Clinical Decision

The aim of this essay is to examine and reflect upon a case study regarding a patient,
by focusing on a clinical decision that was made by the author. This particular case
study is based around the clinical decision making process of a patient being admitted
to hospital for a surgical procedure. A description of the clinical decision making
process related to the case study will be addressed; other factors that influenced this
process will also be analyzed. Finally, the author will reflect on the decision made
using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle. All aspects of this essay will be analyzed and
supported by current literature related to the topic.
Clinical decision-making is an important skill for all nurses to have, as they
are more likely to have a positive impact on patient outcomes (Furze, Nelson, O’Hare,
Ortner, Threlkeld & Jensen, 2013). Clinical reasoning can be defined as a “ complex
cognitive process that uses both formal and informal thinking strategies to gather and
analyze patient information, evaluate the significance of this information and weight
alternative options” (Lavote, Pepin & Boyer, 2013, p36). The clinical reasoning cycle
is a multi-staged process that nurses and professionals use to “collect cues, process
information, come to an understanding of a patient problem or situation, plan and
implement interventions, evaluate outcomes, reflect and learn from the process”
(Levett-Jones et al, 2010, p516). This eight-stage process may appear lineal in theory
however, many of these stages often occur simultaneously and boundaries often
overlap and are blurred (Levett-Jones et al, 2010). Clinical decision-making amongst
nurses with little clinical experience tends to be linear, based on limited knowledge
and more attention is placed on single tasks or problems (Gillespie & Paterson, 2009).
Additionally novice nurse are unable to recognise or understand the significance of
changes from textbook clinical situations (Gillespie &...