Nursing Critical Thinking Discussion

Nursing Critical Thinking Discussion

Critical thinking is one of the core skills required by a good nurse in executing their tasks and responsibilities. Critical thinking is used unconsciously to prioritize alternative decisions that would save the lives of patients based on the nurse’s knowledge and experience gained from handling different healthcare complications. Standard nursing protocols work 99% of the time and hence nurses have to use critical thinking in making nursing diagnosis and using clinical judgement to propose nursing interventions or in navigating any obstacles limiting nursing care (Chan, 2015). Critical thinking helps nurses determine the best care plans for the patients. Chan (2015) states that nurses learning and proficiency is achieved over time of encountering different clinical situations to help guide decisions.

I have experienced different scenarios that require critical thinking applications within patient care provision. At one time, I had a patient who had his left leg amputated just above the knee and was placed on dilaudid PCA for the pains. However, he kept complaining of extreme pains and the medications were not working hence the doctor wrote on the chart that it was okay to give the patient both oral opioids and dilaudid PSA dosing with the objective of weaning off PCA. This remained a challenge since the patient kept requiring more meds for the pains. I asked the patient to explain the type of pain they experienced and he claimed that it was a deep burning pain with a tingling feeling, like nerve pain. I thought about similar reports of pain amongst Diabetic patients with neuropathy and remembered that these patients took gabapentin dosages daily for the pain and hence thought that the same would possibly work for the amputee patient. I called the PA surgeon and described the patient’s pain and my thought process to which the surgeon prescribed as an alternative to get the patient out of the opioids sooner. It took a few days to kick in but it did work and the patient’s discomfort reduced significantly and he was able to work with therapy and get adequate rests.

I have learnt that in case where I might be faced with a similar clinical scenario that requires critical thinking to provide diagnosis and unique nursing intervention, the nurse first needs to gather all the knowledge they can on the patient’s problems to help gain a deeper understanding of the problem. After organizing all the relevant information or evidence, the nurse needs to structure their reasoning and identify supporting evidence to different opinions. Nurses also need to identify assumptions taken to understand how they fit to the logic of the arguments and the relationship between the assumptions and the clinical challenge ahead. Finally, before implementing a decision, nurses need to communicate their observations to superior or more experienced healthcare providers to ensure the proposed solution is acceptable. Assignment Help Provider

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