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Clinical Judgement and Decision Making in Nursing

Clinical Judgement and Decision Making in Nursing

Third Edition

June 2017 | 248 pages | Learning Matters
Clinical decision-making is an indispensable facet of professional nursing care. It is essential that students develop sound decision-making skills in order to deal with the challenges they will encounter as registered nurses. This book enables preregistration nursing students to understand, develop, and apply these skills in order to practice safely and effectively. The structure of the book helps the student progress in effective decision-making right from the first to final year of their program. The book links theory to previous students’ experiences and clinical scenarios to show how to use these skills in practice.

Transforming Nursing Practice is a series tailor made for preregistration student nurses. Each book in the series is:
  • Affordable
  • Mapped to the NMC Standards and Essential Skills Clusters
  • Focused on applying theory to practice
  • Full of active learning features

What is clinical judgement and decision-making in nursing?
Collaborative clinical decision-making
Using observation to inform decisions
Systematic clinical decision-making
Standardised clinical decision-making
Prioritising decisions in delivering care
Experience and intuition in decision-making
Reflective judgement and decision-making
Ethical sensitivity in decision-making
Accountability for nursing decisions
Confidence in clinical decision-making
Matrix decision-making model and ‘PERSON’ evaluation tool

It's a long time ago now since I last read a textbook, however, what I do remember is finding them more or less stultifying. Each chapter contained pages and pages of impenetrable prose ending with several broadly phrased questions which, in order to answer them, meant going back over the same dull reading to try and extract a few salient points.

In comparison, Clinical Judgement and Decision Making in Nursing is an altogether revolutionary kind of textbook. Far from inhibiting the inquisitive mind, it stimulates the reader's neural networks right from the start with chapters brimming with short case studies which feature ordinary people facing everyday situations in a medical setting. 

The essential learning points are there for students to discern for themselves, which is by far the best way to retain knowledge.  In the event that some may struggle, the main points are identified in each set of circumstances and succinctly stated to reinforce and enhance understanding of specific issues.

Overall, the book could arguably be put forward as a landmark in teaching prospective nurses the importance and value of adhering to NMC standards of practice and personal behaviour.  It is also a significant tool in the raising of awareness amongst all medical professionals of the vital role a registered nurse plays in the daily life of us mortals as we hurtle toward our inevitable fate. 

Annie Hitchman
Fitness to Practice Panellist for the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service

This is a truly excellent book.  The style of writing will appeal to readers of all levels within the nursing profession.  The author has cleverly written as if talking to the reader using examples from both nursing, university life as a student or within life in general.  Using these examples captures the reader’s attention because they are interesting and pose questions that can be applied within nursing or within their everyday lives.  Linking the NMC Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education domains to each chapter is also very helpful to both students and academic staff.   Students need to understand the domains and having this theory linked, highlighted and applied will enable this understanding.  It will also help them in their assessment of clinical practice.

I particularly liked the chapter on standardised clinical decision making.  This is very pertinent to the world of nursing where so often assessment tools are used as checklists and not as they should be.  It highlights the importance of evidence based practice and gives helpful links to that evidence.  The case example where the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was introduced was one that many mental health practitioners come across and highlighted the many advantages of using this particular tool.

Although this book focuses on nurses, I believe that it would be very useful within other areas of healthcare professions.  It would be particularly useful to doctors who have trained in some overseas countries where they have not been encouraged, as part of their undergraduate and postgraduate medical education to consider how they make decisions or to challenge the robustness of the evidence. 

Overall I would highly recommend this book.  Congratulations to the author.

Susan Plummer
Canterbury Christ Church University
Unpublished review

A really useful text for problem solving and decision making units.

Miss Mel Webb
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bedfordshire University
June 19, 2017

A well-written and well-structured book with chapter titles that are readily appealing as addressing major dimensions to consider in relation to professional judgement. The PERSON model provides a ready reminder of key issues in the busyness of practice. As all the Sage-Learning Matters books, this is very attractively presented.

Professor Brian Taylor
Sociology & Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster (Magee Campus)
June 19, 2017

This book is well presented and organised, enabling students to dip in or read, depending on time and reason for accessing it. The use of case studies / examples clearly demonstrate to students the relevance and application of topics included and how they works in practice. It is logically ordered and progresses through key areas that students need to know in order to provide safe effective practice. I shared this with colleagues in clinical practice and they too loved it and have been recommending it to practice partners. A valuable and easy to read text that will help students progress to take in and develop these skills, which are now essential for registered healthcare professionals.

Mrs christine jackson
Faculty of Health & Social Care, Hull University
April 19, 2017

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