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Pflege. 2006 Oct;19(5):281-6.

[Clinical decision making: Fostering critical thinking in the nursing diagnostic process through case studies].

[Article in German]

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Notfallzentrum Insel, Universitätsspital, Stettlerstrasse 15, CH-3006 Bern.


Case studies, based on actual patients' situations, provide a method of clinical decision making to foster critical thinking in nurses. This paper describes the method and process of group case studies applied in continuous education settings. This method bases on Balints' case supervision and was further developed and combined with the nursing diagnostic process. A case study contains different phases: Pre-phase, selection phase, case delineation and case work. The case provider narratively tells the situation of a patient. This allows the group to analyze and cluster signs and symptoms, to state nursing diagnoses and to derive nursing interventions. Results of the case study are validated by applying the theoretical background and critical appraisal of the case provider. Learning effects of the case studies were evaluated by means of qualitative questionnaires and analyzed according to Mayring. Findings revealed the following categories: a) Patients' problems are perceived in a patient centred way, accurate nursing diagnoses are stated and effective nursing interventions implemented. b) Professional nursing tasks are more purposefully perceived and named more precise. c) Professional nursing relationship, communication and respectful behaviour with patients were perceived in differentiated ways. The theoretical framework is described in the paper "Clinical decision making and critical thinking in the nursing diagnostic process". (Müller-Staub, 2006).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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