Essay Sample on Cognitive Habits in Critical Thinking

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1258 Words
Date:  2022-03-11


Specific populations need to depend on cognitive habits that are part of critical thinking to maintain good health. Cognitive habits are the manner in which humans arrange their mental functions. As a result, cognitive habits are a way of thinking that determines one's personality. Because of the complexity involved in different characters, psychologist Carl Jung observed that eight different cognitive functions enable humans to excel in various fields and exhibit different personalities. Medical-surgical nursing is a field that requires the use of critical thinking, but the same applies to their patients they care for, such as the diabetic population. Habits of the mind demand one to continually question their actions before coming up with solutions to various challenges they encounter.

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The general diabetic population is a population made up of people suffering from type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that develops when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or when the body does not fully utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar in the body. Insufficient insulin production or utilization leads to an uncontrolled rise in blood sugar. High blood sugar levels damage some of the body systems such as the nerves and blood vessels.

People living with diabetes depend on the daily administration of insulin. Diabetes increases the chances of suffering from secondary diseases such as stroke, heart attack, nerve damage, and in some cases kidney failure. Because of the risks associated with diabetes, the diabetic population needs to use critical thinking in their daily cognitive processes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that is mostly dependable on the lifestyle of the affected. As a result, they need to carefully analyze their lifestyle choices and make decisions that take their health into account.

One aspect of critical thinking requires that the diabetic population keep an open mind. The diabetic community needs to recognize that the situation can change at any given time. Because diabetes affects neurology, the diabetic population is highly susceptible to psychological conditions such as dementia (Polonsky et al., 2018. Because of these threats, cognitive behaviors profoundly influence critical thinking in this particular population. Some of the cognitive processes that encourage critical thinking is making decisions based on available data. Analyzing is an integral part of critical thinking that reduces the margin of error in the performance of tasks. Simple tasks such as administering insulin to more pressing tasks such as deciding when to see the doctor. Before deciding to administer insulin the patient needs to have observed some changes in their wellbeing that indicates a rise in blood sugar. The diabetic population follows the same process before deciding to visit a doctor.

Learning is another cognitive habit that encourages critical thinking. Education improves information seeking. The diabetic population needs to improve their knowledge base on the disease continually. They have to keep themselves updated on the causes and treatment options for diabetes. Research on treatment of diabetes is an ongoing process. Discoveries are made every day on the treatment of diabetes. The diabetic population has to utilize learning as a cognitive process to keep up with the latest treatment methods for diabetes. The process of learning requires that the person involved seek knowledge, evidence, and facts by identifying relevant sources and gathering objective data. All this process builds up to information seeking which is a critical thinking skill.

Assessment Tool and Question Rationale

Describe your thinking when you find yourself in a situation where you have run out of insulin, and your blood sugar is on the rise? This question is meant to measure the critical thinking skill of intellectual integrity. The patient's ability to seek the truth through honest processes even if it seems tempting to cut shortcuts and the results do not look promising.

What do you do when the blood sugar remains unstable even after administering insulin to yourself? The purpose of this question is to assess the intuition part of the cognitive process. The rationale here is that the right intuition is an extension of applying standards. Applying standards requires a patient to use personal and social rules to decide on the next course of action (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2015).

How do you realize you have made an assumption that could place your health at risk? The rationale of the question is to determine the patient's ability to keep an open mind. Open-mindedness requires that a patient assess their choices and decisions (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2015). Evaluating how a patient self-reflects on their choices enables the nurse to determine the patient's prowess in applying standards as a skill in critical thinking.

What keeps you going when the disease seems like it is getting the best of you? The rationale in this question is that the patient needs to have the will to live for them to apply critical thinking to maintain their health. This question enables the nurse to assess the patient's perseverance as a cognitive process. Persistence is the determination to keep going on the main course of action even when the odds results are not as intended.

How do deal with ideas that contradict the standard procedure? The question assesses the patient's ability to stay on course even in the presence of distractions. The rationale for this question is that the nurse will be able to determine the patient's cognitive process of intellectual integrity by seeking the truth through actual methods (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2015).

How do you deal with constant weight gain that destabilizes your blood sugar levels? The central objective of the question is to determine the patient's analytic skills. The rationale for this question is that weight gain is a complex problem that needs to be broken down into simpler units before it can be solved (Hasanpour, Oskouie & Salsalei, 2005).

How do you differentiate between a bad idea and a good idea? The question assesses the patient's ability to use inquisitiveness to discriminate (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2015). The rationale of the matter is that an inquisitive patient will observation along with thoughtful questioning to recognize differences and similarities in various situations.

What are the new treatment options available for diabetes? This question is assessing the critical thinking skill of information seeking. Evaluating how a patient does their research would give the nurse a view of the patient's research skills (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2015). A patient who is unaware of the developments made in the medical field is less likely to seek further medical treatment that could improve their condition.


Cognitive processes are the functions of the brain that dictate decision making and hence affect personality. In diabetic populations, the cognitive processes should develop critical thinking skills. Diabetic people are vulnerable to various health risks such as psychological instability. The diabetic population could, therefore, depend on cognitive habits such as learning to develop critical thinking skills such as information seeking. Medical-surgical nursing students could consequently use the tool to help them assess critical thinking in the diabetic population by asking questions that traces the cognitive process of the diabetic population.


Hasanpour, M., Oskouie, F., & Salsalei, M. (2005). Critical thinking in nursing education. Iran Journal of Nursing, 18(41), 7-16.

Polonsky, W. H., Fisher, L., Earles, J., Dudl, R. J., Lees, J., Mullan, J., & Jackson, R. A. (2005). Assessing psychosocial distress in diabetes: development of the diabetes distress scale. Diabetes Care, 28(3), 626-631.

Rubenfeld, M., & Scheffer, B. (2015). Assessing Critical Thinking. In M. Rubenfeld, & B. Scheffer, Critical Thinking TACTICS For Nurses: Achieving The IOM Competencies (2nd Edition ed., pp. 259-285). Burlington, Massachusetts, United States: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Retrieved August 25, 2018

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