Critical Thinking

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Critical Thinking
When questioned on the importance of critical thinking and why nurses need to be able to critically think. I reviewed what critical thinking means. Webster’s dictionary states that critical thinking is disciplined intellectual criticism that combines research, knowledge of historical context, and balanced judgment (Webster’s, 2005). Reviewing several journals, newspaper articles and web sites the perfect definition was found from a public university “knowing what to believe or do” (Ennis, 1985) That definition sums it up, but there is much more to critical thinking than just what the definitions gives us. A required competency in the practice of nursing is critical thinking and critical thinking skills. It is very important to promote critical thinking in every clinical setting to be able to implement problem solving, decision making, and the ability to arrive at a conclusion regarding a patient’s condition.

Critical thinking is the disciplined, intellectual process of applying skillful reasoning as a guide to belief or action (Paul, Ennis & Norris 1989). Critical thinking is of high importance in the nursing field. It is also an essential clinical skill and an important complement to our profession. It is commonly linked to problem solving and finding better solutions or explanations for certain events. Making good decisions and sound judgment and assuming responsibility is a number one priority in nursing. Being able to look at a problem in different ways, work through it to come to a resolution. Apply the knowledge you have learned to figure out what your next step, is essential in critical thinking. In my opinion it is one of the most important skills a nurse can have. Being able to make judgment calls and prioritize any problem that comes up in various situations on a daily basis. By practicing those skills of assessing, gathering, comprehending, and synthesizing all forms of information in order to solve a problem....
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