Critical Thinking in Nursing

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CRITICAL THINKING IN NURSING Critical thinking is defined as a reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do (Baker 1996).. It is an attitude of inquiry that involves the use of facts, principles, theories, abstractions, deductions, interpretations, and evaluation of arguments (Matthews, Gual 1979). The National League of Nursing anticipated the need to move from the nursing process to critical thinking in 1983 when it emphasized that nursing graduates should be able to think critically. It also included critical thinking as a criterion for baccalaureate program accreditation.Due to current nursing shortages, cost containment and high expectations for quality nursing care, there is a urgent need for nurses to recognize and act upon organizational and system problems. Critical thinking is essential for nurses working in perioperative care. It is a vital part of nursing care. The nurses scope of practiced has expanded therefore the demand for critical thinking, the ability to solve problems, and ability to make sound judgments has also increased. Some things included in critical thinking for my workplace include:
• identifying and solving patient care problems
• putting into operation surgery departments ' missions
• directing and contributing to strategic planning
• creating an atmosphere that allows staff to make sound decisions by following their gut feelings Ambulatory surgery care occurs in a decreased time frame, which means we must be able to perform tasks quickly and efficiently to ensure a positive patient outcome. Some skills required include ability to gather information from patients and family, make accurate judgments, use critical thinking skills and prioritize. Patients are to be considered as a whole, the goal of the care being provided, the best way to meet the goal, and how we can provide the most positive outcomes for patients. There are many opportunities to demonstrate critical thinking in



References: Baker, C. R. Reflective learning: A teaching strategy for critical thinking,(1996) Journal of Nursing Education 35 19-22. Facione, N.C, Facione P.A Assessment design issues for evaluating critical thinking in nursing.(1996) Holistic Nursing Practice v10 n3 41(13) Fawcett,D.L. The Ambulatory Surgery Unit as a Learning Experience.(1999) Association of Operating Room Nurses Journal v70 i5 782 International Nursing Index, sv nursing process (1980). New York: American Journal of Nursing. Matthews, C.A., Gual, A.L. Nursing diagnosis from the prospective of concept attainment and critical thinking, (1979)Advances in Nursing Science 2 17-26. Tanner, C.A. Critical thinking: Beyond nursing process. Journal of Nursing Education (2000). 39(8):338-9.

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