I am currently a nursing student. One of my assignments asks to write a paper regarding critical thinking. Part of the assigenment asks to interview practicing nurses: what critical thinking means to you? I would love to hear what you think!
Oct 10, '06
Critical thinking is like this example I gave in another thread.
Like - example here. Simpliest example I can think of.
A person has bronchitis - severe enough to be put in the hospital. Well how are healthy lungs going to work? Thats the first step in the process. When you know that gas exchange down in the little alveoli is what really matters then the gunk that builds up in the lining of someone with bronchitis gets then you realize that the gas is not going to properly exchage.
You must realize (by breaking down the word - Bronchitis) that it is an infection of the lung. What do you see with infections? Usually anyway? A fever - irritation/redness. How do you fix an infection? Depends on the TYPE of infection (bacterial/viral/fungal etc), must do a smear of the gunk coughed up. Then they gram stain it and you get results and vualla? IE antibiotic prescribed (or not if it's viral of course)
But then you must deal with the symptoms too. You must get rid of the gunk. How do you get rid of thick slimy gunk? Well - you need to thin the gunk of course - so that you can make it easier to cough out. How do you thin the gunk? Well - what is the gunk? Mucus. How do you thin mucus? Mucolytic
My biggest suggestion for ANYONE in nursing school is don't just READ about a disease process, understand it as if it were one of your parents who have the disease. Read everything you can on it.
Understand the body - and how it works is the first step. If you understand how it's supposed to work then when something goes wrong - everything will fall into place.
Last edit by JentheRN05 on Oct 10, '06
Oct 10, '06
I completely agree with the above poster. Knowing the actual pathophysiology and truely grasping the concept behind an illness or disease process is a major part of critical thinking.
Understanding why certain things happen they way they do instead of just knowing "this patient has HTN" will also enable you to comprehend better why certain medications are prescribed and how they actually work on certain cells/organs/etc....
I am a strong believer that if you read something and you comprehend the topic thoroughly, you SHOULD be able to teach it to anyone...other students, patients, whomever. If you can't do that, then you probably don't understand it as well as you think you do. When I was in nursing school I used to read over a topic and then try and summarize it all in my own words. That really helped me learn the material in my "own way".
Critical thinking also involves handling any situation effectively and safely. If a patient calls the office and complains of some "chest pain", what does a nurse do? He/she gathers details and makes a logical decision based on that information presented. This is all part of the critical thinking and decision making.
Kind of reminds me of the nursing process...AAPIE. We all use it in some form or another everday!
Hope that helps...
Oct 10, '06
dacryocystitis: What does AAPIE stand for? I thought the Nursing Process is Assess, Diagnose, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate.
Oct 11, '06
Critical thinking is very simply making judgments based on facts rather than making random guesses based on nothing. You need to use sound principles of nursing and the nursing process. The nursing process is actually an adaptation of the scientific process. It is reasoned, logical thinking where each step of the process has rationale supporting it.
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