Effective Clinical Reasoning

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Despite technological and medical advances today, chronic disease and resultant co-morbidities are prevalent in the Australian Healthcare System. As a result, patients, especially in the acute care setting, have more complex care needs. The management and care of patients with these complex care needs present a challenge for the contemporary nursing professional. Positive patient outcomes will be dependent on a number of factors, such as the assessment of the patient’s condition, the identification of potential risks for the patient, the planning of appropriate care and the management of the subsequent interventions that may be required. To provide timely and appropriately managed care, the nurse will need to possess and develop clinical reasoning and effective communication skills. The significance of these skills will be outlined by discussing the importance of the identification and management of early warning signs. Then an insight into the value of clinical reasoning for the nursing professional will be addressed. Additionally, an overview of an effective communication technique between the nurse and other health care workers will be provided. Moreover, to emphasise the importance of the nursing actions, interventions and ability to timely manage and respond to these early warning signs, a reflection of the provided case study will be highlighted. Early Cues / Late Cues:

The identification and management of early warning signs are critical, especially in the acute care setting where patients have more complex care needs. According to Levett-Jones et al. (2010, p.515) Acute care settings are characterised by patients with complex health problems who are more likely to be or become seriously ill during their hospital stay. Although warning signs often precede serious adverse events there is consistent evidence that ‘at risk’ patients are not...
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