Critical Thinking And Healthy Decision Making
By applying critical thinking and opening yourself to discovery, you become anchored in your own authenticity and truth in these tumultuous times. This is the 16th consecutive year that nurses have been voted most trusted professionals. Subsequently, reading Leah Curtin’s Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them in American Nurse Today, got me wondering– how do you know who is telling the truth? Your eyes and ears are passive receivers, so as their owner you are in charge of the messages going into them- are your information sources trustworthy? Is the information you get evidence based? Daily you use the following 10 healthy mind habits in your nursing process to guide your professional and personal decision making. Using these 10 habits you demonstrate characteristics of critical thinking but you need accurate information to think critically to discern what is true and what is not.
confidence creative intellectual integrity open-minded inquisitive contextual perspective flexible intuitive persevering reflective
Who are the nursing, health care and political thought leaders you follow, and why?
Do they demonstrate healthy mind habits?
As a nurse, trusted for your clinical expertise, your critical thinking skills can also make you an informed health care advocate, speaking up for equitable health care for your patients and yourself. As funding for health care continues to be reduced, small health care clinics, doctors’ offices and home health agencies vie for precious funds to continue to offer their much needed services. Small organizations close and others are subsumed by larger organizations for survival in the current health care climate. What is happening where you work? Is your employer hiring? Are they downsizing? Are you paying more for less health care with increased deductibles and higher premiums? What are your thoughts and concerns about efforts to erode what some call “entitlements”, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security?
Practical Application of critical thinking using healthy mind habits
Recently the organization I have been working with began reducing clinical staff, not filling vacant positions, rearranging the office staff, having people reapply for positions they held for years and closing parts of some departments. When my position evaporated, after applying the cognitive skills of critical thinking I made a proposal to the organization using the following 6 steps.
- Formulated my questions by reflecting on my needs, intuiting political and social changes, creatively looking for guidance from others. What were my options within the organization? Was there going to be a severance? Were there available positions that I might enjoy? What would other positions pay? Was this organization’s values in alignment with mine? What would be the scheduling? What would be the benefits?
- Gathered information by keeping my mind open, reflecting and persevering.
- Applied the information by analyzing, reasoning and discriminating among different pieces of information that came my way. I anticipated the upcoming changes and related them to my questions and concerns.
- Considered the implications of my analysis in an effort to predict possible outcomes.
- Explored other options as part of gathering more information and decided what course of action I would take.
- Communicated effectively to suggest the best possible outcomes for me and the organization.
Now, awaiting a response to my communications, I feel confident that I have been truthful and maintained my integrity. By honing your mental habits and sharpening your critical thinking skills, you too can have the peace of mind that comes with telling the truth and maintaining your integrity. You may or may not be able to influence the outcomes.
Please share with us the steps or processes you use in making changes. What you share will probably help or be useful for a nurse colleague who is facing what you have faced.
Sending you blessings for strong mental habits of confidence, creativity, intellectual integrity, open-mindedness, inquisitiveness, contextual perspectives, flexibility, intuition, perseverance and reflection!
With love, Padma
P.S. By the way, the next Vitality in Progress: Healing and Preventing Burnout for Nurses program begins 1/21/18
Support your inspiration, your strengths and your vision~ sign up today!