Essay Example: Clinical Reasoning in Developing and Applying Advanced Health History

Published: 2023-10-27
Essay Example: Clinical Reasoning in Developing and Applying Advanced Health History
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Medicine Nursing care Special education
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 921 words
8 min read

Clinical reasoning is the process through which clinical competence is examined in the individual who encounters the patients in different encounters, whether in simple or complex situations. The process of clinical reasoning involves the use of clinical and investigative data, which is, in turn, used to generate a prioritized list of different diagnoses from the phenomena under investigation, hence informing the management plans and decisions that are settled on finally (Carvalho et al., 2017). Clinical reasoning is rich in information and has proposed training methods to be applied to the trainees on all levels in their practice. Through clinical reasoning, the reasoning ability used in the programs is assessed to ensure that the information provided is applicable both in the learning field and in the workplaces where the trainees and learners are headed.

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Nursing education and practice rely heavily on critical thinking as a skill to help in the daily activities that the trainee nurses and practicing ones face. Nurses are always in situations where they are required to think and make decisions that will remain relevant not only to the situations that they face currently but also to those that will remain appropriate and effective in the future. Therefore, the nurses are equipped with tools to help them make sound decisions even in the face of danger and emergencies through the clinical reasoning process of critical thinking which requires them to assess the situations that they face through the necessities of the moment and those of the future, hence ensuring that the decisions arrived at concerning patients is useful in the present and will not bring about any undesired side effects in the future (DeschĂŞnes et al., 2017). Therefore, clinical reasoning and critical thinking are synonymous and must be emphasized for the nurses' effectiveness during their practice.

Clinical reasoning is the process of thinking and making decisions that is associated and related to the nursing practice. Therefore, this process involves recognition of patterns, the use of intuition and calculating probabilities. These skills are important to the nursing profession since the nurses are expected to apply them in every situation on account of different patients having different requirements in terms of the treatment plans to be applied and the decisions on the methods of treatment to apply on different patients (Tyo et al., 2019). There are also instances where the patients do not show any physical signs of disease yet they have the symptoms, and therefore the nurses will be required to use clinical reasoning to investigate the cases to the core so that they can be able to save the patients’ health.

The educators and trainers responsible for the nurses’ teaching should therefore engage in teaching processes that will help them to effectively assess the needs of the trainee nurses, since different trainees have different needs for their practice. Different fields of nursing require equipment with different clinical reasoning skills. For example, nurses undertaking psychiatric services would be required to have different skill sets of clinical reasoning compared to those undertaking physical cases of nursing. Therefore, the training should give the nurses the general information required and the specific ones as per the needs of their areas if specification.

Many critical reasoning theories have been suggested, although the script theory and the dual-process theories have been the most used among medical educators. The script theory argues that trainee nurses are able to generate the symptoms of patients and the findings of studies of the same conditions in their mental capacities through formation of networks of recent and newly-acquired information, that is, scripts, of the diseases presented by the patients. closely linked to the script theory is the dual-process theory which states that the decision-making processes by trainees and practicing nurses is based on two sets of thinking processes (Tyo et al., 2019). The first set of thinking is based on intuition, recognition and the experiences of the nurses to make decisions concerning the different situations that they experience in the course of their practices. Comparatively, the second set of thinking is based on the scientific facts, and factoring in the history of the condition and the patient involved in the cases. Therefore, the second set of thinking is based on the existence of facts on the conditions suffered by the patients, and therefore is more objective and reliable. However, a nurse would be insufficiently equipped if they relied only on the scientific angle of the findings without using the first set of thinking to arrive there.

The use of patient management problems is also another set of skills required under the critical reasoning stage, whereby the nurses in charge need to think critically on how the issues experienced by the patients deterred them from accessing the healing processes that they required from the medical intervention. Therefore, the nurses would conduct patient management to establish the reasons why the patient is not responding to the medication and interventions that they are put under.


Carvalho, E. C. D., Oliveira-Kumakura, A. R. D. S., & Morais, S. C. R. V. (2017). Clinical reasoning in nursing: teaching strategies and assessment tools. Revista brasileira de enfermagem, 70(3), 662-668.

DeschĂŞnes, M. F., & Goudreau, J. (2017). Addressing the development of both knowledge and clinical reasoning in nursing through the perspective of script concordance: an integrative literature review. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 7(12), 29-38.

Tyo, M. B., & McCurry, M. K. (2019). An integrative review of clinical reasoning teaching strategies and outcome evaluation in nursing education. Nursing education perspectives, 40(1), 11-17.

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