critical thinking with these questions involves taking the nursing process into account. remember the steps of the nursing process:
- assessment (collect data)
- nursing diagnosis (determine your patient problem, decide on the nursing diagnosis to use)
- planning (write measurable goals/outcomes and nursing interventions)
- implementation (initiate the care plan)
- evaluation (determine if goals/outcomes have been met)
these questions were questions that fit the nursing process. also, keep in mind that the nursing process is nothing more than a problem solving method. we solve problems every day of our lives using the same process and in the same sequence of steps. nursing just gave it a fancy name and gave us specific rules to follow when performing it. but, it is good, solid rational thinking.
if you have a nclex review book, read the beginning of it where it should discuss the strategy of answering these kinds of questions. the
basic strategy for answering critical thinking (application type) questions is as follows, you must:
- know and consider the normal anatomy and physiology
- know and consider abnormal anatomy for the disease in question
- know and consider the resulting signs and symptoms when the disease occurs and how they proceed from mild to fatal - each sign and symptom can be related back to the pathophysiology of the disease
- know and consider how the doctor diagnoses and treats the disease in question
- know nursing interventions for the signs and symptoms you are being asked about
- know the steps of the nursing process and what goes on in each of the steps and consider how they are affecting the question you are being asked
- know and consider the principles behind the actions being done - there are many kinds of principles: principles of nursing, principles of biology, principles of chemistry, principles of physics, etc.
- read the stem of the question carefully and answer that because the test makers try to trip you up by distracting you with conflicting information they give you in the answer choices that sounds good but has no relationship to what the question is asking for
- ask yourself "why" a patient is experiencing some sign or symptoms to get at the underlying problem. nursing like other disciplines treats the problem/signs and symptoms.
you should also review the information on this thread: