Importance of Critical Thinking in Nursing

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Nursing is a process which entails the care of patients with care and responsibility. While the basic qualities of empathy, care and sincerity are important components of nursing practice, it is essential to develop “critical thinking skills” to become a successful nurse (Alfaro-Lefevre, 2009). It is therefore vital for nurses to gain and learn the important principles of nursing and to be able to apply them in practice to achieve enhanced outcomes in practice.

This paper aims to analyse the importance of certain characteristic traits including willingness, choice, detachment and respect which will enable nurses to deliver the best possible care in the complex profession of nursing. Nursing involves the important process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation (Alfaro-Lefevre, 2009). Nurses are required to develop knowledge and understanding of a logical and systematic nursing process, which would enable them to serve on the basis of a critical thinking model (American Nurses association, 2004).

The profession of nursing entails certain specific behaviours to care and attend to patients with a positive and open approach and attitude and “willingness” to care for patients. Willingness actually refers to the “choice” which an individual makes in order to care for patients and this entails the importance of marinating the client at the centre of the nursing process so that decisions are taken keeping the clients’ or patients’ best interests at the centre (Alfaro-Lefevre, 2009).

By profession, nurses must have an open attitude without any prejudices. Research confirms the importance of nurse attitudes in enabling patients to respond positively to their medication and prescriptions (Farella, 2000). Caring and compassion are of little use if they do not have the elements of “knowledge, skills and competence”, which I aspire to achieve through academics (Alfaro-Lefevre, 2009).

Another vital characteristic for nurses is empathetic listening, which enables them to listen to patients without any personal beliefs and thoughts which could hinder with the listening process. It is crucial for nurses to try and understand the emotions of the person and to try and be as practical as possible in the process of listening. This entails the elimination of any prejudices and personal thoughts, beliefs or perceptions.

However, following the listening process, it is also essential for nurses to understand the real situation and to enable clients understand this as well in order to promote and motivate them to accept the situation rather than brood over sensitive issues. It is also important for nurse to “detach” themselves from the patient’s problems while at the same time listen empathetically without letting personal views and hinder the process.

This detachment process can be learnt and acquired through specific case examples in the academic study of nursing. An important area of concern for nurses is the privacy and confidentiality factor of clients in addition to “respect” for “values, beliefs and individuality’ (Alfaro-Lefevre, 2009). Nurses are expected to focus on their clients and provide them with additional attention and care, especially when patients become chronically ill and serious due to deteriorating health.

Most importantly, nurses are required to maintain healthy lifestyles themselves since only by staying healthy would they be fit enough to provide the necessary care and treatment to their patients with care and devotion. References Alfaro-Lefevre (2009). Applying Nursing Process: A Tool for Critical Thinking 7th ed. American Nurses Association. (2004). Nursing: Scope and standard of practice. Silver Springs, MD: American Nurses Association. Farella C (2000). MIW: Men in white. Retrieved April 12, 2003, from Nursing http://community. nursingspectrum. com/MagazineArticles/article. cfm? AID=2746

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