Developing Critical Thinking in the Perioperative Environment
Critical thinking is considered an essential skill for nurses by many, including major accrediting agencies, health care administrators, and AORN. This is in part because of the environment in which nurses function. Health care, medicine, technology, and nursing are dynamic and constantly changing. The perioperative environment is complex, fast paced, unique, and oftentimes unpredictable. Critical thinking skills enable perioperative nurses to function effectively and evolve in this ever-changing environment. Nursing education programs are mandated to teach critical thinking skills. It is the practice arena, however, that refines, hones, and grows these skills. This article provides an overview of critical thinking in the context of nursing, as well as strategies and interventions designed to teach critical thinking skills.
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