Compare And Contrast Critical Thinking And Clinical Thinking

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Compare/Contrast critical thinking and clinical reasoning Discussions on critical thinking and clinical reasoning are often put into the same category. There are similarities and some differences as well, making these concepts difficult to differentiate at times. This discussion will hopefully clarify some of the confusion and make these concepts more applicable in the clinical setting. One definition of critical thinking is “the application of knowledge and experience to identify patient problems and to direct clinical judgments and actions that result in positive patient outcomes” (Benner, Hughes, & Sutphen, 2008, p.2). Cody (2002) states that “critical thinking can be considered the application of reasoning and reflection to a variety of situations and discourses, along with the ability to identify evidence for one’s beliefs, evaluate its significance, and change one’s thinking accordingly” (p. 184). It is a higher level of thinking that happens when clinicians begin to ask questions that they may have never asked before. Brand new nurses can be sidetracked with empirical information, responding only to concrete facts without being able to “think outside the box” in certain situations. With experience, nurses begin questioning the why’s instead of just performing tasks because of an order set. The art of critical thinking develops over time and grows in certain contexts and within different frames of reference. Clinical reasoning, like critical thinking, is an
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