Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

  1. 5
    Do you find yourself questioning and re-questioning rationales related to "critical thinking" questions? Yeah we all do..... I just felt like posting about this elusive "great white buffalo". I have researched, between study sessions, about critical thinking in academia.... I found a quote from an online forum hosted by a professor I really felt had some decent insight. "using specific content to teach critical thinking skills presents inherent dangers".

    I find this to be true. The critical thinking skills I have developed, I have done so through EXPERIENCE!!! And... thatís how YOU will develop them as well. Once you have become an RN and are practicing, you will be able to delineate alternative solutions and think beyond the right here and now. For most of us the fundamental aspects of what nursing is, should be the focus of our education. I feel that actually these ridiculous "critical thinking" demands are prematurely being put on students. Critical thinking is a part of the NCLEX exam, which comes at the end of the program after one has a solid basis of BASIC nursing knowledge and exposure (some experience).

    It seems schools are so NCLEX PASS RATE happy, that some would haphazardly introduce such dangerous requirements so early on.... Experience is the real teacher for critical thinking... NOT THEORY!!!!!

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  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 1
    I totally agree. I am in first semester of nursing school and they definitely just throw these awful questions at you. They are worded so professionally, it is hard to comprehend them. I am discouraged already and it sucks because I know the material and skills and can apply them-- I am just having a very hard time with the questions.
    clandestine-approach likes this.
  4. 2
    Quote from clandestine-approach
    Do you find yourself questioning and re-questioning rationales related to "critical thinking" questions? Yeah we all do..... I just felt like posting about this elusive "great white buffalo". I have researched, between study sessions, about critical thinking in academia.... I found a quote from an online forum hosted by a professor I really felt had some decent insight. "using specific content to teach critical thinking skills presents inherent dangers".

    I find this to be true. The critical thinking skills I have developed, I have done so through EXPERIENCE!!! And... thatís how YOU will develop them as well. Once you have become an RN and are practicing, you will be able to delineate alternative solutions and think beyond the right here and now. For most of us the fundamental aspects of what nursing is, should be the focus of our education. I feel that actually these ridiculous "critical thinking" demands are prematurely being put on students. Critical thinking is a part of the NCLEX exam, which comes at the end of the program after one has a solid basis of BASIC nursing knowledge and exposure (some experience).

    It seems schools are so NCLEX PASS RATE happy, that some would haphazardly introduce such dangerous requirements so early on.... Experience is the real teacher for critical thinking... NOT THEORY!!!!!
    So students shouldn't be required to use critical thinking skills during school because it could be "dangerous"? When exactly should one start using critical thinking skills if not during school? Critical thinking is not something that can just be switched on and off. If you haven't been taught how to critically think during school, how are you just going to "know" how for the NCLEX? In my opinion, the best time to practice critical thinking is during theory and clinicals. That's when you are monitored and coached and errors in the critical thinking process can be corrected before something truly "dangerous" happens.
    deleern and CBsMommy like this.
  5. 3
    So-called 'critical thinking' in nursing education is a pet peeve of mine.

    Sometimes, you need NCLEX-style specific strategies to determine the 'best' of several not-quite-right answer choices. I wouldn't call that testing critical thinking. And I wouldn't call that testing nursing knowledge or judgement.

    Sometimes all of the patient/scenario information given in a test question is just a red herring that really doesn't figure into answering the question! It would really throw me when the given rationale for the 'right' answer would focus on content and not draw attention to the fact that small variations in wording of the question and answers might change what the 'best' answer is.

    Succeeding at the NCLEX does involve some application of critical thinking skills, but it's not *testing* critical thinking skills!

    Rant over!
  6. 2
    Learning how to think critically is a long process, which is why we need nursing school; that is, unless you're some kind of phenom where you have innate nursing knowledge and can pass Nclex with zero training.

    Those critical thinking questions are like a puzzle; every word (small, big, concrete, abstract) has a specific meaning relative to its context. Really, they're fun questions.
    deleern and Boog'sCRRN246 like this.
  7. 1
    I don't know about other schools but at mine, we were never taught how to critical think. We were just expected to do it on our tests. I can see how experence would help with this but we shouldn't be expected to know how to di it without guidance of some sort.
    clandestine-approach likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from JamieJCST
    I don't know about other schools but at mine, we were never taught how to critical think (more accurately, how to take nursing tests, bold added) We were just expected to do it on our tests. I can see how experence would help with this but we shouldn't be expected to know how to di it without guidance of some sort.
    I agree. "If you use your critical thinking skills, it's clear why C is the best choice" is neither guidance nor teaching, yet that's too often how questions were answered. When asking for clarification on test questions, even a diligent, responsible, well-studied student would often get the sharp rebuke - "You can't expect to be spoonfed; you'll never learn to think critcally that way!"
    Blech!
  9. 2
    Okay. I am in first semester, it's a one-day hybrid the rest of the time.

    Think we're getting any real teaching? Of course not! I can read the power points, and we are Required to print out all of the handouts as they 'will not be provided.'

    I am a fairly intelligent person; passed the NCLEX-PN 10 months after graduation without ever looking at a book, passed the TX CSR exam, and have done several other things.

    So what did I make on my 1st exam?
    60. My midterm? 54. I am devastated. I study from 10am-11pm!!! I simply cannot Retain all the information, learn all the lab values(NONE were even on the test)and the drugs, interactions, adverse effects, etc.

    I have been a LVN for a very long time, I love nursing, and I am not about to quit!

    I need help. I am going through the unexpected death of my twin sister; I don't know how I am even getting up every day.

    Please help me; anyone have any ideas on how I can try to pull this together?

    I don't even begin to understand why they have "distractors" in the questions; you could kill a patient while you are trying to figure out the distractors!
    If I were a patient, I would Not care if my nurse had the lowest grades; if she came in my room, had a nice smile, made me comfortable, and showed that she understood that I needed her to take care of me, I would be grateful.

    I've taught my family not to be concerned about whether a nurse had a 4.0; only that she had a caring attitude, showed compassion, and made me believe she really was there to take care of me and not for just a paycheck.

    Thanks for letting a grieving student sister rant.
  10. 0
    Slimlvn: Sorry about your troubles. If you start your own thread, you'll get more responses. I'd also recommend posting it on the "general nursing student discussions" board to get it seen by more potential responders (this board doesn't get a lot of traffic).
  11. 0
    Well I took a critical thinking course as my humanities. I thought it would look good on my resume. It was a mistake on my part. My thought was that it would teach you how to think on your feet and choose the best possible answer. The class did do that somewhat but to get to the answer took about 3-4 days if you did it the way they wanted. It was 7 steps and one step was to analyze for a day and sleep on it that night! I could see how that would work in a hospital setting(sacrasm). It was actually more of a debate type class where we researched topics and made strong supportive arguments or our opinions.


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