In clinical practice and the nursing profession, one important quality that professionals should possess is autonomy. Autonomy is a key factor that facilitates critical thinking at all levels. The ability to make independent decisions and judgment in all areas of clinical practice is what sets apart a critical thinker from the rest. While evidence-based practice provides a frame of reference it is only through autonomous action that a clinical practitioner can efficiently apply logic and new knowledge to deliver crucial health solutions more efficiently (Shoulders, Follett, & Eason, 2014).
It is undoubtedly factual that the central ideas, theories, and concepts that inform reasoning in clinical practice are universal. However, there is always a need to innovate and create new ways of doing things (Zuriguel Pérez et al., 2015). Through apt decision-making skills and logical reasoning, critical thinking can be applied in clinical practice to provide new solutions to existing problems. Using existing best evidence as a benchmark, a competent nurse can integrate critical thinking and acquired clinical expertise to develop new, more efficient ways to arrive at the same solutions to existing problems while observing the relevant guidelines (Shoulders, Follett, & Eason, 2014).
In day to day clinical practice, critical thinking is important in providing solutions through improvising (Shoulders, Follett, & Eason, 2014). It is a fact that every situation at the hospital is unique. There are no identical cases at the hospital, they can only be similar. Sometimes even the evidence-based practices and procedures fail to produce the desired results or outcome. This is because a patient’s case might be similar to a previous one but not identical. In such an event the application of critical thinking is important in brainstorming ideas on how to improvise and arrive at the desired goal albeit using a different procedure or approach but remaining within practice guidelines (Shoulders, Follett, & Eason, 2014).
1. Shoulders, B., Follett, C., & Eason, J. (2014). Enhancing critical thinking in clinical practice: implications for critical and acute care nurses. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 33(4), 207-214.
2. Zuriguel Pérez, E., Lluch Canut, M. T., Falcó Pegueroles, A., Puig Llobet, M., Moreno Arroyo, C., & Roldán Merino, J. (2015). Critical thinking in nursing: scoping review of the literature. International journal of nursing practice, 21(6), 820-830.