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Definitions Of Critical Thinking And Value

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Definitions Of Critical Thinking And Value

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Definitions Of Critical Thinking And Value

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Discuss about the Definitions of Critical Thinking and Value of Critical Thinking in Nursing.

Critical thinking is an intellectual process that includes coherent enquiry to enable clinical reasoning and decision-making (Alfaro-LeFevre, 2015). While critical thinking is not aimed only at obtaining results or response, it is a complex process oriented towards possible solution of problems. It is a systematic process where the thinking proceeds from understanding the situation, defining the problem, looking for what contributes to the problem, its interactions with the environment, possible solutions, available resources, constraints, and best possible solution and also the method of implementing that solution (Yildirim, and Ozkahraman, 2011). Critical reflection is another extended skill of cognitive functioning that applies the process of critical thinking.
Definitions of Critical Thinking
The dictionary definition of Critical Thinking is the practice of dynamically and skillfully hypothesizing, relating, analyzing, blending, and assessing information to reach an answer or conclusion. Also, it is the methodical intellect that is pure, lucid, open-minded, and based on evidence. Critical thinking requires an appraisal based on cautious logical assessment.
Various scholars have defined Critical Thinking as follows
Goal-oriented, self-disciplined decree which effect elucidation, investigation, appraisal, and extrapolation, as well as description of the methodological, evidential, theoretical, evidence-based, or contextual contemplations upon which that judgment is based (Fischer 2011).
It Include an obligation to use reason and evidence in the construction of any opinions (Mulnix, 2010).
Importance of Critical thinking in Nursing
The intricacy and dynamic nature of the healthcare along with the requisite for patient-centered upkeep, according to evidence-based practice, recognise Critical Thinking as a competent tool in education and in clinical practice. Nursing is a profession which directly deals with lives of patients and put nurses in situations where they have to take quick and rational decisions. Thus it becomes imperative that nurses incorporate critical thinking in their decision making process and make it a part of their personality. The ability of the nursing professional to provide quality care depends, largely, upon their critical thinking skills so as to improve clinical decisions. Critical thinking could be developed during nursing education and then professional career.
Definitions of Critical Thinking in Nursing
There is a specialised conceptualisation of critical thinking with reference to the field of nursing care. The difference from that of other disciplines is because of clinical processes in the nursing discipline. Thus clinical application requires Critical Thinking to be a multi-disciplinary or rather inter-disciplinary process including rational skills and attitudinal outlooks. Also to be clinically applicable, Critical Thinking ought to be an organised, expedient thought process that requires methodologies in order to obtain the preferred outcomes. Moreover it is the process of examining, gaining, assessing, conceptualizing analyzing, and synthesizing information; its attributes are replication, framework, negotiation, and period (Özkahraman, and Y?ld?r?m, 2011).
The word Critical thinking has several different synonyms which are spoken frequently to refer to the same meaning: clinical thinking, clinical reasoning, clinical decree, clinical judgement, scientific decision-making, problem-solving, and nursing practice (Edwards, 2007). The procedure of clinical reasoning is highly mentioned in the academic texts, and is linked to the clinical decrees, resolution of problems, and taking diagnostic decisions. It has been referred to as the cognitive progression, which applies knowledge and experience towards problem solving during clinical practice (Gillespie, and Peterson, 2009). Clinical judgement is another term, defined as taking clinical decisions based on clinical reasoning and critical thinking.
Initiatives to promote critical thinking in Nursing
Several global establishments have taken initiatives towards incorporating Critical Thinking into nursing practice and education. For example, the National League for Nurses (NLN) included critical thinking as one of the criterion for accreditation of academic programs. The Joint Commission for Accreditation (JCA) for Healthcare Organisations included Critical Thinking as a norm and a key skill in nursing practice. However some problems remain associated with this criterion for accreditation, such as the abstract thought process, generalisability of critical reflection thoughts, and approaches used towards development of profession. The uncertainty of the fact that Critical Thinking requires various types of abstract measurements also depends upon familiarity and contextual factors (the work flow, and social and political factors). 
There are concerns to develop post-graduate training programs that embrace explicit approaches for the progress of Critical Thinking skills among nursing students. Some of the approaches are replications using questioning, anatomical models, reflective diaries, creating concept maps, group dynamics, and teaching tools based on reasoning. Studies have reported that simulation as an educational technique have shown good results in the development of Critical Thinking skills (Wood, and Toronto, 2012), Researchers have also associated simulation with the skills of clinical judgment, especially post-simulation interrogations (Lusk, and Fater, 2013).
The interrogative process of critical thinking also helps in reflecting at new informations and thus increases wisdom and knowledge of new nurses as well as students (Forneris, and Peden-McAlpine, 2009). Similarly Group dynamics also encourage the development of Critical Thinking skills in nursing students. The students could also maintain a reflective diary which helps in regularising critical thinking as a routine exercise. Such an exercise helps in mastering the new knowledge as well as increasing the richness of academics. The students may also take the help of concept maps as an analytical tool which helps in arranging information in a logical sequence. The previous use of such tools by students or professional nurses helped them in bringing positive results to their work and academics (Wilgis, and McConnell, 2008).
The talent to reason rationally is a quintessential skill of nursing personnel; hence the scholarship of the method of correct argumentation is pertinent to the study of critical thinking. The ability to critically analyze an argument i.e. the reasoning is important. At the same time nursing personnel should be flexible and contemplate non-traditional substitutes and viewpoints. These supplementary abilities are what allow for critical thinking; a practice incorporating imagination and intuition in congruence with traditional modes of deductive inquiry. Critical Thinking, if applied rigorously to clinical nursing practice helps encouraging evidence based practice and competence in the profession. The mastery of Critical Thinking skills, in bringing about safe and competent care, may serve to improve clinical precision and decision-making skills, bringing favourable outcomes for patients.
Alfaro-LeFevre, R., 2015. Critical Thinking, Clinical Reasoning, and Clinical Judgment E-Book: A Practical Approach. Elsevier Health Sciences. Edwards, S.L. (2007). Critical thinking: a two-phase framework. Nurse Educ Pr, 7, 303-14.
Fisher, A., 2011. Critical thinking: An introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Forneris, S.G. and Peden?McAlpine, C., 2009. Creating context for critical thinking in practice: the role of the preceptor. Journal of advanced nursing, 65(8), pp.1715-1724. 
Gillespie, M. and Peterson, B.L., 2009. Helping Novice Nurses Make Effective Clinical Decisions: The Situated Clinical Decision?Making Framework. Nursing education perspectives, 30(3), pp.164-170.
Lusk, J.M. and Fater, K., 2013. Postsimulation debriefing to maximize clinical judgment development. Nurse educator, 38(1), pp.16-19.
Mulnix, J.W., 2012. Thinking critically about critical thinking. Educational Philosophy and theory, 44(5), pp.464-479.
Ozkahraman, S. and Yildirim, B., 2011. An overview of critical thinking in nursing and education. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 1(2), pp.190-196.
Wilgis, M. and McConnell, J., 2008. Concept mapping: An educational strategy to improve graduate nurses’ critical thinking skills during a hospital orientation program. The journal of continuing education in Nursing, 39(3), pp.119-126.
Wood, R.Y. and Toronto, C.E., 2012. Measuring critical thinking dispositions of novice nursing students using human patient simulators. Journal of Nursing Education, 51(6), pp.349-352. 
Yildirim, B. and Ozkahraman, S., 2011. Critical thinking in nursing process and education. International journal of humanities and social science, 1(13), pp.257-262.

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