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Critical Thinking Exercises for Nurses

Madhurjya Bhattacharyya
Critical thinking is a vital aspect of developing the personality of an individual, more so in case of nurses, especially with patients who are critically ill or injured. Here we give you a few exercises to help you analyze a patient's particular condition and what to do in such situations.
When you become a professional in the field of nursing, you need to think not only like a nurse would think, but also take into consideration what the patient would be thinking. While taking care of a patient, the doctor carries out several tests and prescribes certain medications. And the nurse works to assist the doctor carry out his or her functions.
However, if a nurse thinks critically, the basic care needed by the patient can be taken care of before the doctor arrives. Say, if a doctor is not present, then it becomes the duty of the nurse to provide necessary care.
However, if a nurse does not think and analyze a particular situation, she won't be able to provide necessary care, which in turn may be a question of life and death for the patient. So it becomes very important for nurses to think independently, and this is where critical thinking exercises for nurses becomes important.
We give you a few therapies for nurses so that they can apply them in their day-to-day lives. Whether it's for nurses, or children, the basic point is the same; develop the capacity to analyze a particular situation.

Critical Thinking Practice for Nurses

When a new nurse joins a health care facility, usually they start taking directions from seniors and doctors. There may be no scope wherein they get some kind of training or mentoring from senior nurses. And this is why they can't take decisions when a critical situation arises.
As such developing skills that insinuates critical treatment becomes necessary wherein new nurses get an idea of how to deal with situations where they can utilize their decision-making ability.

Teaching by Practical Experience

As a senior nurse, you need to train them to approach a situation in a particular way. Test the critical thinking of a newly joined nurse by asking practical questions like 'what would you do if a patient suffers from sudden seizures'.
If they are able to answer, great, but if not, you need to explain them about the necessary problem solving skills like the kind of equipment required by the bedside, so that necessary measures can be taken.

Questionnaire Based on Real Life Situations

You can give details of some real life experiences and scenarios which you may have faced, and ask them questions, which will make them think of the measures they would take if faced with such situations.

Critical Thinking Drills for Nurses

Examples of Critical Situations

As a senior nurse, you need to explain the importance of critical analysis and how it can help them professionally.
There are several questions you can ask like the worst case scenarios for the patients suffering from a particular ailment, how would they make the patient aware of the particular kind of disease they suffer and the kind of documents which they would prepare which would help colleagues maintain a sense of continuity.

Examples of Leadership Roles of Other Nurses

As nurses, they have enough knowledge of the profession, and it's you, as a senior nurse, who have to make them feel at home. You can use case studies wherein one of the senior nurses may have taken the lead in the absence of a doctor and provided the necessary medical care and saved the day for the patient.
You can also write down a real life situation in the form of an essay, and at the end of it, give them a list of questions to answer. You can ask them questions related to laws governing the health care, the kind of technology which can be used to treat the patient.
So, critical thinking exercises for nurses is an important aspect of overall professional development of these professionals so that they can take good care of patients. Wherever possible, you can try to lead by examples so that juniors get enough practical experience. If it can be done, try and provide individual training to each person who has just joined.