Critical Thinking and the Nursing Process
This week I have learned that the ability to think critically is an essential part of the nursing process. Critical thinking is defined in the book as a combination of reasoned thinking, openness to alternatives, an ability to reflect, and a desire to seek truth. From learning about critical thinking skills in concepts class and learning about health assessments in foundations class, I can see how critical thinking skills can be utilized when doing health assessments. Purpose of a Health Assessment
The purpose of a health assessment is to gather information about a patient’s overall status. A nurse performs a health assessment to observe the patient’s responses to an injury, disease, or illness so that the nurse can help the patient correctly deal with the problem. This is interesting to me because I assumed the main role of a nurse was to help the doctor diagnose and treat an injury, disease, or illness. Critical Thinking Skills and How I Can Apply Them
A health assessment includes a health history and a physical examination. During the health history portion, as a nurse, I must gather information from the patient. This includes patient demographic data, past health history (past problems and illnesses, treatments, and surgeries), family health history, current medications, and reason for visit. I will have to ask questions and listen carefully to the patient to determine what information is relevant and what is not. I must evaluate the patient objectively, without biases to determine what the problem is and what assistance is needed. During the physical examination portion, I must gather data through observation and touching. The purpose is to observe the patient’s physical and psychological responses to injury, illness, or disease. A nurse needs self-knowledge to prepare for the exam. Having self-knowledge will mean knowing my skill and comfort level, as well as, knowing if I need to review material or...
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