Critical Thinking: you have it or you don't. Agree or disagree? - page 9

by LTCnurse11

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I was told during my brief stint working med surg that you either have critical thinking or you don't. Thoughts?... Read More


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    I was asking a friend (a nurse that doesn't come onto allnurses) what she thought about this topic. She said of course I had critical thinking skills. She said to me that I'm the best wife and mom who uses her critical thinking skills everyday, I see the big picture in everything, I see that ever action has a reaction. I was very moved by her words.

    But I don't think those are the same critical thinking skills I use for nursing. It's almost like I use a different set for nursing. For those of you that are spouses and parents, do you feel the same critical thinking skills you use in those roles are comparable to the ones you use as nurses?
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    Quote from proud nurse
    I was asking a friend (a nurse that doesn't come onto allnurses) what she thought about this topic. She said of course I had critical thinking skills. She said to me that I'm the best wife and mom who uses her critical thinking skills everyday, I see the big picture in everything, I see that ever action has a reaction. I was very moved by her words.

    But I don't think those are the same critical thinking skills I use for nursing. It's almost like I use a different set for nursing. For those of you that are spouses and parents, do you feel the same critical thinking skills you use in those roles are comparable to the ones you use as nurses?
    My nursing thought process is different than my parental thought process, but for obvious reasons you can't deliver the same care to patients as to your kids. There is some overlap but a divide in how you think. However, the point is of course seeing the big picture which I think is mandatory in nursing but also in life.
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    How do you kick start or believe in you critical thinking skills?
  4. 2
    Quote from RNperdiem
    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.
    I graduate in a couple weeks and let me tell ya, my critical thinking is WAY better now than it was as a baby freshman nursing student, and i'm hoping it will continue to improve with experience and practice. I agree that critical thinking is something a person develops over time. :-)
    LadyFree28 and GrnTea like this.
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    Critical thinking doesn't mean having immediate answers; it also means knowing which questions to ask. I do believe that some have more potential than others--part of what makes us who we are.
    GrnTea and LadyFree28 like this.
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    LTCnurse11, I am glad you brought up this topic. I'm a new grad RN and I just completed my first full day with my preceptor, with my anxiety level going through the roof. While she did not say I was incompetent for not knowing exactly what to do or look out for with a patient, she did mention getting away from being task oriented and being more patient focused and thinking critically. I understand her point since we are supposed to be our patient's advocates, but I think we expect too much if we think that finishing nursing school will somehow imbibe you with the magical ability to think critically when it comes to patient care. I have read some of the comments on this forum which seem to imply that very thing. It only makes for increased anxiety and stress in us new nurses and those who are still learning this skill. It's like expecting someone with one child to have the same instincts and abilities as someone with a dozen children. Just saying.
    GrnTea likes this.
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    I think critical thinking is something that needs to be developed and then fine tuned.

    I do wish there was more of a combination of the old days of diploma nursing and the academic programs. Someway to keep the academic method but to be able to handle a full caseload out of nursing school.
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    Quote from applesxoranges
    I think critical thinking is something that needs to be developed and then fine tuned.

    I do wish there was more of a combination of the old days of diploma nursing and the academic programs. Someway to keep the academic method but to be able to handle a full caseload out of nursing school.
    And while we're being nostalgic for a time long past, let's also remember that when diploma programs were the rule rather than the exception, it was vanishingly rare to have more than two or three IVs on an entire 45-bed floor (yes, true story), people were admitted the night before their routine cholecystectomies and kept in for a week, and ICUs were a fairly new concept. I remember those days very clearly and cut my patient-care teeth in them. It was much easier to be "able to handle a full caseload" of people when many of them weren't as ill or burdened with the technology as the ones we have today. That time is dead and gone, and it ain't coming back.
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    Quote from GrnTea
    And while we're being nostalgic for a time long past, let's also remember that when diploma programs were the rule rather than the exception, it was vanishingly rare to have more than two or three IVs on an entire 45-bed floor (yes, true story), people were admitted the night before their routine cholecystectomies and kept in for a week, and ICUs were a fairly new concept. I remember those days very clearly and cut my patient-care teeth in them. It was much easier to be "able to handle a full caseload" of people when many of them weren't as ill or burdened with the technology as the ones we have today. That time is dead and gone, and it ain't coming back.
    I don't think that is what was meant. As a preceptor of senior nursing students from a variety of schools and programs I have noticed dramatic differences in my students readiness to handle a full case load. A full case load would mean (to me) 4 med-surg patients, two relatively stable ICU patient, or one unstable ICU patient None of them are, but some are much close than others. Students from one particular school have always been much closer the being able to function independently, while students from another school are all practically helpless. Students from other schools fall in between.


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