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Critical Thinking in Nursing

Kundan Pandey
Critical thinking leads to analysis of methods and measures to increase efficiency of work. It is an essential tool to effectively treat patients. It also fosters a disciplined approach towards nursing.
Not all of us think in the same way, and this applies to every profession. Nurses, like scientists, engineers, and artists, need to have a thinking pattern that helps them provide effective patient care. As a matter of fact, every profession requires deep thinking, and nursing is no exception to this fact. Critical thinking in nursing is basically a disciplined and systematic intellectual process that is developed as an effective skill to treat patients in far better way than normal care methods.

An Overview of Critical Thinking in the Nursing Profession

It has to be understood that conventional nursing methods that are performed automatically and to a large extent, mechanically, without proper care can result in several negative health consequences. Hence, students pursuing nursing careers are trained through a process of critical thinking that increases their intuitive power, performance, and efficiency.
When trained through this process, students are able to apply the principles learned, and hence, work as responsible care takers in routine nursing activities. Several activities, like group discussions, meetings, puzzles, games, questionnaires, etc., are also important in their own way.
All this helps nurses to develop the methodical art of thinking. Put simply, when nurses have reasoning ability, they use thoughts, ideas, and logic to figure out challenging questions. Using proper thinking methods, nurses are able to recognize that their thinking patterns may be flawed or limited by lack of proper understanding of the problem at issue. Hence, monitoring the situation critically is important.

Critical Thinking Skills Development

Developing critical thinking is essential for safe nursing practices. Nurses can develop such skills by asking questions related to much better and effective ways of safe nursing practices. They must not accept any measure of care because it has been used traditionally.
Instead they must understand the patients health and then take the most suitable steps to treat the problem at hand. In nursing, it is all about seeking the truth and demonstrating tolerance to others views. Nurses who analyze every problem intellectually develop self-confidence, and that is the most important part of nursing reasoning.
Nurses who develop the habit of critical thinking are able to apply their mental skills for better reasoning. This helps nurses to effectively focus, gather information, and treat the patient effectively. The main focus in teaching this approach to nurses is to develop better understanding of scholarly and academic nursing literature. Gradually, as nurses face complex cases and situations, these skills of reasoning and training come in very handy.
In tough medical cases, nurses will be able to ponder and think in a much deeper and significant manner. Also, only after following a proper thought pattern, can effective patient treatment be done. That, for sure, covers the true meaning of nursing and its challenges ahead. Challenges of nursing is to take proper patient care through critical and reflective methods of nursing.
To achieve the goals envisaged in the programs of thinking, students of nursing are required to develop reasoning skills through various ways, like writing and speaking critically. Even in-depth reading helps them understand others view points, and in inculcating better methods of treatment and new ways of improving existing methods of effective patient care.
There are various exercises designed specifically for nurses to experience working in emergency situations. Some exercises, like writing and reading, are aimed to sharpen the thinking abilities of students. Nurses are taught the effectiveness of systematic and proper thinking. Indeed, it is an integral part of our lives and it is important in every aspect of life.