The Stages Of Clinical Reasoning

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Clinical reasoning can be defined as, ‘the process by which nurses (and other clinicians) collect cues, process the information, come to an understanding of a patient’s problem or situation, plan and implement interventions, evaluate outcomes and reflect on and learn from the process’ (Levett-Jones & Hoffman 2013, p.4). It requires health professionals to be able to think critically and ensures better engagement and results for the patient (Tanner 2006, p.209). The Quality in Australian Healthcare Study (Wilson 1995, p.460) discovered that ‘cognitive failure’ resulted in approximately 57% of unfavourable clinical events involving the failure to produce and act correctly on clinical information. It also recognises that often nurse’s preconceptions and assumptions can greatly affect patient care and by going through such a process, one can take into account the holistic nature of the patient and provide the best, most appropriate care. Process Information The third stage in the clinical reasoning cycle is process information. This involves the gathering of signs and indications and the recognition of patterns (Levett-Jones & Hoffman 2013 p.5). It is also when one can begin to form hypotheses and predict potential outcomes. In regards to Mrs Checkett’s case, there are many cues that need to be taken into consideration in order to best care for her. According to Chester and Rudolph (2012, p.2), vital signs in the elderly change due to the reduction of function of homeostatic
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