Critical Thinking in Nursing – Care Example

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"Critical Thinking in Nursing" is an outstanding example of a paper on care. The essay details a reflection of my childhood memories concerning a classmate who had sickle cell anemia. The purpose of the reflection is to outline a situation that requires critical thinking as a strategy for evaluating the best outcomes for decisions. The paper identifies critical thinking as an important element of nursing because it reflects a way of sticking to professional ethics. The learning outcome in this case scenario is one that demonstrates nurses as critical decision-makers concerning patient welfare. The Reflection and Its Effects on My Life There was a young girl of nearly eight years with whom I studied during my elementary school.

I had never realized that she had sickle cell anemia for a long time until one day I found out after her attacks. I had never heard of or experienced anyone with the disease, which made the case strange to me. It was sad to note that the little girl, Charlie could not enjoy her life as usual with the rest of her age mates. In the previous years, we could play all sorts of games because Charlie was a little more vibrant than what she transformed into a time wound off.

I noted something strange about Charlie. Apart from her reduced activity and interactions with the rest of her playmates, she grew alarmingly weaker than she was each passing week. She could complain of severe pains in her chest more frequently than she complained of fatigue and painful joints. The situation grew so worse that she stopped coming to school regularly. Everyone in the classroom noticed Charlie’ s predicaments and only sympathized with her especially on the day she collapsed and fell off her desk.

That day evoked feelings of being a medical practitioner in me so that I could help such individuals recover from chronic ailments. Nevertheless, I talked to my father one day concerning my classmate. I just thought my father could help because he worked as a cardiologist at the Colorado State Hospital. Lucky enough, my father offered to help because Charlie’ s parents could not afford specialized care for their daughter. For all the time from her infancy to her current age, Charlie survived on morphine and anti-inflammatory medications that did not work efficiently.

He took Charlie to the hospital where she underwent transfusions of red blood cells because she had severe anemia. The latter treatment gave Charlie a chance to unite with us in school though she found herself a year behind us. Charlie’ s ailment caused her many troubles considering that the children of her age were active participants during school events. It, therefore, denied her a chance to experience an adventurous life and an opportunity to develop social relationships.

Her ability to make friends and socialize with her peers did not develop in a similar manner to the rest of the class. As such, Charlie became withdrawn and reserved even in her learning experience because her grades deteriorated drastically. What I learned from the incidence shaped my career ambitions by giving the motivation for becoming a nurse. I developed a feeling that nurses do their best in patient care. I felt that Charlie needed specialized care, which could serve as a follow-up activity for the prescribed medication.

Therefore, my experience as a nurse will be one full of patient-based practices in a way that gives the best treatment to them. The Elements of Critical Thought and Their Applications to Charlie’ s Case There is a need for the nurses and other medical practitioners to identify the problem in its context of their relationship with the patients (Day, Brunner & Day, 2009). Identification of the problem forms the basis for any decisions bound to happen. For this case, the problem identified was the fact that Charlie needed specialized care for her anemic condition.

The next element in the critical thinking framework is to identify the purpose of thought (Gambrill, 2006). The latter step is a directive for the desired outcomes out of the likely decisions in the nursing practice. Therefore, it was necessary that the critical thinking framework applied to develop a solution that would help heal Charlie and other patients of their chronic ailments (Lipe & Beasley, 2004). The third element of critical thinking practice is identifying the opinions of other parties concerning the problem (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2006).

Such a step is relevant to the development of decisions that will summarize the ideologies of many people and avoid prejudiced choices. The sickle cell problem is a global concern, which gives it a broad base of rational thought ideologies. In the US alone, the problem affects about 100,000 people. Many hospitals have specialized diagnosis and treatment of the disease (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2010). There is a consideration for the assumptions that nurses have concerning sickle cell anemia. Some people think that there is no known cure for the disorder.

Such a case gives nurses a task of assuring their patients that there are therapies that help them. Consequently, Charlie needed someone who could give her hope that her life was not at risk as some people presumed (Ozkahraman & Yildirim, 2011). After assessing the necessary requirements for the case, the next step is to consider the impacts of the decisions on the age of the client. The nature of the decision is one that will give the patient hope for the future and assurance that life is unfair.

The children are vulnerable society members. They, therefore, need specialized care. Conclusion of the Learning Elements of the Case A combination of Charlie’ s situation and the critical thinking framework gives me an opportunity to learn that nurses should consider a number of factors before giving their judgments concerning patients. I learned that the role of the nurse is to help patients make proper decisions and to integrate the surrounding conditions with the decisions made. This work has demonstrated the usefulness of critical thinking in the nursing scenario. The finding is that critical thinking is an essential element in making decisions that will give the best outcomes for both the nurses and the patients.


Day, R. A., Brunner, L. S., & Day, R. A. (2009). Brunner & Suddarth's textbook of Canadian medical-surgical nursing. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Gambrill, E. (2006). Critical thinking in clinical practice: Improving the quality of judgments and decisions. John Wiley & Sons.

Lipe, S. K., & Beasley, S. (2004). Critical thinking in nursing: A cognitive skills workbook. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Rubenfeld, M. G., & Scheffer, B. K. (2006). Critical thinking tactics for nurses: Tracking, assessing, and cultivating thinking to improve competency-based strategies. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.

Rubenfeld, M. G., & Scheffer, B. K. (2010). Critical thinking tactics for nurses: Achieving the IOM competencies. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.

Yildirim, B., & Ozkahraman, S. (2011). Critical thinking in nursing process and education. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 1(13), 257-262.

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