Strategies for teaching clinical decision-making

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 1997, 17 (1), pp. 16 - 21
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Nursing today requires clinicians who are autonomous decision-makers. It is therefore essential that nurses develop effective problem-solving and decision-making skills. The authors have found, both in practice and in searches of the literature, that registered nurses (RNs) appear to lack the skills necessary to make effective decisions. RNs demonstrate a propensity to stereotype, to be influenced by cultural bias and a desire to make rapid decisions. The literature abounds with research into and discussion on clinical decision-making. It fails however, to specify the skills required and to delineate the educational strategies that may be employed to improve the process of making decisions. An educational program developed by the authors indicates that it is possible to facilitate the development of cognitive skills in clinical decision-making. This paper explores views expressed in the literature, as well as examining the skills developed within the program that have been found to enhance decision-making. Finally, educational strategies designed to improve these skills are discussed. © 1997 Pearson Professional Ltd.
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