I would recommend practicing critical thinking throughout your day--keep asking yourself why is that? Traffic is quite heavy today, why? Has there been an accident, construction ahead, is it a holiday weekend? And what, if anything can I do about it? Alternate route, turn up the radio, just go home and call out sick? Will I need to get gas?
Like wise this is how you can approach a patient problem. Ms. cholecystectomy complains of pain.Before you run for the narcotics, you need to do a lot more assessing. Where is the pain? What could be causing it? How long since last intervention, what does the patient want?
Or, a patient has a low bp. Why? Meds, shock, dehydrated, that's their normal? And what will you do about it? Call the MD, administer meds, get them something to drink, call a rapid response?
Sometimes you have to think through 2 or more problems, pt is in pain, and their bp is low, and they have a high fever, and their visitor would like a soda.
That is when you need to use nursing prioritization frameworks. ABCs, Mazlows, and my favorite, what is going to kill them first?