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J Clin Nurs. 2003 Mar;12(2):215-22.

Observations, confirmations and strategies - useful tools in decision-making process for nurses in practice?

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  • 1University College of Health Sciences, Jönköping, Sweden.


The aim of the study was to describe how nurses make decisions on measures in clinical practice. The data-collection method consisted of audio-taped interviews with six nurses. The interviews were then transcribed verbatim. The questions in the interviews were based on nursing situations observed earlier when the nurses initiated and implemented patient-related measures and the focus was on the nurses' experience of decision making. A content analysis was performed. The results show that the nurses' decisions on measures were based on three themes: observation of cues related to the patient's situation, confirmation of information gathered and implementation of action strategies. The results are discussed in relation to earlier empirical research on decision-making activities in the nurse's clinical practice and the nurse's utilization of knowledge during the decision-making process. It is concluded that the nurse's awareness of the patient's situation, together with a well-founded basis for decisions, can have positive effects on the nursing care provided by the nurse.

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