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CRITICAL THINKING AND DECISION MAKING

CRITICAL THINKING
It is a reflection and reasonable way of thinking.
It is a disciplined, self-directed thinking process.
Critical thinking does entail an orderly investigation of ideas, assumptions, principles, and conclusions.
The cognitive skills attributed to critical thinking process includes: (Green 2000)
Divergent thinking- ability to analyze variety of opinions and judgments
Reasoning involves use of logic
Reflection allows one to deliberate about something
Creativity - produce ideas and alternatives and consider multiple solutions
Clarification identifying similarities, differences, assumptions and defining terms.
Basic Support- use of known facts and background knowledge
CRITICAL THINKING PROCESS
1. Identifying Assumptions
May be beliefs that influence how an individual will reason or understand a situation. May reflect a
persons point of view or perspectives.
2. Considering the Context
Analysis and interpretation of the meanings of present issue or situation are essential to developing a
conclusion.
3. Data Collection
Gather enough data to allow for consideration of alternatives and prediction of multiple possible
outcomes.
DECISION
A decision is a course of action that is consciously chosen from available alternatives for the purpose of
achieving a desired result.(Venson and Nagtalon 2010)
The word 'decision' is derived from the Latin words de ciso which means 'a cutting away or a cutting off.
TYPE OF DECISIONS
ROUTINE DECISIONS -used to respond to frequently occurring, common, and reasonable well defined
issues. (Policies and Procedures)
INNOVATIVE DECISIONS -made when the situation or problem is unusual and the rules and guidelines
do not clearly define or dictate course of action.
Decision Making
Decision-making is a process by which a decision (course of action) is taken.
According to Trewatha & Newport, "Decision-making involves the selection of a course of action from among
two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem".
Decision Making VS Problem Solving
Decision making may or may not involve a problem but always involves selecting one action from
alternatives.
Problem solving involves diagnosing or identifying a problem and solving it and includes making decisions
along the way. (Sullivan & Decker, 2001)
THE PROCESS OF DECISION MAKING
PRE DECISION MAKING
o Does the decision need to be made?
How soon does the decision need to be made?
Who has the power to make the decision?
What are the controllable and uncontrollable factors?


Steps Involved In Decision Making Process
1. Definition / Identification of the Problem
The DECISION MAKER should set the stage for decision making.
Pre-determined objectives provide the focus for the decision.
Relevant data should be gathered so as to recognize the REAL PROBLEM.
Does the problem occur in all units or only in one specific unit?
Does it involve all personnel or only certain personnel?
When does the problem occur and how often?
What is the extent of the problem?
2. Analysis of the Problem
After the problem has been identified, the Supervisor/Head Nurse proceeds to investigate, gather data, and
analyze the cause and consequences of the problem.
Problem analysis means getting to the cause of the problem.
Specific Decision Making Tools
Pros and Cons
SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat)
2x2 MATRIX
3. Development of Alternative Solutions
After defining the problem and analyzing its nature, the next step is to obtain the relevant information/ data
about it.
This step focuses on the search for and analysis of alternatives and their possible consequences.
The problem should be shared with subordinates to gather additional ideas, information or suggestions.
4. Selection of Solution
After preparing alternative solutions, the next step in the decision-making process is to select an alternative that
seems to be most rational for solving the problem.
The alternative thus selected must be communicated to those who are likely to be affected by it.
Acceptance of the decision by group members is always desirable and useful for its effective implementation.
5. Conversion of the Decision into Action
After the selection of the best decision, the next step is to convert the selected decision into an effective action.
Without such action, the decision will remain merely a declaration of good intentions.
Major Management Functions in Implementing a Decision
Planning which entails consideration and selection of realistic objectives, policies, and procedures.
Organizing which means helping personnel understand the decision and the procedures necessary for
implementing decision
Staffing or the selection of the right person/s to carry out the decision
Controlling the environment and the group to prevent adverse effects.
6. Evaluation of Results
A follow up appraisal through observation, feedback, and reports is necessary to find out if the problem has
been resolved.
If the solution proves to be unsatisfactory, the whole process of decision making is repeated and the entire
problem is reviewed.

- Successful problem-solving requires finding the right solution to the right problem. The problems we select for solution and the way we formulate
them depends more on our philosophy and our worldview than on science and technology. -Russel Ackoff, - a social systems scientist
REFERENCES:
1. Venson, L.M. and Nagtalon, J.M.V.Nursing Management towards Quality Care.4
th
Ed. 2010
2. Jasovsky D.A and Kamienski M. Enhancing your Critical Thinking, Decision Making and Problem Solving,.p 151-163
3. http://www.nursingcenter.com/lnc/static?pageid=800371#sthash.vaSjpav0.vk3mvIKj.dpu

Prepared By: Honey Lee G. Gonzaga, R.N.
DECIDE MODEL (Decision Making Process)