Critical Thinking: you have it or you don't. Agree or disagree?

  1. 3
    I was told during my brief stint working med surg that you either have critical thinking or you don't. Thoughts?
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  3. 84 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    Yep I agree you either have it and understand it completely or you just dont
    anotherone, poppycat, lindarn, and 3 others like this.
  5. 33
    I disagree with most black and white statements like that.
    Life is more of a spectrum.
    New nurses might have a less critical thinking is some situations than a more experienced nurse.
    Critical thinking can be developed and increased in nurses who really want to learn how.
    RN in training, Tait, mystory, and 30 others like this.
  6. 1
    I agree RNperdiem but I've heard a few people make that statement. I'm a new nurse and I still need to learn many things. Some people get it easier but others have to work at it.
    JB2007 likes this.
  7. 15
    I think critical thinking comes with time, experience and confidence. I haven't met any brand new nurse that was able to critically think as an experienced nurse would right out of nursing school.

    I do believe some people are cut out to be nurses and some are not.
    TnRN43, aachavez, anotherone, and 12 others like this.
  8. 14
    I don't think there is a standard definition of "critical thinking", so I'll give my definition. In my world, critical thinking is not innate but, rather a learned system to process information to reach a reasonable and logical conclusion.This ability is gained by education, instruction, and (mostly) by experience. Most people, I believe, are born with the ability to learn critical thinking. The ability to put two and two together, or assemble the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
    We all use critical thinking in our daily lives to some extent. Whether driving a car, building a boat, or setting a budget. In the nursing profession, we learn to watch a patient's behavior, V/S, and reactions to drugs. Few people ( I would guess) enter nursing school with the assumption that they will be guarding against physician errors. Yet, every time we receive a new order that is exactly what we do. We learn this trait by education and experience.
    Some of us, no doubt, never attain the breakthrough point where we are able to deduce what is going on internally with our patients. This doesn't mean that they are lacking in the ability to use critical thinking, only that partition of it that relates to nursing.
    brewin, aachavez, anotherone, and 11 others like this.
  9. 5
    Critical thinking. I don't want to be a critical thinker, where has that ever got anybody?

    It's more like street smarts, nursing street smarts.
    DawnJ, anotherone, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 2 others like this.
  10. 1
    My experience with patient care relating to critical thinking has drawn together through various experience in long term care, EMS and a little med surg. Surprised to hear the nursing manager speak to the fact that you either have critical thinking or you don't. Mind you this person has only been a nurse for 5 years and only worked that floor in the hospital.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  11. 17
    After two years of nursing school and almost 10 years as an RN,
    I STILL don't know the exact definition of "critical thinking". Sad, huh?

    In my opinion, it involves a lot of common sense. Something that
    indeed, a lot of people simply do not have. Take my mother in law,
    for instance.

    Take my mother in law, please!! (ba-da-bum!)
    mystory, NurseMoi, imintrouble, and 14 others like this.
  12. 0
    Very, very interesting. I'm enamored to hear this feedback.


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