Critical thinking refers to the ability to independently and rationally estimate the actions, arguments, and other information. Critical thinking should become an unalienable skill of a person who wants to make sound decisions. As Claywell (2018) puts it, the only way to learn how to think critically is to constantly practice it. The current paper discusses such attributes of critical thinking as curiosity, reflection, rational thought, and intuitive thought.
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Curiosity implies the desire of nurses to receive more information and skepticism to what they see. Nurses should be able to search for other possible explanations (Claywell, 2018). An example of this attribute might be that a nurse tests other probable reasons for illness instead of denying the existence of them until it is a proven fact. Reflection means the analysis of the previous decisions. As an example of reflection, one could name a situation in which the nurse is thinking not only about the effectiveness of medical intervention but also about his or her decision-making process. A nurse should evaluate what guided him or her while prescribing treatment and whether it was a mistake or not. Rational thought signifies that a nurse acquires new knowledge via practice (Claywell, 2018). Hence, a nurse could use rational thinking to estimate the probability that the chosen set of actions would be useful for a patient. Intuitive thought refers to the ability to notice elusive patterns and generalize knowledge based on experience. A nurse that utilizes intuitive thinking shows the capability to reach sane conclusions even in the conditions when only minimal data is available.
The real-life example of critical thinking in nursing is illustrated by the case when the doctor prescribed to infuse the patient two units of blood before the operation on the heart. However, I have noticed that after this manipulation the patient’s level of oxygen. I was curious to figure out what was going on. I checked his fluid balance and lungs but found any troubles there. Only after that, I have called the doctor to make him analyze the situation. The doctor prescribed injections that normalized the situation and then the patient was successfully operated.
Claywell, L. (2018). LPN to RN Transitions-EBook. Elsevier Health Sciences.