the instructor of record for that course.
Q: How do you know that you're an instructor of record?
A: Log into myPurdue and look in the My Course channel from the Faculty tab. If you have access to course lists, you will see your course offerings. If all do not appear, select the more link under your visible courses.
Q: What if I make a mistake or need to change a student’s final grade after I have submitted it?
A: Grades can be resubmitted through myPurdue or BrightSpace as often as you need up to the deadline. Corrections after that will require a Form 350 or a change submitted using the Grade Change Workflow in myPurdue.
Q: I keep getting the same final grade roster when I click Final Grade entry.
A: Scroll to the bottom of your final grade page and look for the link called "CRN Selection". Click on it and a drop down for all the courses you are faculty of record will display. Click on the arrow for a full list. Select your next CRN, then hit Submit.
Q: When can students see grades in Banner/myPurdue?
A: Students will be able to view grades after they have been rolled to academic history. That process should be complete by 8:00 a.m. the morning after the grade entry deadline.
Q: Can grades be printed?
A: To print a copy of grades for your records, click on "download course roster" from your final grade page.
Q: How can grades be viewed after grades have been rolled to history?
A: Faculty may view their grade rosters again after the deadline has passed and all end of term processing has completed in myPurdue. This is typically by 8:00 a.m. the following day. Grade reports are available using Cognos – Public Folders-Validate-Grades through the schedule deputy in each department for faculty.
Q: What if I have a Pass or No-Pass class?
A: A grade of Pass (P) or No-Pass (N) may be used if the course was originally set up with that grading criteria. If you are assigning an incomplete grade for a Pass or No-Pass class, the grade of PI should be given. If you are pushing grades from BrightSpace, the letter grade you push will automatically convert to a P or N based on the rules in university regulations.
Q: How do I handle regular incomplete grades?
A: Incomplete grades are assigned when a student has attended class, but has not completed work and has been allowed time to do so. As before, a Registrar Form 60 must completed for each student with an Incomplete or (I) grade submitted..
Incompletes are not to be used for students who never attended class and are still on the class roster. Failure to complete the class or turn in passing coursework is noted as an (F).
Q: How do I know if I should assign an "F" grade or an "FN" grade?
A: A grade of F (Failing) is awarded to students who complete the course and participate in activities through the end of the term but fail to achieve the course objectives. A grade of FN (Failing/Non-authorized Incomplete) is awarded to students who did not officially withdraw from the course, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the term. The FN grade is to be used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. Note that once the FN grade is entered, the instructor is required to indicate the date the student last participated in course activity at an academically related activity, i.e., the last date the student completed an exam, quiz, assignment, paper, project, or attended class (if attendance was taken).
Picture this: you're chilling during your free time, your favorite beverage in one hand, scrolling through the latest tech updates with the other, when suddenly a friend texts, panicking about a cyberattack that has just left them devastated.
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This scenario is more common than you think and could easily happen to anyone, especially those who harbor stubborn myths about cyber security.
If you're tossing your hair back, saying, "Well, I don't have anything a hacker would want," think again. Hackers aren't picky eaters. They'll feast on any bit of data they can find. Your banking details? Yummy appetizers. Personal information? A delicious main course.
To hackers, we're all just meals waiting to be devoured. The fix here is simple: Take digital threats seriously, set up a sound security system, and be mindful of what you share online.
HOW TO ADD SAFE BROWSERS TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE
In the quest for robust protection against these lurking cyber threats, there’s a beacon of hope. Identity theft services. Identity theft protection companies can monitor personal information like your home title, Social Security Number (SSN), phone number and email address and alert you if it is being sold on the dark web or being used to open an account. They can also assist you in freezing your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further unauthorized use by criminals.
One of the best parts of using some services is that they might include identity theft insurance of up to 1 million dollars to cover losses and legal fees and a white glove fraud-resolution team where a U.S.-based case manager helps you recover any losses.
See my tips and best picks on how to protect yourself from identity theft by visiting Cyberguy.com/IdentityTheft
For all those confident souls who think a strong password is all the protection they need, here's a wake-up call: Hackers have become more intelligent. They've got tools and tricks to crack even the most complex passwords.
BEWARE OF CHERRYBLOS, THE ANDROID MALWARE THAT STEALS PASSWORDS
Create strong passwords for your accounts and devices, and avoid using the same password for multiple online accounts. Consider using a password manager to securely store and generate complex passwords. It will help you to create unique and difficult-to-crack passwords that a hacker could never guess.
It also keeps track of all your passwords in one place and fills passwords in for you when you're logging into an account so that you never have to remember them yourself. The fewer passwords you remember, the less likely you will be to reuse them for your accounts.
When it comes to choosing the best password manager for you, here are some of my top tips:
Check out my best expert-reviewed password managers of 2023 by heading to Cyberguy.com/Passwords.
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You got antivirus protection? Awesome! But remember, not all antivirus software is created equal. Some may provide better protection and performance than others, so choose wisely. And if you are running a free antivirus program, consider replacing it for these reasons.
For sure, the best way to protect yourself from having your data breached is to have antivirus protection installed on all of your devices. This will make sure you are stopped from clicking on any potential malicious links that may install malware on your devices and allow hackers to gain access to your personal information.
See my expert review of the best antivirus protection for your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices by heading to Cyberguy.com/LockUpYourTech
It's time to also address the belief that only downloading apps from official app stores is 100% safe. Here's the thing: official app stores do offer a safer environment, but they're not invincible. Some malicious apps can slip through, disguised as popular apps. A little extra caution won't hurt here.
Before downloading an app, do a little detective work. Check reviews, ratings, developer details, and app permissions. You will likely find this information at the bottom of the description page of whatever app you are attempting to get from the App Store or Google Play store.
TOP APPS TO TROUBLESHOOT YOUR WI-FI SIGNAL
Have faith in your WiFi password? It’s time to go a step further and boost your WiFi security. With Cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated, enhancing your WiFi security measures can safeguard your personal data and prevent unauthorized access to your network, ensuring you're more protected when you're online.
Enabling encryption: By enabling encryption, such as WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) or WPA3, you can ensure that the data transmitted over your Wi-Fi network is encrypted and not easily accessible to unauthorized users. Encryption adds a layer of security by encoding the data in a way that can only be decrypted by devices with the correct encryption key.
Changing default passwords: Many Wi-Fi routers come with default usernames and passwords set by the manufacturer. It is crucial to change these default credentials, as they are widely known and can make your network vulnerable to unauthorized access. Choose strong, unique passwords that are not easily guessable, and use a password manager, as I detailed above.
Using a Virtual Private Network: A VPN establishes an encrypted connection between your device and a remote server, routing your internet traffic through the VPN server. This adds an extra layer of security and privacy to your Wi-Fi network, as the data transmitted between your device and the VPN server is encrypted. It can help protect your data from potential eavesdropping and provide anonymity by masking your IP address.
For best VPN software, see my expert review of the best VPNs for browsing the web privately on your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices by visiting CyberGuy.com/VPN
MORE: HOW TO SPEED UP YOUR WIFI AND INTERNET CONNECTION
Despite the myth that it is difficult and time-consuming to update your software and devices, it is very easy and doesn't take a lot of time. You do not want to neglect those software-update notifications that pop up on your devices. Updates often include important security patches that fix vulnerabilities and protect against the latest threats. Keeping your operating system, apps and antivirus software up to date is crucial in maintaining a strong defense against cyberattacks.
Set your devices to automatically install updates or make it a habit to manually check for updates regularly to ensure you're running the latest, most secure versions. And don’t forget to always back up your devices if you should ever need to restore them. Remember, an outdated system is an open invitation for hackers. It's like leaving your doors unlocked when you go to bed.
It's always better to be safe than sorry. With these cyber security myths busted wide open, it's important to remember that digital security isn't a set-and-forget deal. It's more like a perpetual chess game, and you always need to stay a move ahead of the hackers out there.
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What's one thing that might change your behavior after knowing the truth behind these myths? Could it be finally tapping that neglected 'Update' button? Or perhaps it's time to secure that home Wi-Fi with a reliable VPN? Every strategy counts in this game. How will you up your cyber security game? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.
For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.
Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.
By Rachel Zupek
Editor's note: CNN.com has a business partnership with CareerBuilder.com, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to CNN.com.
Key to answering "weaknesses" question is not to respond literally. Identify areas where you can improve.
There's no worse feeling than when you're in an interview and the interviewer asks you a question to which you don't know the answer.
The best way to handle this dreaded debacle is to go into the interview prepared. Familiarize yourself with a few common difficult questions and arm yourself with answers prepared ahead of time.
Check out these tough interview questions and some suggested responses in order to avoid an interview disaster:
Tough question No. 1: "Tell me about yourself."
This is usually the opening question in an interview and it's the perfect moment for you to toot your own horn -- not to tell your life history. Your answers should be a quick rundown of your qualifications and experience. Talk about your education, work history, latest career experience and future goals.
Suggested answer: "I graduated from University X and since then, I have been working in public relations with an agency where I have generated millions of PR hits for my clients. While I've enjoyed working on the agency side, I'm looking to expand my horizons and start doing PR for corporate companies such as this one."
Tough question No. 2: "Why did you leave your last job?"
This is your chance to talk about your experience and your career goals, not to badmouth a former boss or provide a laundry list of reasons for your exit. Instead, focus on what you learned in your previous position and how you are ready to use those skills in a new position.
Suggested answer: "The company just wasn't a good fit for my creativity, but I learned that organizations have distinct personalities just like people do. Now I know where I'll be a better fit."
Tough question No. 3: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"
Let the employer know that you're stable and you want to be with this company for the long haul. Keep your aspirations to take over the firm with which you are interviewing, own your own company, retire at 40 or be married with five children to yourself.
Suggested answer: "I want to secure a civil engineering position with a national firm that concentrates on retail development. Ideally, I would like to work for a young company, such as this one, so I can get in on the ground floor and take advantage of all the opportunities a growing firm has to offer."
Tough question No. 4: "What are your weaknesses?"
The key to answering this age-old question is not to respond literally. Your future employer most likely won't care if your weak spot is that you can't cook, nor do they want to hear the generic responses, like you're "too detail oriented" or "work too hard."
Respond to this query by identifying areas in your work where you can Excellerate and figure out how they can be assets to a future employer. If you didn't have the opportunity to develop certain skills at your previous job, explain how eager you are to gain that skill in a new position.
Suggested answer: "In my last position, I wasn't able to develop my public-speaking skills. I'd really like to be able to work in a place that will help me get better at giving presentations and talking in front of others."
Tough question No. 5: "Why were you laid off?"
This question will become more common as the economy continues to slow down. It's a tough question, however, especially because many workers aren't told exactly why they were laid off. The best way to tackle this question is to answer as honestly as possible.
Suggested answer: "As I'm sure you're aware, the economy is tough right now and my company felt the effects of it. I was part of a large staff reduction and that's really all I know. I am confident, however, that it had nothing to do with my job performance, as exemplified by my accomplishments. For example..."
Tough question No. 6: "Tell me about the worst boss you ever had."
Never, ever talk badly about your past bosses. A potential boss will anticipate that you'll talk about him or her in the same manner somewhere down the line.
Suggested answer: "While none of my past bosses were awful, there are some who taught me more than others did. I've definitely learned what types of management styles I work with the best."
Tough question No. 7: "How would others describe you?"
You should always be asking for feedback from your colleagues and supervisors in order to gauge your performance; this way, you can honestly answer the question based on their comments. Keep track of the feedback to be able to provide to an employer, if asked. Doing so will also help you identify strengths and weaknesses.
Suggested answer: "My former colleagues have said that I'm easy to do business with and that I always hit the ground running with new projects. I have more specific feedback with me, if you'd like to take a look at it."
Tough question No. 8: "What can you offer me that another person can't?"
This is when you talk about your record of getting things done. Go into specifics from your résumé and portfolio; show an employer your value and how you'd be an asset.
Suggested answer: "I'm the best person for the job. I know there are other candidates who could fill this position, but my passion for excellence sets me apart from the pack. I am committed to always producing the best results. For example..."
Tough question No. 9: "If you could choose any company to work for, where would you go?"
Never say that you would choose any company other than the one where you are interviewing. Talk about the job and the company for which you are being interviewed.
Suggested answer: "I wouldn't have applied for this position if I didn't sincerely want to work with your organization." Continue with specific examples of why you respect the company with which you are interviewing and why you'll be a good fit.
Tough question No. 10: "Would you be willing to take a salary cut?"
Salary is a delicate topic. In today's tough economy though, how much a company can afford to pay you might be the deal breaker in whether or not you are offered a position.
Suggested answer: "I'm making $X now. I understand that the salary range for this position is $XX - $XX. Like most people, I would like to Excellerate on my salary, but I'm more interested in the job itself than the money. I would be open to negotiating a lower starting salary but would hope that we can revisit the subject in a few months after I've proved myself to you."
Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2009. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority
All About Jobs and Labor
Do your first graders like studying fiction? Then this lesson about asking questions and finding answers about their favorite fictional characters will be a hit. In this fiction comprehension lesson plan, students will take on the persona of a book character as they plan and conduct interviews with one another. First, they will take note of the different characters, settings, events, and details in a specific story. Then, they’ll write up detailed questions that set the stage for a thought-provoking discussion.
Students will be able to ask and answer questions about key details in a written text.
Students will be able to ask and answer questions with grade level-words using written supports.
Q. I have a 2005 Buick Lacrosse and it has been making a clacking, snapping sound when I brake, and 50-100 ft after brake is released. The sound itself seems to come from the from the brake on the left side, and toward the center front in the car. Sometimes if I hit an unforeseen bump which cannot be avoided, I hear the same sound. The mechanic replaced the left front tie rod, but the noise remains.
A. I would start by going on a road test with a mechanic so you both hear the same noise. I suspect that the first repair was on the right track. It is possible something in the front suspension, inner tie-rod end wear is common, stabilizer links, body mounts or even a brake caliper is shifting could be making the noise.
Q. The speedometer is studying way out of normal range (on the dial). Does the dash need to be removed to repair this, or does the speedometer mechanism have to be replaced entirely? Can it be reset?
A. This really depends on the age and type of vehicle. Nearly all speedometers today are electronic and do not use traditional cable drives. The issue could be the speed sensor in the transmission, or a faulty circuit in the instrument panel. A technician with a scan tool should be able to determine is the speed sensor is working properly.
Q. The steering wheel whirrs when I make a sharp right or left turn and the noise seems to be outside the car. Is this a simple repair job?
A. There could be several causes of this noise, from low power steering fluid to a worn or losoe power steering belt.
Q. I own a 2015 Mercedes GLK 250 diesel, which has displayed the check engine light frequently. The dealership has checked this out with repairs and claimed it to be part of the recall for diesel emissions. The recall was completed, and the light still returned intermittently. It frequently occurred after long road trips over 150 miles and with subsequent driving sometimes went off by itself. Mercedes high end repair shops recommended replacement of the entire sensor board since they said it was easier to affect a repair by its replacement rather than trying to replace the sensors individually. This is a very expensive repair. They said that since l am a Mercedes owner, I could afford the expense. Hogwash. Is this a Mercedes engineering fiasco?
A. The first thing that needs to be performed is a test to see what codes are causing the check-engine light. There are some common issues with this vehicle. Some or all of the following could cause a check engine light to be illuminated intermittently. There could be a vacuum leak, damaged and leaking O-rings, damaged water pump impeller, low battery voltage and even contaminated coolant or engine oil. Using the “parts-cannon or shotgun” approach of just throwing parts at the car almost never actually repairs the issue and is certainly not in the customer’s best interest.
Q. I have a 2006 Toyota Sienna, 103,000 miles, runs great, well maintained with no problems. Should I have the transmission fluid changed? As far as I know. The fluid was never changed.
A. Toyota considers it a lifetime fill and unless there is a leak or other issue is good for the lifetime of the car. But you could certainly change it as a preventative measure. If you do use only Toyota or equivalent fluid, not a generic fluid used in some flushing machines. If it were my vehicle and I drove it “normally” I would leave well enough alone.
Q. My Husband’s car was taken to get an oil change and inspection sticker yesterday. They did the oil change but rejected the car for the sticker. The reason was front body rot/rust. A front cross member piece is needed because it is so badly rusted. The car is a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica; do you think one could be found? He loves the car, and it still looks great. Any suggestions?
A. Yes, you can find a good rust free front subframe on eBay motors and other salvage yard websites. The part is $6-$900 plus about six hours labor to install it, plus a wheel alignment. There could be added expenses due to other rusty parts, but yes it can be repaired.
Q. I own a 2016 black Subaru Forester and I need to touch up some scratches. Can you please recommend a good brand to purchase for me to do the job myself?
A. The brand that I have been most happy with over the years is www.automotivetouchup.com Great color match and everything from touch up pens to quarts and gallons. Plus, they have clear coat paint to get the factory finish look. Recently I was alerted to another similar company https://touchuppaintfactory.com which also has factory color match in all size applicators. Like all painting, the preparation before painting is what determines the outcome of the job.
Q. I recently saw a Chevrolet at a car show, it was a small two-door wagon (not a Chevrolet Vega). The car was highly modified with a big V-8 engine. The steering wheel was on the left and I suspect it may have been a Canadian car. Is this enough of a clue to know what it could be?
A. What you may have seen (and I just saw one recently) was a Chevrolet Caravan. The car was from Brazil and sort of a combination of a Chevy and Opel. Sometimes referred to as an Opala, the factory engine was a 2.5-liter, 150 cubic-inch four-cylinder, but over the years many four-cylinder engine were replaced with a larger 250 cubic inch straight six-cylinder engine.
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There’s a lot to love about Halloween: playing Halloween party games, watching the best Halloween movies, dressing up in Halloween costumes (or maybe as Halloween monsters), playing Halloween bingo, solving Halloween riddles and indulging in a bit of Halloween trivia! But how much do you really know about Halloween? The October holiday may be one of the most popular holidays in the United States now, but the origin of Halloween actually has quite a rich international history.
After you’ve mastered this Halloween trivia, you can bring it out at your next Halloween party to wow your friends and family. And don’t worry, we’ve included the answers to the Halloween trivia questions too.
1. Question: What is the name of the legend that jack-o’-lanterns originated from?
Answer: Stingy Jack
2. Question: Before jack-o’-lanterns were carved as pumpkins, what other root vegetable was commonly used?
3. Question: Halloween can be traced back to a Celtic holiday. What’s the name of that holiday?
4. Question: In what century was Halloween first introduced?
Answer: The 19th century
5. Question: How did the tradition of dressing up for Halloween start?
Answer: It was once believed that at the end of October, ghosts and demons would be able to walk the earth again. To protect themselves, people dressed up as spirits to blend in.
6. Question: Where did the game of bobbing for apples originate?
7. Question: On Halloween during the 18th century, why would women throw apple peels over their shoulders?
Answer: To see if they would land in a pattern resembling initials, indicating the man who would become their husband.
8. Question: Who brought the Halloween tradition to the United States?
Answer: The Irish, during the potato famine
9. Question: Which Roman goddess is thought to be honored on Halloween?
10. Question: What is another name for Halloween?
Answer: All Hallows’ Eve
11. Question: What is another name for Nov. 1, the day after Halloween?
Answer: All Saints’ Day
12. Question: What are the Halloween colors?
Answer: Black, orange and purple
13. Question: Who was the first First Lady to decorate the White House for Halloween?
Answer: Mamie Eisenhower, in 1958
14. Question: What was Bram Stoker’s original name for Dracula in his vampire novel?
Answer: Count Wampyr
15. Question: When is the next time there will be a full moon on Halloween?
16. Question: What do you call a fear of Halloween?
17. Question: What is the name of Ireland’s traditional Halloween bread?
18. Question: Which state produces the most pumpkins?
19. Question: Where in the United States can you traditionally find the biggest Halloween parade?
Answer: New York City
20. Question: Halloween is the second most commercial holiday in the United States. Which holiday is No. 1?
21. Question: When was the Halloween song “Monster Mash” first recorded?
22. Question: Who are the guests of the Halloween party, according to the lyrics of “Monster Mash”?
Answer: Wolfman, Dracula and his son
23. Question: Where did real mummies originate?
Answer: Ancient Egypt
24. Question: Which story originated the Headless Horseman?
Answer: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
25. Question: Who wrote the horror book Frankenstein?
Answer: Mary Shelley
Still curious about Halloween traditions after these Halloween trivia questions and answers? Find out why we carve pumpkins.
26. Question: Michael Myers’s mask in Halloween was that of a famous actor. Which one?
Answer: William Shatner—the studio didn’t have much of a budget, so his mask was a Shatner mask from Star Trek painted white and distorted.
27. Question: How many Michael Myers movies are there?
Answer: 13. If you’re a fan of Halloween trivia questions, try this horror movie trivia next!
28. Question: Which actor turned down the role of Max Dennison in Hocus Pocus?
Answer: Leonardo DiCaprio
29. Question: Which famous boy band used the mansion from Casper for one of their music videos?
Answer: The Backstreet Boys, for the “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” video
30. Question: What year did Halloweentown premiere on Disney Channel?
31. Question: Where was Halloweentown filmed?
32. Question: Who did Tim Burton want to play Beetlejuice in Beetlejuice?
Answer: Sammy Davis Jr.
33. Question: What was Beetlejuice almost called?
Answer: Scared Sheetless
34. Question: Which TV network airs the 31 Nights of Halloween event?
35. Question: What colors make up Freddy Krueger’s shirt in A Nightmare on Elm Street?
Answer: Red and green
36. Question: How long did it take to put on Freddy Krueger’s makeup in A Nightmare on Elm Street?
Answer: 3 1/2 hours
37. Question: How many takes did it take to get the puking scene right in The Exorcist?
Answer: Just one
38. Question: Which horror movie earned the most at the box office?
If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit, we recommend checking out these scary movies on Netflix.
39. Question: What is the most popular Halloween candy in America?
Answer: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
40. Question: About how much money does the United States spend on Halloween candy annually?
Answer: Around $3 billion
41. Question: What was the original name of candy corn?
Answer: Chicken feed
42. Question: What two candy bars were the first to come in “fun size”?
Answer: Snickers and Milky Way
43. Question: In which decade did the term “trick or treat” originate in the United States?
Answer: The 1920s
44. Question: How is the Dum-Dums mystery flavor lollipop made?
Answer: At the end of the production run, Dum-Dums mixes the leftover candy together to form a new (mysterious) flavor for its lollipops.
45. Question: What is the least popular Halloween candy?
Answer: Candy corn
46. Question: On average, how many cups of sugar from Halloween candy do kids consume each year?
Answer: Three cups
47. Question: How far in advance does Hershey’s start production on Halloween candy?
Answer: Six months in advance
48. Question: How many pounds of candy corn are produced each year?
Answer: 35 million pounds
49. Question: What day is National Candy Corn Day?
Answer: Oct. 30
50. Question: How many pounds of chocolate are sold during Halloween week?
Answer: 90 million pounds
ChatGPT's ability to provide conversational answers to any question at any time makes the chatbot a handy resource for your information needs. Despite the convenience, a new study finds that you may not want to use ChatGPT for software engineering prompts.
Before the rise of AI chatbots, Stack Overflow was the go-to resource for programmers who needed advice for their projects, with a question-and-answer model similar to ChatGPT's.
Also: How to block OpenAI's new AI-training web crawler from ingesting your data
However, with Stack Overflow, you have to wait for someone to answer your question while with ChatGPT, you don't.
As a result, many software engineers and programmers have turned to ChatGPT with their questions. Since there was no data showing just how efficacious ChatGPT is in answering those types of prompts, a new Purdue University study investigated the dilemma.
To find out just how efficient ChatGPT is in answering software engineering prompts, the researchers gave ChatGPT 517 Stack Overflow questions and examined the accuracy and quality of those answers.
Also: How to use ChatGPT to write code
The results showed that out of the 512 questions, 259 (52%) of ChatGPT's answers were incorrect and only 248 (48%) were correct. Moreover, a whopping 77% of the answers were verbose.
Despite the significant inaccuracy of the answers, the results did show that the answers were comprehensive 65% of the time and addressed all aspects of the question.
To further analyze the quality of ChatGPT responses, the researchers asked 12 participants with different levels of programming expertise to provide their insights on the answers.
Also: Stack Overflow uses AI to provide programmers new access to community knowledge
Although the participants preferred Stack Overflow's responses over ChatGPT's across various categories, as seen by the graph, the participants failed to correctly identify incorrect ChatGPT-generated answers 39.34% of the time.
According to the study, the well-articulated responses ChatGPT outputs caused the users to overlook incorrect information in the answers.
"Users overlook incorrect information in ChatGPT answers (39.34% of the time) due to the comprehensive, well-articulated, and humanoid insights in ChatGPT answers," the authors wrote.
Also: How ChatGPT can rewrite and Excellerate your existing code
The generation of plausible-sounding answers that are incorrect is a significant issue across all chatbots because it enables the spread of misinformation. In addition to that risk, the low accuracy scores should be enough to make you reconsider using ChatGPT for these types of prompts.