Critical thinking occurs through a recognizable process when done properly and evident in cases when it fails to happen. During the past thirty years, much of critical thinking has been talked about. Critical thinking plays a vital role in decision making. Fortunate enough, nursing is growing to be professional and non-critical obedience forms the order of the day. Nursing due to increased autonomy works with complex situations that involve critical thinking as one of the core competencies. Therefore, the essential elements of critical thinking include learning processes that provide critical thinking; the first being substantive. The second type of learning involves critical thinking and is about raising skills in questions, perspectives and explanations and other mandates that can be learned through thoughtful consideration (Morris, 2015). The myriad dimensions of critical thinking that apply to nursing professionals include;
The strategies for building critical thinking skills
Critical thinking is facilitated through a caring, flexible, respectful, and non-threatening environment. The nurses who are well acquainted with the nursing process tend to know much about critical thinking since they originate from some of the principles. Some of these strategies include fostering mental traits to the thinkers and taking some time to reflect the thinking in nursing and practice.
It refers to the methods of thinking about patient care conditions. It applies the though process linked to critical thinking that appears in the form of problem-solving, ethical, diagnostic and moral reasoning while making decisions on nursing and evidence-based practices and client care (Morris, 2015). The cognitive and metacognitive processes are applicable in the field of nursing and help the nurses in developing sound reasoning. For example, during the assessment of the patient, the nurse will use metacognition in reflecting the collected information to ensure that all the essential details are documented.
The combination of critical thinking and clinical reasoning is useful I coming up with the clinical experience which serves as the conclusion or decision made by a nurse. Usually, the judgment or decision is an interpretation of the client's needs and health challenges. The process is useful in improving the new decisions judged to be appropriate for the patient's response.
Models to respond to the clinical judgment
In making an excellent clinical judgment, the nurse is obligated to have an adequate understanding of the pathophysiologic and diagnostic information regarding the patient's condition. The experience and knowledge before diagnosis and the overall assessment of the situation are useful in facilitating the process (Cappelletti, Engel, & Prentice, 2014). The nurses, therefore, apply one or different types of reasoning to come up with clinical judgments. The other reasoning methods include using intuition and other narrative techniques.
Tanner came up with a four-step theory that describes stages of clinical judgment. The four phases apply to a rapidly changing clinical situation and include noticing, interpreting, reflecting and responding. During the first stage of the model, the nurse makes use of patient's knowledge to assess the clinical situation. The nurse then applies reasoning skills to interpret the meaning of data and give a response to the to the prevailing situation by determining the appropriate measures (Morris, 2015). In the final phase of the model, the nurse reflects upon the overall condition.
Cappelletti, A., Engel, J. K., & Prentice, D. (2014). A systematic review of clinical judgment and reasoning in nursing. Journal of Nursing Education, 53(8), 453-458
Morris, B.C. (2015). Think Like a Nurse: Essential Thinking Skills for Professional Nurses. Phenix.edu
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