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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole A. Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (Council of International Neonatal Nurses)
Description: This is not an ordinary critical thinking book. It presents the material in an easy to use format complete with worksheets and checklists. The format lends itself to sound teaching/learning principles, actively engaging the learner and providing tools for evaluation to the faculty.
Purpose: The purpose is to present the reader with the cognitive skills necessary to learn and apply critical thinking to clinical situations. Use of competency based learning assists with the integration of critical thinking into provide holistic nursing care. These objectives are worthy and met.
Audience: According to the intended audience is student nurses and LPNs returning for their RN licensure. The book could be used for the nurse returning to the workplace who is not comfortable with competency based skills and application of critical thinking in everyday practice.
Features: Although the book covers the typical concepts of critical thinking, problem solving, nursing process, delegation and the like, it goes beyond these "dry" concepts. The inclusion of pitfalls of each concept as well as competency based checklists are wonderful additions to this material. The checklists and accompanying case scenarios are visually appealing and easy to "fill in" for practice. The practice exercises make it easy for even the most novice student or faculty to use to promote interactive learning. The book would have been strengthened by using more culturally diverse case examples and incorporating NIC and NOC along with NANDA.
Assessment: Critical thinking is a trite, overused phrase in education that is difficult to measure. These authors have brought the content/concept to light and provide good teaching/learning tools to assist in its incorporation into clinical practice. Competing texts such as Critical Thinking Study Guide for Medical-Surgical Nursing: Critical Thinking for Collaborative Care, Ignatavicius, et al. (W.B. Saunders, 2002) or Nursing Health Assessment: A Critical Thinking, Case Studies Approach, by Dillon (F.A. Davis, 2003) is very specific to a specialty or a portion of the nursing process. The authors of this book apply critical thinking to all aspects of nursing, giving it broader appeal.