History[ edit ] The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato. Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational. He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief.
Identifying a problem, determining the best solution and choosing the most effective method are all parts of the critical thinking process. After executing the plan, critical thinkers reflect on the situation to figure out if it was effective and if it could have been done better.
As you can see, critical thinking is a transferable skill that can be leveraged in several facets of your life. But why is it so important for nurses to use? We spoke with several experts to learn why critical thinking skills in nursing are so crucial to the field, the patients and the success of a nurse.
Keep reading to learn why and to see how you can improve this skill. Why are critical thinking skills in nursing important? You learn all sorts of practical skills in nursing school, like flawlessly dressing a wound, taking vitals like a pro or giving an IV without flinching.
They flex this mental muscle each day they enter the floor. How are critical-thinking skills acquired in nursing school? Nursing school offers a multitude of material to master and high expectations for your performance. But in order to learn in a way that will actually equip you to become an excellent nurse, you have to go beyond just memorizing terms.
You need to apply an analytical mindset to understanding course material. One way for students to begin implementing critical thinking is by applying the nursing process to their line of thought, according to Vest.
The process includes five steps: Using the nursing process, students can narrow down their options to select the best one. When answering questions in class or on exams, challenge yourself to go beyond simply selecting an answer.
Start to think about why that answer is correct and what the possible consequences might be. How can you develop your critical thinking skills?
Good nurses continue to soak up knowledge and continually improve throughout their careers.
Likewise, they can continue to build their critical thinking skills in the workplace with each shift. Understanding how a seasoned nurse came to a conclusion will provide you with insights you may not have considered and help you develop your own approach.
The chain of command can also help nurses develop critical thinking skills in the workplace. Peers and fellow healthcare professionals are not in the chain of command. Clear understanding and proper utilization of the chain of command is essential in the workplace.
Nowadays there is more emphasis on machines and technical aspects of nursing, but critical thinking plays an important role. You must be able to quickly and confidently assess situations and make the best care decision in each unique scenario.
It is in situations like these that your critical thinking skills will direct your decision making. The more you practice it, the better you will become and the more naturally it will come to you. Learn about how else you can position yourself to climb the ranks in your nursing career in our article, " Nursing Career Advancement: It has since been updated to include information relevant to Effective Modeling for Good Decision-Making What is a model?
A Model is an external and explicit representation of a part of reality, as it is seen by individuals who wish to use this model to understand, change, manage and control that part of reality. Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making Critical thinking is a process of applying various skills to analyze information.
Critical thinking uses rationality to distinguish between emotion and fact. Yet, critical thinking seems most useful when it aids other cognitive processes, such as applying critical thinking in decision making.
Anne Helsdingen from the Open University of the Netherlands and her colleagues studied an interesting issue about critical thinking in decision making. Some of the students received the critical thinking skills training while making these decisions. Others did not. How well they made these crime decisions was not the most important thing, though.
The main thing was how well they would do in a different situation after learning about critical thinking in decision making. Critical Thinking is the ability to analyze the way you think and present evidence for your ideas, rather than simply accepting your personal reasoning as sufficient proof.
From Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, Winter, Vol. XVI, No. 2. by Linda Elder. Emotional intelligence is a topic that is attracting a considerable amount of popular attention. Some of the discussion is, in my view, superficial and misleading.