Nursing education integrates discussions regarding critical thinking into all nursing education programs yet remains a topic that is both challenging to teach and even more challenging to implement into one’s own practice. What does it mean to think critically?

Introduction
Nursing education integrates discussions regarding critical thinking into all nursing education programs yet remains a topic that is both challenging to teach and even more challenging to implement into one’s own practice. What does it mean to think critically? Why is this so important to nurses and the work they do? How does one develop critical thinking skills? What impact does critical thinking play on a nurse’s ability to assess their patient? This week you will be looking at your personal understanding and development of critical thinking as well as how it impacts the work you do as a nurse.
Learning Outcomes
After completing this module, you will be able to:
•Analyze your personal critical thinking process
•Apply the concepts of critical thinking to patient assessment
Reading & Resources
All journal articles can be found in the American Sentinel Library.
Read Chapters 1 & 2 In Rubenfeld, M. G., & Scheffer, B.K. (2015). Critical thinking TACTICS for nurses: Achieving the IOM competencies (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Complete Critical Thinking Habits of the Mind (Appendix A, Critical Thinking Inventory, p. 341-356) in the textbook. This assessment will help you reflect upon and consider your own critical thinking skills and find your strengths and areas needing improvement.
Read Chabeli, M. (2007). Facilitating critical thinking within the nursing process framework: A literature review, Health Sa Gesondheid, (12) 4, 69-89.

Discussion 1 – Question 2
After completing the Critical Thinking Inventory on pages 341-345, share what you found out about your own critical thinking skills that relate to “confidence”, “intuition”, “discrimination” and “predicting”. Use examples from your nursing practice or experience to discuss how you may be able to improve your critical thinking.
For example, share how you currently consider specific assessment data and how you may be able to improve the critical thinking process to improve patient outcomes and quality of care. Example:
•Mr. Jones appears fine, his vital signs are stable, heart rate is slightly irregular, but he calls the nurse frequently to ask questions that do not relate to his diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. He seems very “needy.”
•Reflect on the patient, his previous history of heart problems, considering that his anxiety level may be high due to possible complications from the atrial fibrillation (stroke) or other issues.
•Create an action plan to talk with him about his condition, his previous experiences with his health care, and answer all questions that he may have.
Please support your initial discussion and opinions with at least two citations from the assigned readings, or peer-reviewed professional nursing literature.
See the Nursing Syllabus Standards & Policies Document for Discussion Participation Guidelines & Grading Criteria.

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