What does critical thinking mean to you?

  1. Hi, I have a writing assignment coming up that asks to interview nurses currently in clinical practice and ask the question, "What does critical thinking mean to you as a nurse?" I know it is a broad question, but I would love your feedback. Thanks!
  2. Visit AVC82080 profile page

    About AVC82080

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 2


  3. by   navynurse06
    Critical thinking to me is looking at all aspects of taking care of the pt, and planning for anything that can go wrong. Its not just looking at the surface of what's being presented. Critical thinking is hard to 'learn'; you gain it with experience. That's why a lot of new nursing students have a hard time with tests in the 1st few nursing courses.
    I hope this helps.
  4. by   NaomieRN
    Critical thinking to me, is to think outside of the box and able to apply factual knowledge in the process.
    Also, having avgood common sense along with the scientific knowledge.
  5. by   VickyRN
    I like delBueno's definition of critical thinking, "Doing the right thing for the right reason." Critical thinking is all about the "WHY's" of nursing care and distinguishes us from merely being task-oriented. The patient's best interest is always central to the nurse's critical thinking process.
  6. by   I RN A
    Critical thinking to me is a cobination of logic, ceativity and intuitive thinking. The things in life are not just black and white. Sometimes as a nurse you have to be creative and think out of the box.
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    This is how I define it: the ability to choose the right priority, at the right time, and to provide the right intervention, without losing track of other priorities.

    It is a combination of the ability to accurately prioritize, competently intervene, and effectively organize.

    I have compared it to juggling and the ability to pull the right ball out of the act and present it for examination without halting the juggling act.

    To me, I take mental 'snapshots' of my patients constantly and compare them to previous 'snapshots'. I constantly ask myself: What's new, what's different, is it a positive or negative change, and what should or can I do to encourage that change, or intervene in that change. Then I add that to my priority list and compare it with the other items on that list to see how it compares in priority.

    In this way, I keep an ongoing mental 'status board' of where I'm at with my patients and what needs to be done in what priority, and I attack it in order of priority.

    That's what critical thinking means to me.

  8. by   Tweety
    Good answers above.

    It's being able to recognize "what comes next", or what could possibly happen, or "what does this really mean and why".

    It's listening to someone's lungs and not just saying "I hear rales" and then going about your business. It's being able to figure out why and perhaps what you can do about it. Are they wet? Dry? Hypoxic? What other things should I be looking at? Periperal edema? Lab values? Xrays? What's my "hunch"? How do things look, feel and smell. What are my "guts" telling me?

    It's taking the next step, rather than just stopping at step one and performing tasks only.
  9. by   Shaneomac
    Thinking while sober.

    HAHAHAHAHA just kidding!!!! To me it means analysing information and forming my own opinion about that information.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Okay - back when I went to nursing school the first time (late 70's, then quit mid-semester to join the Navy - lol), our instructors (nuns actually) told us that we all needed to have common sense.

    Okay...come forward to 1990 when I returned to nursing school, now we have critical thinking. All I have ever understood is that critical thinking is good old fashioned common sense. Another words...look for the horse before looking for the zebra.