September 30, 2010 | | Comments 0
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Behind every healed patient is a critically thinking nurse

A recent opinion piece published on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website brings to patients’ attention what nurses already know to be true. It asks the question: What does it mean to think like a nurse? And the answer is an important one. The article educates readers that it doesn’t take just a degree and a few acronyms behind your name to make a good nurse, it takes critical thinking—using the perfect blend of feeling and fact—to provide proper care to patients.

The article says it’s really a mixed bag. That education, training, experience, intuition, being able to adapt to different situations, and the ability to navigate all of these under pressure, are at the heart of being a good nurse.

It may not comes as a surprise to nurses that these qualities are crucial, but with the stress of the job, the challenges of managing patients’ needs, staff needs, and work flow, it’s a skill well worth recognizing. It’s also a skill that patients appreciate (whether they know it or not).

Please tell us of a time when critical thinking has made a difference to a patient’s outcome in the comments below.

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Jaclyn Beck About the Author: Jaclyn is an Associate Editor at HCPro, Inc. She manages three monthly newsletters; Strategies for Nurse Managers, Briefings on Infection Control, and Briefings on Hospital Safety, and manages four ezines; AHAP Staff Challenge, Infection Control Weekly Monitor, Hospital Safety Connection, and Nurse Manager Weekly. She graduated from Gordon College in 2007 where she earned her bachelor's degree in Business.

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