What Does It Mean to “Think Like a Nurse?”

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To think like a nurse entails a large variety of things which we as students are yet to be competent in.

We must practice in a safe manner according to the standards and laws of the nursing profession and health systems. As a nurse we should always respect the range of cultures, ethnicity, values and beliefs of the vast variety of everyone who we encounter and care for throughout our careers. We are to treat each and every one of them with dignity at all times. We must always treat any personal information as private and confidential to ensure we obtain the upmost confidence and respect of our patients during their treatment time.

Critical thinking is a skill that is learnt, it is the rational process of applying practiced reasoning into everyday decision making with each and every patient and all recipients of care in the health system. We as nurses will learn to have the ability to think in a logically and systematic manner at all times. If there was a situation where for any reason, a competently trained nurse fails to practically apply their critical thinking skills at all times, there could be serious consequences to their patients. Although nurses are trained to be able to notice the warning signs, there have been reported situations where issues, incidences or forms of misconduct have occurred that are not always acted upon in a suitable and well timed manner, allowing serious consequences to unfortunately occur.

Nurses are bound by a number of codes, those being the codes of ethics and professional conduct. The Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia “outlines the nursing profession’s commitment to respect, promote, protect and uphold the fundamental rights of people who are both the recipients and providers of nursing and health care”. (Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council 2008) Nurses should always treat other nursing staff and recipients of care in the health care system with a number of values and are entitled to be able to expect them in...
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