Quotes On Critical Thinking In Nursing

"Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts." - William Bruce Cameron (often falsely attributed to Albert Einstein)

"What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence." - Samuel Johnson

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

"The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." - Derek Bok

"It is today we must create the world of the future." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." - Robert Maynard Hutchins

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." - Anatole France

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it." - William Haley, British Editor

"Do not confine your children to your own learning for they were born in another time." - Hebrew Proverb

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." - Roger Lewin

"The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." - Henri Bergson, French Philosopher and Educator

"If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right." - MARY KAY ASH, American businesswoman

"The man who can make hard things easy is the educator." - RALPH WALDO EMERSON, American writer and philosopher

"Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them." - LADY BIRD JOHNSON, Former First Lady of the United States

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." - HENRI BERGSON, French Philosopher and Educator

"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life." - PLATO, Greek Philosopher

"With a smile we should instruct our youth..." - JEAN BAPTISTE MOLIERE, French Playwright

"Children are not vessels to be filled but lamps to be lit." - SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA, Indian Spiritual Leader

"Genius without an education is like silver in the mine." - BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, American Diplomat, Scientist, and Writer

"Education must not simply teach work—it must teach life." - W.E.B. DU BOIS, American Civil Rights Leader and Writer

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." - HENRI BERGSON, French Philosopher and Educator

"Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts." - NIKKI GIOVANNI, American poet

"Teaching is the greatest act of optimism." - COLLEEN WILCOX, American school administrator

"Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them." - LADY BIRD JOHNSON, Former First Lady of the United States

"Those of us who are in this world to educate—to care for—young children have a special calling: a calling that has very little to do with the collection of expensive possessions but has a lot to do with worth inside of heads and hearts." - FRED M. ROGERS, Host of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

"Each student is a unique person and a powerful learner capable of great achievements. I truly marvel at my students' capacity for learning, accomplishment, and growth." - MICHELLE FORMAN, American National Teacher of the Year 2001

"The one real goal of education is to leave a person asking questions." - MAX BEERHOHM, British Critic, Essayist, and Caricaturist

"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - JOHN F. KENNEDY

"Out of the questions of students come most of the creative ideas and discoveries." - Ellen Langer

"Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest." - Author Unknown

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." - CHINESE PROVERB

"No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. We need to see the world anew." - ALBERT EINSTEIN

"The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

"Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used." - Carl Sagan

"There is nothing more uncommon than common sense." - FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." - ROGER LEWIN, Ph.D., British anthropologist and science writer

"Time given to thought is the greatest time saver of all." - Norman Cousins

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof." - Henry David Thoreau

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." - John Cotton Dana

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too" - Voltaire

"Reason obeys itself: ignorance submits to what is dictated to it." - Thomas Paine

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one learned in school." - Albert Einstein

Clinical skills in nursing are obviously important, but critical thinking is at the core of being a good nurse.

Critical thinking skills are very important in the nursing field because they are what you use to prioritize and make key decisions that can save lives. Nurses give critical care 24/7, so the critical thinking skills of nurses can really mean the difference between someone living or dying. These types of skills are important not just for clinical care, but for making important policy decisions.

Critical Thinking for Nurses

For you to become a successful nurse, you will need to learn how a nurse thinks on the job. In nursing school, you will learn how to do an IV, dress a wound and to save lives, but there is more to being a nurse than just having good clinical skills. Standard protocols in nursing will work 99% of the time, but what about that 100th time when they don’t work? That’s when your critical thinking skills can either save or cost a life.

What is different about the thinking of a nurse from an engineer or dentist? Mainly it is how the nurse views the patient and the sorts of problems nurses have to deal with in their work. Thinking like a nurse requires you to think about the entire world and content of nursing, including ideas, theories, and concepts in nursing. It also is important that we better develop our intellects and our skills so that we become highly proficient critical thinkers in nursing.

In nursing, critical thinkers need to be:

  • Precise

  • Complete

  • Logical

  • Accurate

  • Clear

  • Fair

All of these attributes must be true, whether the nurse is talking, speaking or acting. You also need to do these things when you are reading, writing and talking. Always keep these critical thinking attributes in mind in nursing!

Nurses have to get rid of inconsistent, irrelevant and illogical thinking as they think about patient care. Nurses need to use language that will clearly communicate a lot of information that is key to good nursing care. It is important to note that nurses are never focused in irrelevant or trivial information.

Key Critical Thinking Skills

Some skills are more important than others when it comes to critical thinking. Some of these skills are applied in patient care, via the framework known as the Nursing Process. The skills that are most important are:

  • Interpreting – Understanding and explaining the meaning of information, or a particular event.

  • Analyzing – Investigating a course of action, that is based upon data that is objective and subjective.

  • Evaluating – This is how you assess the value of the information that you got. Is the information relevant, reliable and credible? This skill is also needed to determine if outcomes have been fully reached.

Based upon those three skills, the nurse can then use clinical reasoning to determine what the problem is. These decisions have to be based upon sound reasoning:

  • Explaining – Clearly and concisely explaining your conclusions. The nurse needs to be able to give a sound rationale for her answers.

  • Self regulating – You have to monitor your own thinking processes. This means that you must reflect on the process that lead to the conclusion. You should self correct in this process as needed. Be on alert for bias and improper assumptions.

Critical Thinking Pitfalls

Errors that occur in critical thinking in nursing can cause incorrect conclusions. This is particularly dangerous in nursing, because an incorrect conclusion can lead to incorrect clinical actions.

Illogical Processes

Critical thinking can fail when logic is improperly used. One common fallacy is when one uses a circular argument. A nurse could write a nursing diagnosis that reads ‘Coping is ineffective, as can be seen by the inability to cope.’ This just makes the problem into a circle and does not solve it.

Another common illogical thought process is known as ‘appeal to tradition.’ This is what people are doing when they say ‘it’s always been done like this.’ Creative, new approaches are not tried because of tradition.

Logic errors also can happen when a thinking makes generalizations and does not think about the evidence.

Bias

All people have biases. Critical thinkers are able to look at their biases and do not let them compromise their thinking processes.

Biases can complicate patient care. If you think that someone who is alcoholic is a manipulator, you might ignore their complaint that they are anxious or in pain, and miss the signs of delirium tremens.

Closed Minded

Being closed-minded in nursing is dangerous because it ignores other points of view. Also ignored is essential input from other experts, as well as patients and families. This means that fewer clinical options are explored and fewer innovative ideas are used.

So, no matter if you are a public health nurse or a nurse practitioner, you should always keep in mind the importance of critical thinking in the nursing field.

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