Critical Thinking Skills In Healthcare

2202 Words9 Pages
Healthcare is a complex business. Highly specialized knowledge is required to make life and death decisions, in a system with many moving parts. Nurses are important in today’s healthcare system. Nurses are the largest group of healthcare workers and spend the most time direct time with patients. Americans have identified nurses as having the highest honesty and ethical standards for the last 14 years ("Gallop Poll," 2015). This adds up to a system and patients and a profession that makes significant demands on today’s nurses. Critical thinking and reasoning has been identified as an essential skill set that nurses must possess. How are nurses prepared to meet these demands and expectations and develop the critical thinking skills that…show more content…
How to teach the skills necessary for effective reflection, how to offer support when different issues are identified in student narratives are just a few of the challenges identified. There are models of reflection that have been used to provide to support student efforts to think critically about the reflective process itself such as Baker's four-step model and Carper's patterns of knowing (Kennison, 2012). These models provide structure with a how-to path for reflective narrative. For faculty, these models are structured so that they can fulfill their roll to provide quality feedback. These aspects are necessary to maximize the improving student’s critical thinking skills. Other studies confirm this important step. Providing medical students with reflection guidelines improved reflective performance and feedback on both content and reflective ability also improved performance. Teaching students the characteristics of deeper, more effective reflection and helping them to acquire the skills they need to reflect well improves their reflective ability (Aronson et al., 2012). Using questions focused on aspects of critical thinking from Richard Paul’s Model of Critical Thinking, student’s reflective writings were analyzed from multiple perspectives. Identifying characteristics of critical thinking, analyzing the narrative themes identified as experiential aspects…show more content…
Mezirow specifically argued the importance of feedback for reflective learning (1998). It has been noted that an environment of trust is key to maximizing student’s success in developing high level reflective skills (Epp, 2008). Multiple studies have identified issues of trust from the student’s perspective (Landeen, Byrne, & Brown, 1992, 1995, Riley-Doucet & Wilson, 1997). It can be that students write what they perceive teachers want to read or in other instances that students must have a sense that the environment and relationship between student and faculty is safe to achieve higher levels of reflection. Indeed, in the medical student study, although the expectation was that feedback would be at least as effective as guidelines in improving learners’ reflective skill, the effect sizes were quite different. Feedback had a very small effect size whereas the use of guidelines was larger. Even the clinical learning environment seems to impact the reflective levels of students. When students encountered a clinical unit where there was a more welcoming, inviting and supportive atmosphere than they had previously experienced, their journals were assessed as having higher reflective levels and deeper thoughts. They gained more compassion and understanding towards those with mental illness and positively transformed negative opinions (Ross, Mahal, Chinnapen, Kolar, & Woodman, 2014). This issue of trust and
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