In nursing practice, many care providers and leaders have to encounter high stress levels due to the nature of their work. Some patients may have critical conditions, decisions may be rather difficult, and there are a lot of situations that require increased attention and efforts. Therefore, leaders should be aware of critical thinking as a key technique to decision-making and problem-solving, so that they can apply their skills in practice and train the staff members.
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While all the nurses and nurse leaders are educated on resolving complicated personal and professional issues, problem-solving is the key strategy they employ. Shahbazi, Heidari, Sureshjani, and Rezaei (2018) state that the two mentioned concepts are interconnected: not only creative thinking contributes to decision-making but also vice versa. The mentioned scholars note that the participants of their study reported the improvement of such skills as information organization, observation, determination, and analysis. Accordingly, one may assume that the application of creative thinking facilitates the mentioned skills in nursing practice, which can be used by nurse leaders. One of the key responsibilities of the leader is to make sure that his or her employees are comfortable with their work, and that the stress they experience is not serious, as mentioned by Shahbazi et al. (2018). In case the team members feel extreme tension or burnout, critical thinking should be used by their leader to help them. In particular, the initial evaluation of stress causes and further identification of its relief techniques should be identified.
Another aspect of the relationship between critical thinking and problem-solving is emotional intelligence. In general, it refers to the recognition of both positive and negative feelings of all people, the separation of feelings from facts, and the competence in understanding one’s mood, gestures, temperament, and purposes in the process of interaction (Shahbazi et al., 2018). In terms of leadership in the nursing area, the ability to distinguish and fairly discuss one’s emotions as well as prevent panic and adverse feelings, such as jealousy, anger, irritation, anger is a significant point of emotional intelligence. Heidari and Shahbazi (2016) emphasize that emergency medical personnel education regarding the discussed concept is useful as it enhances their skills and alleviates stress. The study also clarifies that the current level of critical thinking needs to be increased in emergency nurses.
Speaking of legal implications, one should take into account that all care settings may have their specific regulations that determine management approaches and care strategies. Even though the national laws exist, it is still necessary to pay attention to the local requirements while training nurses on critical thinking or applying it to reduce stress (Martyn, Terwijn, Kek, & Huijser, 2014). Time management also refers to the area that may benefit from the identified relationship since the appropriate allocation of time for individual and group tasks is significant for avoiding lateness and misunderstanding. The ethical implications are associated with the greater awareness of one or another situation that needs to be considered adequately (Butts & Rich, 2019). In other words, the application of critical thinking to decision-making in such cases makes them more elaborate due to logical reasoning. To conclude, one should state that there is an evident link between decision-making, stress management, and critical thinking, while the latter is beneficial for nurse training as well as the working framework for nurse leaders.
Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2019). Nursing ethics (5th ed.). New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Heidari, M., & Shahbazi, S. (2016). Effect of training problem-solving skill on decision-making and critical thinking of personnel at medical emergencies. International Journal of Critical Illness and Injury Science, 6(4), 182-187.
Martyn, J., Terwijn, R., Kek, M. Y., & Huijser, H. (2014). Exploring the relationships between teaching, approaches to learning and critical thinking in a problem-based learning foundation nursing course. Nurse Education Today, 34(5), 829-835.
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Shahbazi, S., Heidari, M., Sureshjani, E. H., & Rezaei, P. (2018). Effects of problem-solving skill training on emotional intelligence of nursing students: An experimental study. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 7, 156-164.