As a nursing student, you will often come across the term “clinical reasoning cycle”. It refers to the cognitive process of analyzing the patient’s conditions, reaching a conclusive accurate diagnosis, and applying the right treatment plans to improve their condition.
Clinical reasoning is a core skill that nursing students accumulate through years of studies and practical experience in the field. Quick thinking and the correct diagnosis can be the difference between the survival and death of a person.
As a result, medical schools integrate clinical reasoning from the initial stages of nurse training, ensuring that students can grasp the process early on.
What Are the Phases of the Clinical Reasoning Cycle?
Tracy-Levett Jones, a professor of nursing at Newcastle, was the first one to come up with the concept of a clinical reasoning cycle. The systematic steps in this cycle provide a basic structure to all healthcare individuals when figuring out the best way to take care of a patient.
Most students have to look for nursing assignment help when they find it challenging to navigate through the cycle’s different phases. The most common mistake you might make is to think that you have to move forward from one step to the other all the time.
However, that is not the case. Clinical reasoning is somewhat of a trial-and-error method where you can always go back and forth in case it is challenging to analyze the patient’s condition on the first try accurately.
Clinical Reasoning Cycle consists of 8 simple steps:
Assessing the situation of the patient
The first stage of the clinical reasoning cycle is assessing the patient’s condition. When you are presented with a case, noting the patient’s state and listing out what anomalies they’re facing helps you understand their predicament.
Following the initial assessment, you need to consider the patient’s past medical history. Sometimes, this step can give you a crucial clue while diagnosing your patient if their condition seems to be a reaction to any of their past ailments
Once you have a good idea about their medical history, you can use your knowledge to establish connections and figure out clues for the next step.
Connecting all information for an accurate understanding
Once you identify the patient’s overall condition, your next step should be to process the data concerning past medical cases and general pharmacological patterns. There are various aspects of information that medical professionals have to consider to come up with the best treatment option for the patient.
This stage is perhaps one of the most crucial ones, as missing out on any information can lower the chances of patient recovery.
Identifying the problem
As a nursing student, you need to identify the problem ailing the patient correctly. Otherwise, it can lead to wrong diagnosis and treatment, further worsening the patient’s condition. Therefore, it is always best to be thorough during this stage and double-check everything to eliminate the possibility of a wrong diagnosis.
Concluding on possible treatments
After deciding on the situation, the next step is to conclude what treatment they should undergo to improve their condition. Always ensure that you have an idea of the treatment goals and the estimated time it might take to conclude the process successfully.
Taking the necessary action
Once you’ve come to all the diagnostic conclusions. It is time to implement the actions necessary to improve the patient’s medical condition. This process might involve the collaboration of various healthcare departments. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to ensure that everyone is up-to-date with the patient’s conditions.
Evaluating the patient’s condition
During the evaluation process; you have to keep the patient under medical observation to ensure no complications from the treatment. If the patient’s condition does not improve, you need to go back to the diagnosis step and look at the situation from another perspective.
Reflecting on the case
The last step of the clinical reasoning cycle is reflection. Where you go through the case and reflect on the things like:
- What you were able to learn from the case
- Whether you could have done something else to help the patient
- If all the steps you took were the most efficient
- Any errors that might have happened during the treatment
- How to avoid such mistakes during a similar situation in the future
Once you have reflected on your answers, you finally come to the end of this cycle.
The Importance of the Clinical Reasoning Cycle
According to the latest research, medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A simple diagnostic mistake is all it takes for a patient’s condition to deteriorate. Therefore, nurses and medical professionals who do not possess clinical reasoning skills can risk a patient’s life. As the medical professional in that situation, you have to bear responsibility.
You May Also Like:- Men’s Health Tips Information And Health Advice Tips
Patients and their family members can sue the medical professionals; and the hospital in case of any negligence, putting your license at risk. Therefore, having a thorough knowledge of clinical reasoning skills is one of the essential qualities; that any medical professional should have.
Summing it up
Jones’ eight-step cycle perfectly organizes the entire clinical reasoning process into a series of steps. Each stage is intrinsically tied to the other and helps you trace back your steps easily. As a result, nurses with a high affinity towards clinical reasoning have higher success rates with patient recovery.
Therefore, by following this reasoning cycle. Any healthcare professional can make the best use of their problem-solving and decision-making skills; resulting in the best treatment and care for their patient.