The nursing profession is characterized by constraints that occur in a hospital environment and external sphere of life such social and cultural beliefs (Martinez, 2014). In essence, to operate in the profession, a nurse requires critical thinking in order to make informed decisions. Critical thinking involves a disciplined application of careful reasoning to provide a basis for judgment or decision making. Nurses, just like doctors or engineers need to think in a logical manner. In fact, this is because nurses serve patients whose needs require much accuracy and care.
Often, in the nursing profession, daily duties involve planning, diagnosis, implementation and evaluation. Essentially, all these daily assignments need careful attention and critical thinking in order to make rational and accurate decisions based on facts. Critical thinking in nursing profession helps to carry out actions in a timely manner because of the sensitivity associated with patient care (Rohatensky, 2009). Nurses have little time for making corrections because they are always faced with the challenge of balancing between the needs of patients and administrative roles. Thus, critical thinking allows nurses to become efficient in their service delivery and avoid being misguided by compassionate thinking that in most cases is irrational.
Critical thinkers are open-minded individuals who have alternative points of view to different problems they face. Nurses in their line of duty are normally faced with situations that need quick solutions to the problems. They can only cope with such situations if they are critical thinkers who have the ability to generate quick solutions to such conditions and by not being closed-minded individuals who solely rely on other experts to do the thinking for them. This allows them to become independent in decision making and have self-confidence.
Logic is a significant component of critical thinking which allows nurses to follow outlined procedures without unnecessary exclusion of any guidelines. Obviously, the errors that occur from fallacious reasoning such as generalization without any proof are avoided through logical reasoning. In addition critical thinking discourages erroneous decision making based on traditions that do not always consider the interests and needs of the patients. In fact, critical thinking does not result in hurried inconsiderate decisions that may cause harm to patients or compromise the quality of health care.
Additionally, critical thinking allows nurses to refrain from biases which in most cases compromise rational decision making. Sometimes, nurses tend to be caring and become compassionate which may lead to wrong decisions when serving patients. Also, biases can affect patient care when reasoning is based on compassion rather than facts. Notably, nursing profession cannot condone biases of any kind because nurses deal with the lives of people that requires much attention. Certainly, nurses are required to express love for the patients in a manner that first prioritizes the lives of patients.
Similarly, critical thinking skills are important in communication. Often, logical reasoning skills are important in listening, writing and speaking (Martinez, 2014). Nurses should have effective and efficient communication skills both in writing and speech in order to interpret information logically, accurately and quickly to avoid confusions that may compromise patient care. Effective communication skills allow nurses to obtain valid patient information which improves nursing care. Undoubtedly, communication is part of critical thinking necessary for efficient nursing care.
In conclusion, critical thinking is helpful in the nursing provision. Therefore, nurses should make decisions based on reasonable considerations in order to provide improved nursing care.
Martinez C. (2014). Strategies, techniques, & approaches to critical thinking: A clinical reasoning workbook for nurses.
Rohatensky, J. K. (2009). Exploring the influence of the work environment and employee characteristics on the practice of critical thinking skills: A qualitative study of licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Ottawa: LAC.
Rubenfeld, M. G., & Scheffer, B. K. (2010). Critical thinking tactics for nurses: Achieving the IOM competencies. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.