Nursing

Expert spotlight: Kick start critical thinking skills

Nurse Leader Insider, October 13, 2008

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This week, expert Shelley Cohen, RN, BS, CEN, lends some advice to pass on to your preceptors when orienting new nurses.

Q: Some of the preceptors at my facility are having difficulty teaching orientees critical thinking. Do you have any advice?

A: Preceptors can help orientees develop and stimulate the use of critical thinking skills by following some of these suggestions:

Minimizing the emphasis on ability to perform skills and tasks: New hires are eager to complete the required "check-offs" for competencies related to performing clinical tasks. Preceptors should encourage them to focus on other aspects of their orientation as well.

Maximizing emphasis on the ability to recognize when the skill or task is needed: As new hires request to be "checked off" on various skills or tasks, preceptors should ask questions to demonstrate whether new hires have the ability to critically think through why the patient needs this particular task or skill performed.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? Email your queries to editor Keri Mucci at kmucci@hcpro.com and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.



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