Critical Thinking in Nursing Care

Critical thinking is considered an essential and mandatory skill in providing nursing care to patients. Critical thinking is a self-corrective judgment that employs cognitive tools such as interpretation, analysis, conceptual, methodology, evidence, and considerations (Carvalho et al., 2017). For effective decision-making, it is essential to observe major components and theories. One of the key components is to have a clear problem rationalization. Rationalization will enable the nurse to understand and resolve the issue while observing the laid rules and principles.

A decision-making framework is an essential component that ensures decisions made impact all patients fairly without biasedness. The assessment and analysis component involves gathering and validating information for decision-making (Driever et al., 2020). Skills and experience are vital aspects of decision-making in ensuring adequate care delivery. They enable the drawing of past clinical exposure and clinical experience to explain the problem at hand, therefore, providing informed decisions.

The descriptive decision, perspective decision, and normative decision theories explain how decisions are made based on data obtained. Under the descriptive decision theory, resolutions are made based on certainty, and the nurse has adequate information that aids in obvious decisions. The perspective theory describes probabilistic decisions made due to uncertainty. Analysis of the available information results in unknown and known variables causing the unclarity. The normative decision theory urges based on conflict decision making (May et al., 2018). It involves reactive decisions while anticipating potential repercussions before making the decision.

To ensure patient safety, critical thinking and creativity are essential. Nurses should therefore adopt critical reasoning skills to make reasonable assessments and interventions during care delivery. Nurses are equipped with diverse, multifaceted knowledge on handling various complex conditions in their daily nursing care duties through critical thinking (Croskerry, 2017). In the current world, patients’ needs keep changing because of the frequent emergence of new diseases, which, therefore, causes the requirement of new management skills. Through employing critical reasoning in care provision, the nurses are flexible enough to learn new knowledge and skills needed in the changing hospital environment.

The core of nursing care is assessing the patient, diagnosing, planning, and implementing care. In planning the nursing care, the nurse requires to understand the needs of the patient. Critical thinking enables the nurse to effectively obtain, analyze and interpret the information correctly and formulate the best possible care plan. Traditional nursing still pauses a major problem in the current medical world (Croskerry, 2017). Critical reasoning and creativity, however, provides a solution that can aid in eliminating traditional nursing interventions. This is through the generation of new ideas that are original, quick, and flexible to meet the dynamic patient care needs. During care provision, the nurses, unlike in the past, can respond independently, confidently, and originally.

Health is comprehensive and dynamic in the state, and it is for these reasons, the disease causes are a mystery still being worked on. Due to the insufficient resources and capability to fight infections, medical professionals would prefer preventing disease rather than treat. Nurses are the major agents used in the strive to prevent disease and its spread. In critical thinking, the nurse can distinguish people’s facts, judgments, and opinions regarding the disease (Croskerry, 2017). Understanding different peoples’ thinking and perspectives give the nurse the ability to invent a critical health education teaching criterion that people can easily adopt.

Critical thinking provides the nurse with the independence of thought. In care delivery, the nurse is therefore open-minded, and with evidence, they can examine the obtained knowledge and technical skills. The care provides can then abandon old practices and adopt new intervention methods, thereby enhancing care. Critical thinking promotes impartiality that provides independence in care delivery based on the evidence available and not fear or biasedness (Croskerry, 2017). The nurse can care for different patients while taking into account each patient’s view.

The nursing care plan decided upon and implemented is influenced by the nurse’s judgment of the patient’s condition and information. Therefore, the critical thinking model for nursing judgment is an essential aspect in providing nursing care. The model is built on five main components: attitude, specific knowledge, competence, experience, and standards (Croskerry, 2017). It is also divided into three categories of critical thinking: basic, complex, and commitment, and it provides a ground for effective nursing care strategies.

The model can be integrated into nurses’ daily practice to enhance care through various ways, for example, introducing a critical thinking diagnostic assessment tool. Initiating such a tool will measure the quality of the care provided, its efficiency, and perfection. This will act as a motivator and a criticizer of poor care, making more nurses embrace critical reasoning in their care delivery (Carvalho et al., 2017). Continues evaluation and supervision of patient care can also improve the quality of care provided.

In a dynamic field such as health, continued education will enable care providers to develop critical thinking skills to promote life. Critical thinking can be incorporated into care delivery by integrating simulation technology into nursing education and practices. The technology will expose both qualified and student nurses to various complex nursing care scenarios. Exposure will promote learning, clinical skills, knowledge, and the development of critical thinking skills.

While striving to promote critical thinking in patient care delivery, the nurses are faced with legal and ethical dilemmas. The principle of autonomy guarantees the patient the right to self-determination and paramountcy (Muldrew et al., 2020). In the medical set up the principle is based on informed consent and prior notice. In some cases, the patient will sign against a necessary nursing intervention, putting the nurse in a state of confusion about respecting the patient’s decision or acting on the patient’s well-being. Utilitarianism extends the teleological ethics that major on the consequences of actions taken. In some incidents, the nurses are forced to bear repercussions of acts they took to help the patient, or so they thought but ended up causing damage.

The principle of beneficence requires the nurse to offer care in the interest of promoting patient care. In some case, the care needed either negatively affects the nurses or exposes to various hazards. In such eventuality, the nurse is faced with a dilemma on whether to serve the patient and endanger themselves in the process or neglect the patient and protect themselves (Muldrew et al., 2020). Nurse-patient privilege ensures that maximum confidentiality is held between the patient and nurses. Any information obtained from the patient should not be disclosed to a third party.

In some instances, however, the information obtained could be of public interest or affects certain people. Cases such as diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections and abortion directly affect the spouse of the patient. Transmissible infections such as tuberculosis endanger all those around the patient (Tulyakul, & Meepring, 2020). At such times the nurse faces the dilemma of either respecting the confidentiality principle or informing the affected parties.


Carvalho, D. P., Azevedo, I. C., Cruz, G. K., Mafra, G. A., Rego, A. L., Vitor, A. f., Santos, V. E., Cogo, A.L., & Júnior, M. A. F. (2017). Strategies used for the promotion of critical thinking in nursing undergraduate education: a systematic review. Nurse Education Today, 57, 103-107. Web.

Croskerry, P. (2017). A model for clinical decision-making in medicine. Medical Science Educator, 27(1), 9-13. Web.

Driever, E. M., Stiggelbout, A. M., & Brand, P. L. (2020). Shared decision making: Physicians’ preferred role, usual role and their perception of its key components. Patient Education and Counseling, 103(1), 77-82. Web.

May, C. R., Cummings, A., Girling, M., Bracher, M., Mair, F. S., May, C. M., Murray, E., Myall, M., Rapley, T., & Finch, T. (2018). Using normalization process theory in feasibility studies and process evaluations of complex healthcare interventions: A systematic review. Implementation Science, 13(1), 1-27. Web.

Muldrew, D. H., Kaasalainen, S., McLaughlin, D., & Brazil, K. (2020). Ethical issues in nursing home palliative care: A cross-national survey. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, 10(3), e29-e29. Web.

Tulyakul, P., & Meepring, S. (2020). Ethical issues of informed consent: Students as participants in faculty research. Global Journal of Health Science, 12(3), 86-90. Web.

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