Clinical Reasoning And Nursing Practice

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Clinical reasoning is embedded in nurses’ thinking for patient care (Levett-Jones 2013). It is a spiral, continuous mental process, underpinned by critical thinking theory and a sound body of nursing knowledge (Levett-Jones 2013). The clinical reasoning cycle includes considering patient’s situation, collecting cues, processing information, identifying problems, establishing goals, taking action, evaluating outcomes and reflecting on the process undertaken (Levett-Jones 2013). Nursing practice for registered nurses is guided both by the National Competency Standard (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 2006) and the Nursing Practice Decision Flowchart (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 2010) to ensure patients’ safety and to optimise care by challenging medical assumptions and facilitating evidence-based practice. The clinical reasoning framework, therefore, allows nurses to prioritise the most time sensitive and specific information, to recognise deteriorating patients and to manage complex clinical situations (Levett-Jones & Bourgeois 2011). This paper will focus on processing information and identifying the two major problems in the case study of Mr. Brown, a 74-year-old man, who was admitted to hospital after a ‘fainting’ episode with chief complaint of dizziness.

Mr. Brown presented in the hospital after a syncopal episode observed by his wife with complaint of dizziness and lightheadedness. Syncope, the result of the sudden drop of blood pressure
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